Hello, I believe my mother’s screened porch ceiling has either old house borers or powder post beetles. We see holes and hear clicking noises. House was built in yr. 1955. Getting ready to scrape ceiling and repaint but want to get rid of pests. I have a sprayer – should I use Boracare or Timbor? No access to area except vent on outside of porch at top near roof. Thank you in advance for your help.
This would be a great location for many types of wood destroying insects like powderpost beetles, carpenter ants, longhorns and others. Being that its a porch, I’m sure its got plenty of moisture creeping into the substructure. And being that this wood is probably directly accessible to outside pests, there would be a lot of insects wanting to take advantage of such a prime nest site.
So if the ceiling is made with some kind of bead board or other wooden planks that are less than 3 inches thick, you can definitely treat them from the top side using Boracare (assuming the top side of the wood is unfinished). As our powderpost beetle control article explains, Timbor won’t penetrate the wood and therefore won’t get the feeding larvae which is whole point of treating.
But what will work is Boracare. And it can penetrate several inches. So to get to the heart of the problem, you’ll need to treat a side of the wood that’s unfinished. My guess is if you enter through the vent you mention, you should be able to spray “down” toward all the exposed timber and this should get a good application in place.
Now if you find the wood has a problem with moisture, the Boracare with Moldcare would be the best product to use. It will stop mold and rot which many times is the main reason insects come around in the first place. But if its dry, regular Boracare will be fine.
Now it is possible that you’ll be able to remove the painted finish and then from below looking up, apply the Boracare using a paint roller. However, this will no doubt be more tedious and lead to a lot of waste as some will no doubt drip down. So even if you can’t access the attic space above comfortably, getting the treatment done from that angle would be the better way to proceed for sure. So with that being said, I believe you should give this method a try first.
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Boracare Moldcare: https://bugspray.com/catalog/insecticide/liquid/boracare-with-moldcare
Oh, you might consider using a small mist blower to apply it in the space above the ceiling if its big and you don’t feel like crawling around in it. These foggers will get either Boracare distributed evenly and effectively. And they will make the job a lot easier too.
Fogmaster Mini Fogger: https://bugspray.com/equipment/foggers/fogmaster-5330-120-volt