Powderpost Beetle Facts
After termites, the powderpost beetle is the next wood-destroying insect that causes the most damage to homes and structures. There are about 10 species of powderpost beetles found in the United States. There are also many foreign species of powderpost beetles brought to the U.S. unintentionally within imported wood.
Powderpost Beetle Infestation
These pests prefer humid areas like your basement or crawlspace and will tunnel into softwoods with unfinished surfaces. The larvae does most of the damage. They eat through the wood and digest the starch before depositing everything else in a fine powder. Powderpost beetles reproduce during warmer seasons and lay eggs in the cracks of unfinished wood. They usually complete their lifecycle within 9 to 12 months. Adults emerge from the wood in late winter or early spring. You might see the adult beetles active in your home after sunset and near light sources like windows.
Powderpost Beetle Identification
Powderpost beetles have long and narrow bodies that are about ⅛ to ¼ inch long. They are reddish-brown to black with segmented antennae that have clubs with two segments at the end. The adult beetles are good fliers. Their larvae are creamy white with curved bodies.
Powderpost Beetles in the House and the Basement
These pests will infest places that are rich in moisture and are often found in the timbers in basements and crawlspaces. They have also been found in wood floors, doors, crates, furniture, plywood and other, usually unfinished, wood products. Signs of a powderpost beetle infestation include small “exit holes” in wood that are between 1/32 and 1/8 inch wide and fine, powdery dust under the holes or on the wood. If you pound on a beam and see a significant amount of dust fall, then it is a good indicator that you have a powderpost beetle infestation. Applying a finish on wood can deter adults from laying their eggs on those surfaces.
Frequently Asked Questions About Powderpost Beetles
Do powderpost beetles bite?
These little beetles are not known to bite people. They spend most of their lives developing within wood.
Do powderpost beetles fly?
Powderpost beetles are strong fliers. One of the reasons why these pests infest homes is that the adults sometimes fly inside and find a nice place to lay their eggs.
Benefits of Professional Pest Control
A pest management professional has the education, equipment and skills necessary to effectively address a powder post beetle problem. Treating an infestation can be challenging because it often happens in important structural timbers of the homes. A pest management professional provides their expertise to identify the pest and determine the best possible solution to resolve the powderpost beetle infestation.