Pest Guide for Old House Borer Beetles
Even though these beetles have the phrase “old house” in their name, they actually most commonly inhabit homes that are less than ten years old. Native to North Africa, this insect is believed to have arrived in North America in the late 1800s and now lives in the northern, southern, and middle areas of the country.
Old house borer beetles are black or gray in color and 5/8” to 1” in length. They have fine gray hairs on their thoraxes and patches of gray hair on their wing covers. In addition, they have long antennae and make a rasping or clicking sound when they chew.
These beetles emerge later in the summer (usually July and August) and when they mate, the female deposits her eggs in the cracks or crevices of wood or bark. The newborn beetles can take anywhere from 2-15 years to reach maturity and once they do, they’ll emerge from the wood.
Infestation Signs and Prevention
Old house borer beetles feed on spruce, pine, and other coniferous woods. They thrive in moisture-rich environments, so if your attic is poorly vented, your roof is leaking, or another area of your home is rich in moisture, you may find an infestation. These insects can cause a significant amount of damage to wood in a short period of time.
To prevent a possible infestation, there are several things you can do:
- Kiln-dry all rough-cut lumber
- Make sure all damp areas are properly vented
- Sand and varnish new wood to eliminate crevices and cracks
- Use a borate surface spray on unfinished wood
Signs of an old house borer beetle infestation include exit holes (small round holes that are unnatural in healthy wood), clicking sounds made by the beetles, and powdery sawdust on the floor where beetles have exited the wood.
If you think you have an infestation in your home, don’t hesitate to call our pest control experts. We’ll identify the problem and take care of it quickly.