Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic Update - February 3, 2010

The following are highlights and updates about samples and questions recently received in the Clinic:




Humpbacked flies are similar to size to fruit flies and one of a handful of fly species that commonly breed indoors. Humpbacked fly larvae feed on decaying organic matter in wet areas of the home. Common sources indoors are drains, leaking pipes or appliances, and broken pipes under floor slabs. Once the area where the flies are breeding is located and the moisture and decaying organic matter are removed adult flies in the home will no longer be a problem. Locating the source can be difficult. Check any wet organic matter for larva and cover drains or cracks with clear wrap to check for adult flies emerging.


Powderpost beetles get their name from the fine powder-like sawdust that comes out of the adult exit holes.  Powderpost beetle larva can feed in wood that has too high a moisture content or was not kiln dried.  Once in the wood they are difficult to treat.  Homeowners will occasionally have a problem with powderpost beetles emerging from flooring or furniture.  Since the beetles do not reinfest the wood the most practical solution is to wait until all the beetles have emerged (this can take a few years) and then replace any wood that is unsightly.  For more information on powderpost beetles and their control please see our IIIN.


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