powerderpost beetle on wood

What is a powderpost beetle?

Powderpost beetles are a group of seventy different species of wood boring beetles. They’re reddish-brown to black in color with a cylinder-shaped body and typically range between 1/8 and 3/4 inches in length. 

Powderpost beetles, unlike most similar wood boring insects, have distinctly visible heads and antennae with two-jointed clubs. Their primary food source is deciduous trees, which they bore into and reduce to powdery dust over time. Powderpost beetle larvae live inside wood and feed on the natural starches and sugars as they grow.

Female beetles commonly lay their eggs in the same bores they grew up in. So, if they nest and proliferate inside your home’s wooden framing, your problems can multiply quickly.

Are powderpost beetles dangerous?

They’re not dangerous beetles in the sense that they will physically harm you but powderposts will damage your home’s structures. They can infest a wide variety of wood but have been documented to especially prefer frames, furniture, books, toys and flooring. Make sure you catch them early on to prevent serious powderpost beetle damage in your home.

Why you have powderpost beetles

Powderpost beetles are most likely in your home because you have an appealing source of unfinished or moist wood. This is their main draw and a potential food source.

Most powderpost beetles prefer harder woods so, keep an eye on items made from cherry, walnut, oak, ash, walnut and hickory. You normally don’t have to worry about studs, paneling, joists and other structural parts of your home because they are typically made from softer woods like pine. There are less common varieties of beetles that do attack softwoods, so check periodically.

As wood ages, it loses its scratch content. As a result, beetles are more likely to lay their larvae in newer wood. Eggs laid in older wood may take as long as five years to hatch.

How to prevent powderpost beetles

Powderpost beetles are drawn to moist wood, so the first thing you’re going to want to do is lessen moisture content in wood to less than 20%. There are a number of ways that you can do this such as the use of central heat, vapor barriers, and increased ventilation. Dryness is your first guard against beetles. Your next guard is only utilizing wood that is sanded and varnished within your home, as it is less appealing as a food source to potential pests.

Gregory Pest removes powderpost beetles from your home or business

An expert exterminator from Gregory Pest Solutions will be your full-service pest solutions provider specializing in the effective elimination and prevention of powderpost beetles from your home or business.

When you hire us to evaluate your home’s problem, one of our licensed technicians will assess your beetle situation and then formulate an environmentally friendly plan on how to get rid of powderpost beetles. We also identify prevention techniques you can use to keep pests from recurring.

powderposte beetle damage

Powderpost beetles FAQ

What powderpost beetle signs should I look for?

Look for small, pin sized powderpost beetle holes in wood along with small piles of fine sawdust the consistency of flour. 

Do Powderpost beetles fly?

Yes. Adult beetles can fly and will sometimes enter your house or building through open windows, torn screens of siding cracks.

Do powderpost beetles bite?

No. These tiny insects won’t bite you and carry no poison or communicable disease. 

How do you get rid of powderpost beetles in furniture?

With items like furniture, you have a few options for powderpost beetle treatment. Besides fumigation, you can use extreme heat or cold to kill them. Similar to bedbugs, you can heat the item or affected area to 120 to 140 degrees for 24 hours. Extreme cold also works, but you’ll need to treat the items to a subzero environment for up to one week.

How do you get rid of powderpost beetles in hardwood floors?

A pest control professional can assess your floor damage and recommend the appropriate treatment. Fumigation and insecticides are common solutions. In extreme cases, the wood may need to be replaced.

Where do powderpost beetles come from?

They are a naturally occurring insect, common in the U.S. They enter homes via building supplies, furniture, firewood and any other wooden items. Adult powderpost beetles may fly in through tiny entry points.

What is the difference between a powderpost beetle vs termite?

Both wood boring insects can cause significant damage. Termites are generally more noticeable because the adults bore into wood surfaces. With powderpost beetles, you often have to wait for larvae to hatch and create exit holes before you notice the damage. Powderpost beetles often create damage faster than termites.

How do you treat powderpost beetles?

Treatments can vary depending on the level of damage and the location. In extreme cases, replacing the affected wood may be the only option. If you see powderpost beetle damage in your home, call a professional immediately to resolve the issue before it gets worse.

Where can I get help with powderpost beetles?

If you’re on this page, it’s probably because you’re facing a powderpost beetle infestation. We know how stressful that can be and we’re here to help! Gregory Pest Solutions offers comprehensive residential and commercial pest services to each of the states listed below.







Make the pest removal process easy on yourself by getting in touch with the team of expert technicians at Gregory Pest Solutions.

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