Powderpost beetle

Asked June 20, 2020, 9:36 PM EDT

Hello: We are pretty sure we have a powderpost beetle (or larva) working inside our end table, which is made of a section of a cherry tree that was not kiln dried. The table has been sealed with semigloss water based polyurethane. It has been in our living room for 9 months and is very dry. How can we get rid of the beetle? Would it work to put the table in our car on a hot day to kill it with heat? We can’t fit the slab in our freezer. Other ideas? Thanks!

Kent County Michigan

1 Response

Good morning,
It sounds like you have already done some exploration on your own (re: heat treatment, wood finishing, etc)! Apparently there are professional exterminators out there who have kilns for this sort of heat treatment. Although your car may get up to the beetle-killing temperature in the sun for awhile, it may not stay hot enough, long enough, to kill the beetles.
Are you seeing any emergence holes or sawdust from feeding beetles? If so, be sure to touch up the holes with polyurethane.
If you have followup questions, please consider contacting Pascal Nzokou (nzokoupa@msu.edu), a faculty member in the MSU Department of Forestry with a specialization in wood products.
Best wishes, -Georgia