Pest Facts: Powderpost Beetles
Powderpost beetles lay their eggs in cracks of wood and the larvae tunnel into the surface, filling it with a very fine powder-like dust. Powderpost beetles have long, narrow, flat bodies that allow them to easily attack wood surfaces. These beetles are reddish-brown in color.
- There are several hundred species of these, but fewer than 20 are widespread.
- Are small, between one-tenth and one-third inch in length and usually are reddish brown in color.
- Can emerge from wood used in construction from one to 10 years after a structure has been built.
- Usually emerge in the spring.
- Are most likely to be found in softwoods (pine, spruce, fir) or certain hardwoods (oak, maple) frequently used for construction, including wood used in log homes, conventional homes and furniture.
- Are attracted to lights or to windows.
- Live between one and two years.
- Burrow small, one-eighth inch round holes in wood, and larvae create channels where they have chewed their way through. There is usually a fine sawdust-like powder streaming from exit holes.
Adult powderpost beetles are very active at night, enjoy flying and are attracted to the light.
Powderpost beetles often attack hardwoods, and can be found in hardwood floors, timbers and crates, antiques and other objects made of hardwood materials.
Some researchers believe that powderpost beetles are second only to termites in the United States in their destructiveness to wood and wood products.