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Tip of the week: Beetle battle continues

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Bob has responded to a question some weeks ago about beetles.

You just can’t keep a good man down. Bob has responded to a question some weeks ago about beetles. 
Hi Don. Your reader’s question two weeks ago about wood borer beetle refers. I’ve dealt a lot over the years with these little beasties (known as hylotrupos-bajalus). 

To find out if the nasty little fellows are still active, rub a block of soap over the holes, blocking off their front and back doors. After a few weeks check to see if holes have been penetrated. 

Whack the beams/flooring with a hammer to wake up the colony and keep them on their feet. (They tend to multiply rapidly like frog spawn and after sex can remain dormant for weeks.) If holes open up you can start the “killing fields”. 

Obtain a handful of used hypodermic needles from your friendly GP. Now mark off an area with chalk for, say, an hour’s work and fully inject each and every hole with battery acid. 

A tedious job but it really works. Spays and brushing l have found to be of no use. To see how intense the inner destruction is, give the beams/flooring a sturdy tap with a ball head hammer. If the ball head sinks into the wood you’re in trouble. 

Whether the beetle is still active or not, that area or beam should be replaced. 

Regarding the overseas beetle (known as wood worm), some of the attractive Indonesian teak furniture is not treated. Check well with a torch before it leaves the store. 

There are other mechanical and homemade electronic devices I’ve designed and used for active detection. Please call me for free advice on 0823682690.
*Handy Mac, aka Don MacAlister, is our expert on household DIY issues. If you have a question for him, please send it to or SMS only to 082 446 3859. Find Don on FB:

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