Wood destroying beetles infesting homes around the country - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

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Wood destroying beetles infesting homes around the country

The powder post beetle is one of the most destructive pests in the country. It is a wood- boring insect that's a serious threat in coastal regions throughout the United States including Hawaii. They infest lumber used to build houses and wood furniture. This is how they are transported throughout the country.

Clint Michaelson and Melissa Akers of Guin, Alabama didn't know they had a powder post beetle problem until their living room floor collapsed. The more they uncovered, the worse it got. They are very dangerous, wood destroying little creatures. The damage was so bad, Clint and Melissa were advised to tear their house down.

Sue Fries owns Ecola Termite and Pest Management services in Southern California. She says powder post larvae hide inside untreated lumber to feed on the sap, which is just how they wound up in the cherry wood used to build her own kitchen cabinets. The powder post beetle can be inside wood for 5 years without you knowing they're there. 

Fries says it's not just floors and cupboards that are at risk. The powder post beetle can be found in furniture, too. In fact, Chris Jean, one of our own producers, discovered a beetle infestation in his coffee table.

Chris says, "We started hearing a little metallic wrapping sound. Like the kind of sound that might be, like, a dentist's tool."

Chris was stumped as to what was creating the noise, which went on for nearly four years. Then one day, he says he noticed a small pile of sawdust on the table. Just a pile of really fine powdery saw dust.  So he wiped it off and there was a hole the size of a pinky finger. Once he looked inside the whole there were two eyes looking back.

Sue Fries says the only way to prevent a powder post beetle infestation from spreading is to call an exterminator and whenever buying lumber, she recommends getting a certified receipt that states that it's been treated to safeguard against wood- boring insects. You have to make sure that the wood has been kiln-dried or that it has been fumigated through a fumigation chamber and you can be sure by having a receipt from who ever you purchase it from.

To catch an infestation before it's too late, Fries recommends keeping your eyes peeled for fine powder-like sawdust and small holes because powder post beetles, left untreated, will destroy your entire home.

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