Powderpost Beetles

Identification

  • Colour Reddish-brown to dark brown, almost black
  • Size From 3 mm to 6 mm long
  • Description Tube shaped with short, clubbed antenna and two pairs of wings.
  • Notes Larvae are white, C-shaped grubs that are wider at the front end than the back.

General Facts

Why do I have powderpost beetles?

Adult powderpost beetles do not eat wood, but their larvae consume the sapwood – the soft outer layer of wood – of maple, ash, oak, and pine. Because of this, the beetles lay their eggs inside joists, rafters, floors, panelling, and finished wood products to give the larvae that emerge an immediate food source. Most powderpost beetles are brought into the home inadvertently, inside already infested lumber or finished wood products, like furniture, ornaments, or panelling. The larvae need wood with a high moisture content to survive; old, untreated wood is the most commonly attacked. The worst powderpost beetle infestations are typically due to the use of old wood from barns or wood piles, that was improperly stored outside, in DIY projects.

How worried should I be about powderpost beetles?

Powderpost beetle larvae can damage furniture, panelling, molding, and flooring by boring into the wood and turning it into a sawdust-like powder for years before developing into adults. When adult powderpost beetles emerge from the wood, they puncture small holes in the surface, which makes the wood look riddled with holes. These beetles then immediately lay more eggs in the wood, and the cycle can continue for decades. Powderpost beetles can also compromise the structural integrity of wood. Because the insects commonly reinfest the same piece of wood for generations, they can cause total destruction over time. Unfortunately, no method of powderpost beetle prevention is guaranteed or foolproof because the pests can still enter the home undetected inside professionally stored and cured lumber. Insecticides have limitations as they might not penetrate deep enough to kill the burrowed larvae, although they do kill the adult beetles as they emerge from the wood. Pest control professionals are the only option to effectively manage and control powderpost beetle populations and take the necessary precautions to prevent infestations from recurring.

How can I prevent powderpost beetles invading?

Never use outdoor wood for indoor projects, Ensure furniture is varnished, or made with kiln-dried wood, Apply paint, shellac, or varnish to untreated wood, Introduce moisture barriers into crawl spaces

Other pests related to Powderpost Beetles

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