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#301002 - 05/14/22 02:44 PM A bug that eats through your plastic gas cans
brandtb Offline

Registered: 11/26/04
Posts: 489
Loc: S.E. Pennsylvania
For those who keep their own 'Strategic Petroleum Reserve' in the Southern states - something new to worry about.


Every now and then entomologists get calls that border on the bizarre. Last week I received an email from a citizen in far east Texas. He was having problems with what he said were “insects boring into his riding lawn mower gas tank”. Of course my first reaction was that insects don’t eat plastic, nor do they drink gasoline. Why should they be boring into a gas tank? But the caller had photographic proof. Not only did he have pictures of the holes, he was able to pry about 15 of the crazy insects from the plastic can and take pictures of some of them.

- - - -

They [entomologists] published a scientific note describing cases where a small beetle had been found boring into plastic gas cans. The authors identified the beetle as a type of bark beetle called camphor shoot borer

- - - -

How can we use what we know about this insect to prevent it from ruining lawn mowers, and perhaps causing fiery mayhem from Charlotte to Houston? A glance at the collection data stored on BugGuide suggests that this beetle is active primarily in the spring (March to June). Storing gas canisters and mowers in enclosed sheds or under some type of tarpaulin may be helpful, especially in the spring. Keeping the outside of the plastic fuel canisters free of spilled gas also might help.

In the case of our caller, his mower was stored in a half open car port setting. If he could find gasoline without ethanol he might not be plagued any more; but these days that might be harder than building a new shed for the mower.

[Full article at link] - https://citybugs.tamu.edu/2017/04/27/boozy-beetle-the-camphor-shoot-borer/
Brian Brandt

#301003 - 05/14/22 05:51 PM Re: A bug that eats through your plastic gas cans [Re: brandtb]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7705
Loc: southern Cal
Very interesting and pertinent article. Fortunately I have an electric mower....
Geezer in Chief

#301005 - 05/16/22 08:17 PM Re: A bug that eats through your plastic gas cans [Re: brandtb]
roberttheiii Offline

Registered: 02/13/09
Posts: 391
Loc: Connecticut, USA

#301026 - 05/22/22 01:04 PM Re: A bug that eats through your plastic gas cans [Re: brandtb]
Ren Offline

Registered: 11/05/07
Posts: 479
Loc: Wales, UK


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