What are powderpost beetles?

Have you discovered holes in the surface of the wood used in your home?

Like most homeowners in Southwest Florida, you’ve probably heard that termites can cause major damage to your home, but they’re not the only wood-infesting pests you need watch out for.

Powderpost beetles may not be as well-known, but their results can be just as devastating to your home and even more costly to treat than termites!

There are many different types of powderposts throughout the world, but the most commonly found in Florida are Anobiid, Lyctid, and Bostrichid beetles. The term “powderpost” comes from the fine powder, or frass, that beetle larvae leave behind as they chew through the wood.

Powderpost larvae do the majority of damage to your wood. The female lays eggs in crevices or on the ends of boards. When they hatch, the tiny larvae bore down into the wood. As the larvae grow, they bore to a point just underneath the surface of the wood, where they transform into adults.

The adults then cut a small circular exit hole in the surface of the wood. Males and females exit at the same time and mate, and the new generation of females lays eggs again in the cracks of the wood and the process begins again.

Circumstances in which you would be most at risk for contracting powderpost beetles in your home would be if you’re using imported wood to build custom cabinetry, shelving or moldings. In most cases these beetles are actually in the wood when it’s installed, often from wood that was improperly stored or dried and usually from outside the US.

Besides actually removing the infested wood, tent fumigation is the most effective way to eliminate an infestation, however, unlike a fumigation for dry wood termites, the concentration of gas required is 10X that of what is required for termites.

It’s EXTREMELY important to ask questions as to the origins of any custom woodwork you have installed in your home and make sure that it’s been dried properly. Otherwise the cost of treatment after the fact can be VERY costly.

The key to avoiding serious problems with powderpost beetles is early detection. If you’re concerned about the wood used in your home, please feel free to schedule a free inspection. Our skilled technicians are trained to detect powderpost beetles, as well as other wood-damaging pests such as termites and carpenter ants.