So we have this gorgeous floor in the shop, made of myrtlewood *
We bought it when we built the house - in winter of 2004/05, and everything was great, people adore the floor so much, I have to tell them : "Get your eyes off the floor, I'm selling games here!" LOL
Anyway, a couple of months ago I saw tiny mounds of powdery wood shavings on one of the boards (on top of where there was obvious bug activity in the tree)
All right, so we got the fumigators to come and look at it, and the diagnosis was - powder post beetles! **
So every morning I would come into the shop, and look at the floor, and see the new tiny holes, with powder around them in the most perfect minuscule mountains, like yellow volcanoes - and I would sit there and worry about how fast they spread, and look in, trying to see the beetle inside. Sometimes they would peek out, but not ever crawl out. I swept up the "volcanoes", and then the next morning there would be new ones to look at :)
And then the floor guy came, pulled up the boards and put in the new ones. They do not have the finish on them yet, so it looks like a big light brown island in the vast myrtlewood ocean. The carpenter took the old ones away, along with the beetles. Just put them in a black garbage bag and carried away.
So the next morning, and the next, and every morning for the last week, I come to the light brown island and stare at it. It takes me a while to remember, that my beetles have gone in a black plastic bag....
They were my pests,
And who knows, they may have left me some eggs, or larvae, or something else equally romantic, and I may see them again, my dear beetles...
* Myrtlewood trees only grow in two places on Earth - Oregon and Israel.
The tree can vary from a low shrub in the higher elevation with poor soil to 70 feet in groves along rich river bottoms. Generally, the trees will be 1 foot to 3 feet in diameter for each 100 years of age. When cut, the Myrtlewood yields some of the most varied colors and grain patterns to be found in a single species. Colors range from light straw to chocolate brown, mixed with lemon yellow to deep ruddy red and streaks of nearly black. This vivid color range can even appear in a single section of wood. [Also appearing in a section of wood - powder post beetles! - OO ] Some of the wood fibers twist and curl to form patterns known as burl, with thousands of tiny eyes; fiddle back which looks like waves undulating in the ocean, all tied together with random swirls of fibers. Myrtle is arguably the most beautiful wood native to the USA. This remarkable wood is exceptionally dense and strong, and finishes wonderfully. Myrtlewood is recognized for its beauty and strength in this area and has been used by craftsmen since the early nineteen hundreds. It’s made into bowls, goblets, musical instruments, flooring, moldings, window & door trim and everything in-between. There is no waste with Myrtlewood - what’s left over makes some of the best long burning firewood you can imagine. Taken from here
Our floor was made of logging salvage wood, so it is environmentally friendly. The wood is very hard, good for high traffic areas, and drop-dead gorgeous! It looks like oak, it looks like birch, it looks like maple, pine and even cherry. Every board is unique in pattern and color.
The larvae of powder post beetles reduce timbers to a mass of very fine, powder-like substance. You can easily recognize the work of powder post beetles. When the adults emerge, usually in June, some species leave small holes about the size of a pin in the
surface of the wood; others make holes the size of pencil lead. From these holes, a fine, powder like brood of larvae carry on their destructive feeding. Normally, these insects have a 1-year life cycle; this means that the adults will appear only once each year. And because of this habit the larvae have a feeding period of many months.