Powderpost Beetles

Pest Guide for Powderpost Beetles

The term “powderpost beetle” describes several species of wood-boring insects that reduce wood to a fine, powder-like dust. As powderpost beetle larvae feed on the wood from the inside, they create narrow tunnels that become visible in the wood’s surface. The larvae take anywhere from 1-5 years to mature into adults, which means your infestation could last much longer than you want it to. That’s why it’s important to contact our pest control experts as soon as you discover these beetles.

Appearance

Adult powderpost beetles are small, averaging 1/8-3/4 inches long. They’re also dark brown, reddish brown, or black in color and are flat. Larvae, on the other hand, are white or cream colored with dark brown heads. Adult powderpost beetles tend to emerge from their home in the wood around June, which is when you may find the small pin-sized holes they leave behind in your wood.

Types of Wood

While some powderpost beetles only attack hard woods like oak, ash, or walnut, others attack soft woods like fir, pine, or spruce. Both types of wood-eating beetles can cause damage, however, those that feed on soft woods tend to cause more damage structurally. These beetles can infest both old and new woods but no matter the age, the wood they choose is usually damp. This makes places like attics and crawl spaces especially susceptible to a powderpost beetle infestation.

Infestation Signs and Prevention

Most powderpost beetle infestations are brought into the home via infested lumber and since these insects like damp wood, it’s likely that the infested wood was improperly dried or improperly stored by the manufacturer or the homeowner. If you do acquire wood that’s unfinished, using paint, varnish or wax can seal it and protect it from future infestations.

Because powderpost beetles do their damage from the inside, it’s likely you won’t see the beetles themselves. Instead, you’ll likely see the small holes they create in the wood. You may also see wood dust on the floor from where the beetles exited. If you find either of these signs, don’t hesitate to call our pest control professionals.

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