Guarding Your Rattan Furniture: Defending Against Bostrichid Powderpost Beetles

Rattan furniture is a cherished addition to many homes, offering natural beauty and durability. However, lurking beneath the woven beauty lies a hidden threat - the Bostrichid Powderpost Beetle. In this blog, we'll delve into the world of these wood-boring insects, their impact on rattan furniture, and provide valuable tips on prevention and elimination.

Understanding the Bostrichid Powderpost Beetle

Identification: Bostrichid Powderpost Beetles are small, cylindrical insects, measuring 7 to 9mm in length. They sport reddish-dark brown to black coloring.

Habitat: While not native to Australia, these beetles have become a common timber pest throughout the country. They particularly target hardwoods, bamboo, and rattan, favoring those with high starch levels in the sapwood.

The Damage Caused by Bostrichid Powderpost Beetles

Bostrichid Powderpost Beetles can wreak havoc on your rattan furniture, causing two main types of damage:

  1. Exit Holes: Adult beetles lay their eggs in cracks within the wood. When the larvae hatch, they tunnel through the wood, creating small, round to oval-shaped exit holes (approximately 2mm in diameter) as they emerge.

  2. Powdery Dust: As the larvae feed on the sapwood, they create a fine, powdery dust known as frass. This dust often accumulates on or beneath your rattan furniture, serving as a telltale sign of infestation.

Preventing Bostrichid Powderpost Beetle Infestations

Preventing infestations is crucial for safeguarding your rattan furniture. Here are essential tips:

  1. Proper Storage: Store rattan furniture in well-ventilated and humidity-controlled spaces, reducing the likelihood of infestations.

  2. Regular Cleaning: Dust and clean your rattan pieces regularly to discourage beetles and other pests from taking up residence.

  3. Maintain Low Moisture Levels: Keep the moisture level of the wood below 15% to create unfavorable conditions for infestations.

  4. Choose Older Wood: Rattan and wood that have aged naturally over time are less susceptible to infestations due to lower starch content in the sapwood.

  5. Refinishing: Regularly refinish your rattan furniture and apply finishes after treatment to deter future infestations.

Eliminating Bostrichid Powderpost Beetle Infestations

If you suspect an infestation, take action promptly with these strategies:

  1. Identify Active Infestation: Look for fresh powder-like sawdust, live beetles, or new exit holes. Inactive infestations have old exit holes but no other signs or new holes.

  2. DIY Treatment: For active infestations, consider DIY methods such as Borax Solution Spray or The Freezer Treatment.

    • Borax Solution Spray: Create a Borax solution, spray it into visible exit holes and over all exposed surfaces, then wipe away residue. Repeat the process if needed.

    • The Freezer Treatment: Suitable for smaller rattan pieces, place the item in a chest freezer at -18°C for 72 hours, then monitor for reinfestation.

  3. Professional Pest Control: If DIY methods aren't effective or the infestation is extensive, consult professional pest controllers. They will assess the situation and propose a suitable treatment plan, potentially using products like GUARDIAN® and SHELL-GUARD® or borate formulations like Bora-Care® and Tim-bor®.


In conclusion, protecting your rattan furniture from the Bostrichid Powderpost Beetle requires vigilance and proactive measures. Regular maintenance, proper storage, and prompt action in case of infestation can help preserve the beauty and integrity of your rattan pieces for years to come. By staying informed and taking preventative steps, you can enjoy your rattan furniture without the worry of hidden invaders. Guard your rattan furniture against these wood-boring pests, and let its natural beauty shine through.

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