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First question -- which borers are at work?

Q. Our 130-year-old house was treated for termites some time ago and has had an annual inspection ever since. An inspector now says we have pine-wood borers and suggests treatment. What do you say? Mrs. Ralph W. Harrison Blanch, N.C.

A. Sixty-three species of common beetles known to attack and reinfest wood occur in North America. And what's more, recently imported lumber and wood products have added 29 more to the list.

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It is necessary to positively identify which particular beetle is involved in order to determine the method of control.

In many states fumigation is the only federally acceptable treatment to control beetle- infested structures. This expensive process is effective in eliminating active infestations, but provides no protection against future attacks.

Some beetles reinfest wood and some do not; hence, the need for positive identification of the invaders before treatment is begun.

Ask the pest-control operator the following questions:

* What specifically is the beetle involved and where is it located?

* What evidence is present to indicate activity?

* What treatments are recommended and what is the price?

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It is desirable to have second and even third inspections by reputable pest-control operators.

You should have the technical release, "Biology and Habits of Bostrichids," published by the National Pest Control Association, 8150 Leesburg Pike, Suite 1100, Vienna, Va. 22180. Telephone: (703) 790-8300.

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