Capricorne (long horn beetle) treatment


(Dave Smith2) #41

Thanks Brian, James, David - I won't be using that salutation any more then David! Will have a look at that equipment James and see how I get on. I've used a proper breathing mask for the work I've done so far - as mentioned, I've already sprayed xylophene into the holes with a thin pipe and painted the exposed surfaces with gel. Will check out Kiloutou for the pump and injector plugs too. Thanks for the info Brian - I'm trying to find someone impartial who knows what they're talking about to come and have a look. I have captured some adult (brown) Capricornes in the house, along with some similar looking smaller ones but am uncertain of the species. I tried using a plastic syringe to inject gel into the holes but it quickly started coming out adjacent holes (via the connecting galleries in the wood) so stuck with the aerosol spray via thin pipe for now. I'll try to find a local carpenter who knows about these things too. Appreciate all your help!

(Brian Milne) #42

Could the clue be 'beetle abuse'? ;-)

(David GAY) #43

I trust you used the salutation "Hi guys n gals" in an ironic manner. Otherwise much too reminiscent of a former "BBC personality".

Good luck with the capricornes. They are actually quite rare and I believe protected in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

(James Higginson) #44

You can hire a pump from Kiloutou

Surface spraying especially of hardwoods won't achieve much penetration, this may kill emerging beetles but I doubt it does much else in my opinion.

If you hire the pump i would love to know how you get on. I believe Kiloutou can also supply the insecticide but you may require some specific paperwork for that to happen.

Obviously doing it yourself will give you no certificates but will save you thousands and may work just as well. I recommend you invest in an wear a proper respirator.

Good luck.

(Brian Milne) #45

Dave our house was treated before we moved in. the plugs are still in place. There had been termites as well, so clearly a big job. One of our French friends who does everything himself and has some many beams and other wood his work is cut out, said that if we have plugs there, to pull them out then put in new ones with treatment and then be done for another few years. One problem is that other beetles also go for mature wood and it is knowing the size of holes that is important. Whereas the capricorne come, breed and each generation returns to breed there until there are enough for an infestation, the other beetles are usually isolated one-offs. Get somebody impartial who knows to have a good look before deciding. As for surface treatments, our friend says they do work if there is only a few holes. Paint the beams with xylophene or another strong insecticide. Then get hold of a very thin pipette or hypodermic syringe and inject the holes as well. Go along each beam with a torch with white light to find the holes, mark them with chalk, then put on protective clothing and a mask and do it yourself. Close the room up for five days with windows closed, go in to open windows after 48 hours wearing a mask. As he said, it will save usually thousands...

(Dave Smith2) #46

Thanks Dominique, that's very interesting... most stuff I've read about capricorne (versus vrillettes etc) says the larvae can burrow quite deep in the wood so surface treatment can prevent new eggs developing but may not kill existing larvae which can live in the wood several years? Appreciate your time and agree, by my experience so far, about insecticide companies! We do have new frass at the moment... what's your thoughts on this?

(Dominique Rogers) #47

Fortunately xylophene is still for sale in France, it is banned pretty much everywhere else. It is the most efficient insecticide ever.

Do wear protective clothing and do not go in the room for at least a week.

You do not need to inject it inside the beam. Give a good vacuum to your wood then a thorough painting or spraying of xylophene once every 4 years is enough unless you see new frass (saw dust like bug excrements) .

Do not listen to insecticide companies as far as I can see they are all gangsters. I have studied insects pests and how to get rid of them quite thoroughly as a preventive museum conservator.

Good luck

(Caroline Stones) #48

Hello, I have been searching for info on insects doing something - it’s hard to know what - in interior beams, and thought the people participating in this thread might be able to help.

We have an old house with wooden beams. It was restored by previous owners about 6 years ago, so has been habitable for quite a few years.

In the upstairs rooms we noticed dried mud falling onto the beds under the beams. Didn’t see any insects. Now after a few months absence, there is more of this. Also some dead ladybirds, but I don’t know if these have emerged from the beams, or just died in the same place.

I’d really like to avoid using chemicals, but on the other hand don’t want the house falling down!

Any ideas gratefully received.

(James Higginson) #49

(robert moon) #50

Hello Firstly, Xylophene is a trade brand like Dulux or Nestlé. They are doing well throughout Europe, you can contact them via their website They supply to the trade and via DIY stores. They have several products, water and oil based and anti fungal sprays. I have been using their products since 2010 (and I haven’t caught DWB or dry rot since!).

They are products especially formulated to remain active against wood boring grubs for several years, yet not toxic for humans or pets.

With regard to all pest control, there is no such thing as 100% guarantee, you can’t force rodents to take bait, and you can’t treat wood buried in stone walls. I offer a certificate of treatment which is not a guarantee. Depending of the environment of the house; exposed, painted, damp, dark etc will affect the efficacy of the treatment.

Big companies such as ones which rhyme with Bendypill in my opinion employ salesmen to extract the maximum money from clients and invariably employ local agents to do the work (and not pay them for 18 months…I’m not bitter). There is no way they can offer a 30 year guarantee, all products nowadays are biodegradable with an active life of only a few years.

If you want some free and unbiased, please pm me.


(Mark Alsop) #51

I have been using xylophene for years and years and I am still alive to tell the tale. I quite like the smell as well. Why is this stuff dangerous ?

We have a lot of beams in our house and they collect dust as you would expect and look messy as a result.

As a preventative measure and also to clean the beams I will lightly coat the beam with xylophone using a brush every few years.

Most beams in old houses will have been under attack from wood boring insects over the decades. When they do they leave holes. Now, when you paint the beams with xyophene it will soak into these old holes and kill anything that is about and prevent further attack. There is no point drilling a hole in the beam and injecting the stuff under pressure IMHO.

(robert moon) #52

I agree, once dry and the rooms are well ventilated after treatment it poses no risk to humans nor domestic pets. I also agree that injecting is not pretty and unnecessary. IMHO injecting was invented by big companies wanting to milk even more money out of the already stressed out client. 3if it costs a lot of money, it must be effective". I apply Xylophene with a pressurised sprayer.

Please note, Xylophene is a trade mark, There are many products supplied by them; from amateur use wood treatment available in DIY shops, to professional products applied by professionals.

(Diane Turner) #53

I just thought I would add a guide for those interested in identifying wood boring beetles and recommended treatments.

I hope it helps

(Mat Davies) #54

Robert - do you think it is ok to brush on Xylophene ?

I think it may be safer in liquid rather than spray form.

(Mat Davies) #55

Thank you for the guide, I have saved it for reference.

(robert moon) #56

Hi Matt, the Xylophene available in shope is formulated for amateur use so they assume the worse about you!Yes, painting (long brush) is absolutely fine, or garden sprayer I use a 5 bar professional sprayer which cost a few hundred quid, but I have to look the part!

Xylophene is basically a detergent therefore dissolves fat, this is how it kills the insects, that’s why you need to sear gloves, mask, goggles etc H&S or just have a decent shower after treatment.


(stella wood) #57

Hello Diane and Welcome to the forum.

Interesting link…

Have you had to deal with these little “nasties”… ???

(Diane Turner) #58

I am a certified surveyor in remedial treatments for damp and timber issues. I will be moving to France in the New Year as I have just bought a Water Mill and all its lodgers lol. Two of my bearing beams have been hollowed out by Capricorn. I have not proceeded with any 'destructive" surveying as yet but the hollow sound and thin veneer is evident that there is an issue which will need addressing .
Happy to help with any queries

(robert moon) #59

Hi Diane, welcome aboard.

2 points, if you are thinking of charging for diagnostic reports, you will need a diagnostiqueur diploma. 5 day training course then 2 years monitoring.

If you are thinking of charging for treatment you will need a Certibiocides diploma, 5 day course.

Both involve exams in French.
You will also need a siret number etc.

I’m happy to help and wish you luck.

Helpful advice and contributions to Survive France is always gratefully received! Welcome to France.

(Diane Turner) #60

Thank you . I wasn’t thinking of working at the moment but happy to help if asked . Thank you for your advice too