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Hi everyone. I'm hoping someone can help me. We live in France and have recently bought a house with a lot of wooden beams. We have just finished renovating the kitchen and bought a handmade pantry cupboard from an artisan.

After awhile we discovered that the underside of the shelves were riddled with wood worm holes which we weren't sure were active or not. They didn't look old and there was some saw dust around, but we're not sure if that was because the person who made it didn't clean it well after he finished. Anyway, we went to a hardware shop, told them the problem and they told us use Xylophene liquid on the cupboard, which we did.

But now I'm worried that it was the wrong thing to do for a pantry cupboard and I don't want to put the food back into it! Does anyone know anything about this product? Is it ok to use or not? I've tried doing some research about it and find various information. Some say it's banned in the UK, others say it's ok to use if you use safety equipment, some say it continues to emit harmful chemicals??? But they're mostly talking about using it on beams in the house, which we also have to do at some stage.

If anyone knows anything about this or where I can find information, please let me know! I'm really wishing we hadn't used it now and had done more research, but I thought we were doing the right thing by asking at the shop :(
 

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I think if the worms were active you would know it. They usually kick dust out the holes as they go. You would see little piles of dust under the shelf. More than likely the holes were a worm eating on the tree while the tree was alive. Then when the tree is cut down, milled into lumber and kiln dried the heat from the kiln kills them. I would wait and see if any new holes appeared or you saw some evidence of dust. If there is live bugs there I would call a professional exterminator.
 

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Thanks for the reply Steve. There was saw dust around, that's why we were worried, but we weren't sure if it was bugs or cos the artisan was sloppy in clean up. I think the artisan used recycled wood and he put the bad pieces for the underside of the shelves :/ I've already treated the wood with this product. Do you think it's safe? It was supposed to be for indoor usage, for things that would be touched, but am not sure about food... I was wondering if I should wipe it all down with detergents and then line the shelves with something before putting food back in, but when I read about the toxins emitting from the wood after treatment, I got worried! I was also wondering if I varnished/painted the interior, if that would help? Any thoughts? I'll add a pic so you can see what I mean...
 

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That appears to be powder post beetles which is very common in France. If that is what that is they are deep into the wood and will take special chemicals to rid the cabinets of them. Not only that they will spread throughout all your furniture and your house. I think it would be worth having a professional to look at it.
 

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Oh god :/ We have so much wood in the house and have just put in a new wooden kitchen!!! Maybe we should just throw it out!

Even after we put the Xylophene on it, they could still be alive? I painted the whole thing with it... This is so frustrating, I wish I could return it to the artisan and tell him to take it back, but we bought it months ago for our pantry and have left it sitting in the hallway until the kitchen was finished :/
 

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Oh no, I've seen that beetle flying around the house in the evenings. I guess we should be calling the pest control people :/
 

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Oh god :/ We have so much wood in the house and have just put in a new wooden kitchen!!! Maybe we should just throw it out!

Even after we put the Xylophene on it, they could still be alive? I painted the whole thing with it... This is so frustrating, I wish I could return it to the artisan and tell him to take it back, but we bought it months ago for our pantry and have left it sitting in the hallway until the kitchen was finished :/
I wish I could help you. All I know is 30 years ago I worked for some antique dealers which were importing furniture from Europe and the furniture from France was the worst. At that time powder post beetles were pretty much unheard of in the United States. The antique dealers were supplying me with an insecticide in unlabeled glass jars to treat the beetles which escaped the fumigation the importers missed. The furniture from France, very often you could take a leg off a wardrobe which only had a few holes in the exterior and crush it into dust into the palm of your hand. I ended up having to remove all the legs from the wardrobes to have enough legs to make front legs for all of them. Then used 4x4 blocks for the rear legs.

The beetles if that is what it is isn't that difficult to get rid of if you have the right insecticide. They are still pretty rare here so it's difficult to find the right stuff. I've got some beetles in a crate I use to store things. Rather than burning the crate I've been trying to kill them with over the counter sprays but it isn't working. I went online and found some stuff called Boracare but none of the stores in my area have ever heard of it.

These beetles are very small and I doubt if they fly.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for your help Steve! I think you're right that we need to seek pro help. There's also a problem with one beam in the attic and it seems to be these beetles because the wood crumbles. At least we're on the way to understanding what the culprit is!
 

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I bought a house in the UK and found woodworm in the larder. Made a good bonfire. I used fumite cones in the loft and kept an insecticide strip hanging up for those beetles flying around. Had to rip out plywood paneling. Systematically injected every hole in every room and saw no more sawdust.
johnep
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks John. I will look into those furmit cones and the injecting the holes in the attic beam sounds like a good idea because I think there's definitely something up there. The previous owners got very 'offended' when we suggested that there might be anything there, but something is going on with that beam and it's better to be safe that sorry.
 

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My spray gun had a specific wood worm killer attachment. Really found it great fun. Looks a daunting task, but do it daily and time will pass quickly. Just a caution on the cones, they give off a smoke so do not stay in the area. A neighbour drew my attention to "smoke" coming from my roof fearing a fire. The smoke penetrates every crevice and leaves a miniscule deposit of insecticide. Used something similar in my greenhouse.
johnep
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Looks like the thread took a turn haha! Thanks for your help everyone. I decided to replace the shelves in the cupboard to be safe and we had a person come to look at the wood in the house and he thinks the bugs are non-active but suggested we go and 'listen' when it's quiet! No sounds so far, but we can replace the beams to be safe when we're ready. Cheers!
 
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