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When it comes to insects that consume wood you can probably only think of termites. That is not surprising considering the damage caused by termites in the United States alone. However, termites are not the only wood-devouring insects. Surprisingly there is a type of beetle that causes property destruction that is reminiscent of the damage caused by termites. These beetles are referred to as powderpost beetles, and they can turn solid wood into find dust. Unlike most termites, these beetles are invasive in the United States. The most common invasive termite in the US is the Formosan subterranean termite. But the most damaging termite is a subterranean termite species that is native to the US. Powderpost beetles are not as common in the US as termites, and they are not as destructive, but don’t say that to a New England store owner who has recently been victimized by powderpost beetles.

 

One very unlucky hat shop owner in Hampton Bays, New York has an infestation of powderpost beetles in her store. The Lyzon Hat Shop in Hampton Bays is not just any hat shop. The shop is famous for being associated with a renowned hat designer named Walter King. Even more impressive than that, the hat shop was declared a historical landmark in 2012. This is probably why a six hundred thousand dollar project to restore the hat shop commenced in 2007. After ten years of renovations, the project was finally completed only a month ago during October. The store’s foundation, floors, windows, and bathrooms were all created anew. Much of the woodworking within the store was also restored or recreated. However, the owners as well as officials working with the town’s preservation society began to wonder if all the time, money and effort dedicated to restoring the shop would turn out to be a waste of time as a result of the wood-destroying beetle infestation. Luckily, pest control professionals were notified early enough into the infestation to prevent serious damages.

 

Have you ever seen a powderpost beetle? Have you, or someone you know, ever experienced a destructive insect infestation?

 

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