The borer beetle is a common wood-boring pest known to cause damage to a variety of types of woods inside and outside of homes.
Because these pests procreate so rapidly and can lay a large number of eggs, they are capable of causing severe structural damage that can not only be costly but also dangerous.
Are you dealing with a borer beetle problem? Then keep reading. Today, we are talking all about this damaging pest as well as covering some of the best tips, tricks, methods, and products you can use for how to get rid of the borer beetle for good.
What Is The Borer Beetle?
Wood borer beetles have four life stages, but it is their larvae stage, pictured above, that is most damaging to wood. (https://unsplash.com/photos/uzgIVF4F2ho)
There are three groups of wood-boring beetles that we humans contend with. They include the powderpost beetle, the deathwatch beetle, and the false powderpost beetle.
Like termites, borer beetles can wreak havoc on wood structures inside and outside of your home. Also known as wood-boring beetles, these pests are attracted to common woods we use in our homes and structures including oak, ash, mahogany, walnut, bamboo, and more.
Although many types of woods can be affected by the borer beetle, including wood from living trees, most often infestations occur inside homes on woods like paneling, plywood, door frames, window frames, and other types of wood. Borer beetles will also attack firewood, dead tree stumps, and wood furniture.
Borer beetles have four life stages, including egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The most damaging stage of this pest is the grub stage, though there are some adult borer beetle species that also damage the wood.
Adult female borer beetles can lay between 60 and 100 eggs in their lifetime. She lays the eggs beneath the surface of the wood, often below bark or in cracks or crevices of wood panels.
The eggs generally take between seven to ten days to hatch, at which point the grubs, also known as woodworms, chew their way through the wood. They can feed on the wood directly for up to three years, causing severe damage and creating emergence holes once they pupate and emerge as adults.
These emergence holes are about the size of a pencil tip or roughly 1/4th of an inch in diameter.
Most Common Signs Of A Borer Beetle Infestation
Emergence holes are some of the most common signs of wood borer beetles.
Just because you find damage from a borer beetle in your wood does not mean you have an active borer beetle infestation.
Signs Of An Active Wood Borer Infestation
The most common sign of an active wood borer infestation is typically white wood dust. You might also find frass, which looks like sawdust though it is actually excrement from the pests.
If you do discover an active borer beetle infestation in your wood, it’s important to utilize treatment methods as quickly as possible to help prevent damage from becoming worse.
Unfortunately, most borer beetle infestations typically go unnoticed until they are severe in furniture or housing or until plants and trees begin to suffer and die.
At this point, the wood borer beetle infestation may be nearing its end. Even so, it’s still important to treat the infected area and do your best to repair the damage.
Signs Of An Inactive Wood Borer Infestation
Yellowing wood, empty holes, and piles of clumpy wood dust can all be signs of an inactive wood borer infestation.
If you discover an inactive wood borer beetle infestation, you may still be able to salvage the wood or save the damaged plant. For wood inside your home, experts recommend you strip the paint away from the wood and seal the wood using the appropriate materials.
If the wood is too damaged, you may need to replace it altogether.
If not, you can treat the wood and repaint it as needed. Let’s talk more about the best methods you can use for how to get rid of wood borer beetles below.
How To Get Rid Of The Borer Beetle – Best Methods
Wood borer beetles can attack wood inside like furniture or wood outside from trees.
Borate products are ideal for when it comes to getting rid of the borer beetle and woodworms. This is because borate works both as a treatment product and a preventative. Of course, there are other products you can use to get rid of these pests, and we’ll talk about these products in more detail below.
For now, let’s take a look at some of the best methods you can use for how to get rid of the borer beetle.
Sodium borate, which is the borate base we recommend for using when it comes to getting rid of the borer beetle, is technically considered a natural product. It is a naturally formed mineral that is commonly used for cleaning and laundry.
However, it is also making an excellent and effective ingredient in pest control.
While many borate-based products are safe, they are still technically considered chemical-based insecticides.
If you prefer using natural or organic forms of pest control, you’re in luck. There are many other natural products you can use that include the use of essential oils or plant-based ingredients to help get rid of the borer beetle and its woodworms.
While there has been some controversy regarding the effectiveness of natural products in comparison to chemical products, most experts agree that when applied as directed, natural products can be just as effective as chemical-based products when it comes to protecting your home and wood from borer beetle infestations.
Of course, there are pros and cons to using natural products. While many natural products are considered safer for people, pets, and the environment, they may be more costly than chemical products. Furthermore, they may require more maintenance and consistent application in order to be effective.
Chemical insecticides are some of the most common forms of pest control used throughout the United States. While effective, many chemical insecticides and pesticides for getting rid of the borer beetle are considered controversial, as they can be harmful to people, pets, and the environment if not used as directed.
However, when used as the label suggests, most of these products are not only safe but also highly effective.
Remember, not all ingredients will work for all types of pests. For the borer beetle, in particular, we suggest using borate-based insecticides. Other common ingredients you should look for in insecticides specifically targeting the borer beetle include carbaryl, bifenthrin, permethrin, and pyrethroid.
If your wood borer beetle infestation is not yet out of control, you do have the option of trying your hand at do-it-yourself pest control methods and home remedies.
There are plenty of household ingredients that can work effectively to get rid of the borer beetle and woodworms, though it’s very important to also consult with a professional if you believe your wood borer beetle problem has caused significant damage to your home’s structure.
Last but not least, one of the best ways to manage a wood borer beetle problem is to use preventative measures. These measures could include keeping up with routine home maintenance and using a year-round pest control regimen.
This video below talks in more detail about how to get rid of the borer beetle.
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Now let’s take a moment to look at some of the best products according to experts that you can use for how to get rid of the borer beetle.
Best Products For How To Get Rid Of The Borer Beetle
Wood boring beetle adults lay their eggs in cracks and crevices along with the wood. (https://unsplash.com/photos/-skiXofkrzM)
As we discussed above, the best products to get rid of the borer beetle will often contain ingredients like borate, carbaryl, bifenthrin, permethrin, and pyrethroid. These ingredients are proven to work most effectively when it comes to controlling and removing active borer beetle infestations, and they often work for borer beetles in all of their life stages.
If you are concerned about using chemical ingredients to get rid of borer beetles, you also have the option of using natural products as well.
Remember, there are pros and cons to using both natural products and chemical products when it comes to pest control, and the type of product that works best for you will depend on your unique situation.
With all of that noted, let’s take a look at some of the best products according to experts for how to get rid of borer beetles.
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Nisus Boracare works using Disodium Octaborate Tetrahydrate, aka Borate, to kill and manage wood borer beetle infestations. This product is specifically designed to use on trees and shrubs that have been infested by these pests as well as a variety of other pests like termites, carpenter ants, and also algae and fungi.
If you do notice signs of borer beetle infestations then using this product early can help not only protect other trees in your yard but it can also help prevent any borer beetle infestations from getting into your home.
Bonide Pyrethrin Outdoor Insecticide
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As we mentioned above, another active ingredient that works well for borer beetle infestations is Pyrethrin. For outdoor infestations of borer beetles and other types of wood-invading pests like termites and carpenter ants.
This product is specifically designed for outdoor use and comes in a concentrated spray mix that will need to be mixed with water. It works on borer beetles, aphids, webworms, leafhoppers, and other pests that damage wood and vegetation.
Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer
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For indoor wood borer beetle infestations, we recommend using Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer. This product comes ready to apply with an easy-to-use applicator. It is odor-free and can come with several different applicator methods depending on where your pest infestation is occurring.
The product works against borer beetles, ants, roaches, spiders, fleas, ticks, and more. While this is an indoor product, you can use it outside as well as a perimeter spray to help keep wood borer beetles and other annoying pests from getting into our home.
BioAdvanced Insecticide Foam Spray
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This spray is specifically designed to kill and repel a number of wood borer insects including the borer beetle, termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees, and more. It goes on as a foam spray to kill the pests you can physically see while also reaching the ones hidden beneath the surface of the wood.
The foam fills in cracks and crevices and is ideal for use along baseboards, patios, attics, and other areas where wood has been compromised by wood borer beetle infestations.
The order includes an easy-to-apply nozzle that reaches difficult areas you might not be able to otherwise, and provides long-lasting protection.
Keep in mind that this product is a chemical-based pesticide and should be used only as directed. It is not for sale in certain regions and should be kept out of reach of children and pets.
Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade Crawling Insect Killer
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Also known as DE, Diatomaceous Earth is an all-natural product derived from fossilized algae. It is completely harmless to people, pets, and the environment but has been found highly effective against pests with exoskeletons like the wood borer beetle, termites, ants, roaches, bed bugs, and more.
This product is safe to use inside and out to help protect against borer beetles and other common pests. It includes an easy-to-apply duster to help you reach difficult places along baseboards or headboards, and it is easy to vacuum up once you no longer need it.
The product works by penetrating the exoskeleton of hard-shelled pests, which dehydrates and kill them.
In order for Diatomaceous Earth to be effective, it will need to be dry. If it does get wet, simply reapply it.
The Borer Beetle – Best Products For Prevention
Wood sealant with a borate base can help prevent wood borer beetles and other pests.
If you have ever had a wood borer beetle problem before, you know how costly it can be to repair the damage. To prevent this from happening again, we suggest investing in products that help protect your home and property from wood borer beetles.
Let’s take a look now at some of the topmost recommended products for how to keep borer beetles at bay below.
Penfield Borate Wood Preservative
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If you live in an area where borer beetles are a large and well-known problem, it will be a good idea to treat your wood early on. Using a borate-based wood treatment product like the above PanShield Wood Treatment which can help preserve your wood and protect it not only from the elements but also from the wood borer beetle.
This product goes on clear and is designed for use on decks, patios, furniture, and more. If you have noticed a borer beetle infestation already and gone through the treatment steps listed in this article, then we suggest using this product or a product like it to treat the wood once you have removed the pest.
Ultrasonic Pest Repellent
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Another safe way to help repel the wood borer beetle and keep your indoor woods and furniture safe is to use an ultrasonic pest repellent product. The above ultrasonic pest repeller works 24 hours a day and repelled pests like mosquitoes, ants, bed bugs, mice, fleas, spiders, and beetles of all kinds.
The product works by emitting ultrasonic soundwaves and vibrations that are harmless to people and pets but highly irritating to pests.
The order includes six repellent plug-ins that you can use in garages, bedrooms, bathrooms, basements, attics, and more.
Each ultrasonic pest repeller product is designed to protect up to 1,200 square feet.
Acecap AC4Xx75 Tree Insecticide Implant
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For the protection of outdoor woods like trees and shrubs, you might consider an insecticide implant for trees. The above insecticide implant by Acecap provides a safe and effective way you can protect your trees from common insects like the wood borer beetle, aphids, ants, and other pests that commonly attack and harm trees.
The product includes 10 implants that treat trees with a 14-inch diameter trunk. This is a chemical-free applicant that is safe to use in areas where people and pets roam often, and it will not harm the environment or beneficial insects.
You will need tools in order to install these implants into your trees, and tools include a cordless drill, a hammer, and dowel rod, as well as a tape measure. The tools are not included.
Mighty Mint Peppermint Oil Pest Repellent Spray
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For general pest repellent and borer beetle control, you might consider using the above Mighty Mint Pest Repellent Spray. This product uses essential oils like peppermint oil to help repel a number of pests including spiders, ants, beetles, and more. It is non-toxic and perfectly safe for the environment and helps to repel common pests and wood borer beetle infestations by the aroma of peppermint oil.
As we will discuss further down, wood borer beetles are especially sensitive to essential oils and the smell of citrus and peppermint. You can safely use this pest control spray to repel these pests by spraying it directly on wood, furniture, and around your home to keep them at bay.
For this product to be most successful, we suggest you spray it on wood and furniture at least once every three days.
How To Get Rid Of The Borer Beetle using Home Remedies
Painting your wood with essential oils, neem oil or bleach can help protect your wood from borer beetles. (https://unsplash.com/photos/-skiXofkrzM)
Getting rid of wood borer beetles and repairing the damage these pests cause can often require help from either professionals or store-bought products. However, there are a few home remedies you can use when it comes to getting rid of and managing these pests.
Bleach is an effective cleaning agent, but its strong makeup also works to kill wood borer beetles and woodworms. To use it effectively, you will need to soak the wood in a solution of ½ cups of bleach and one gallon of water.
The bleach will need to saturate the wood enough to get through to the pests inside, and this often takes between one and two days.
This method is best used on furniture or pieces of wood you can remove from your home or siding that you wish not to replace.
When used correctly, the method of using bleach will kill wood borer beetle adults, eggs, nymphs, and borer beetles in the stage of pupation.
Many people use borax as an in-home cleaner and laundry detergent. It’s also a great product for pest control because it is perfectly safe to use in homes with people and pets and is highly effective against pests like wood borer beetles.
You can make your own borax solution by combining one tablespoon of borax for every eight ounces of water. Saturate the wood in this solution and apply it as often as needed until you have remedied the borer beetle infestation.
Then it’s best to begin treating the wood.
Essential oils are an effective form of pest control, and while they may not offer complete relief from controlling and eradicating borer beetles, they can work as a good preventative. When applied correctly, some essential oils can even help stop wood borer beetle infestations before they get out of control.
The best essential oil for borer beetles is eucalyptus oil, but any of the below oils can work to get rid of and repel borer beetles. These oils include:
- Eucalyptus Oil
- Peppermint Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- And Lavender Oil
To use this method most effectively, you can use a paintbrush to paint the affected wood during an active infestation. You will need to apply the essential oil for three days in order for it to be most effective.
How To Get Rid Of The Borer Bettle – Let’s Sum it Up!
Wood borer beetles can be highly destructive, but if you’re proactive you should be able to protect your trees and home.
Wood borer beetles are tough, but now we know there are several methods, tools, and products you can use to get rid of these annoying and damaging pests. Along with knowing how to get rid of borer beetles, it’s also a good idea to know how to prevent them.
Let’s sum this article up with a few expert tips and tricks on how you can not only get rid of wood borer beetles and their larvae but how you can keep them from coming back.
Protect Your Yard and Property
A wood borer beetle in your home often begins outside. The best way to prevent wood borer beetles from causing serious damage inside your home is to keep them from your yard. You can use a variety of pest control methods to get rid of wood borer beetles outdoors, and some of the most effective are listed above.
You can also help prevent wood borer beetles by ensuring you keep up with routine landscaping. Keep trees and shrubs healthy, remove excess wood sources from around your home, and refrain from storing wood piles along with your home’s siding.
Seal Cracks and Crevices In The Wood
Just as you will protect your yard, you should also protect your home. Seal cracks and crevices along the perimeter of your home to help keep pests out. Ensuring you practice routine home maintenance will not only help protect your home from wood borer beetles but also other pests like rodents, spiders, roaches, and ants.
Keep Your Eyes Open For Early Signs Of Wood Borer Beetle Infestations
Catching wood borer beetle infestations early is key to reducing severe damage that could be costly and dangerous in your home.
As we did mention above, catching a wood borer beetle infestation early can be difficult, but if you know what to watch for you can catch the problem before it becomes serious.
Remember, the common warning signs of an early wood borer beetle infestation includes:
- Holes in the wood
- Holes and tunnels near the wood
- Blistered wood
- Stained wood
- Wood dust
- And clicking sounds from behind the walls
Remove or Replace The Wood If You Need To
If you do discover that you have an early infestation of wood borer beetles, it is often less expensive and less time-consuming to replace the bit of wood that has been infested. If you have a tree limb that has been infested with borer beetles, you may need to prune infested branches or limbs to save the rest of the tree.
Be Sure You Treat The Wood Upon Installation
When you do install new wood, it’s important to treat the wood with sealant to protect it from potential wood borer beetle infestations.
There are different types of sealant you can use, but we recommend those that we listed above.
Use A Pest Control Regiment Both Inside And Outside Of Your Home
As with all pest control regimens, using a quality pest control repellent year-round will help ensure your yard and home are both protected from not only wood borer beetles but also a variety of other insects and wood-destroying pests.
We hope this has been a helpful guide on how to get rid of the wood borer beetle. Best of luck and thanks for reading.
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.