What Are Powder Post Beetles?


A lot of people don’t pay attention to a pest with a name like the powder post beetle. It doesn’t sound as impressive as the name ‘termite’, and it doesn’t have a tagline like “the silent destroyer” so no one takes notice. This term, though, describes at least 70 types of beetle that tunnel and live their lives in wooden objects like the flooring, walls, rough-cut lumber, and even antique wooden furniture. The name comes from the fine powder that is found at the exit of each hole created when the powder post beetles chewed through the wood. When it comes to problems inside a home it is the lyctid that prefers hard, newer wood that is no older than 5 years, and the anobiid beetle that enjoys softer, older, and damaged wood.

These pests are tiny, only growing up to a quarter inch in length. They are elongated in shape and generally reddish brown or even black. Their winged bodies are covered in a fine hair. The powder post beetle is nocturnal, so the typical infestation is found mainly because of the damage left behind. Their larvae are only slightly smaller than the adults and are the culprit of the fine powder we see during an infestation.

A powder post beetle family will live in the same place for many generations. The adults lay eggs, the eggs hatch, the larvae grows to become an adult, and then lays eggs to start the cycle all over again. All the while, these pests are boring tiny tunnels through their chosen home whether that be an antique chair found at an estate sale, or that cord of wood being stacked outside the door that you intend to use for cozy fires this winter. Ultimately, this process weakens the wood and eventually destroys it before the beetles move on to another wooden object nearby. The process isn’t quick as it can take quite a while before anyone even notices that there is a problem.

If you suspect an infestation from powder post beetles, give American Pest Solutions a call. Our professional technicians know just what to look for to identify an active infestation and can determine just how widespread the problem really is. After the initial consultation, we will work with you to determine the best way to make sure that your pest control problem is quickly taken care of and to show you the steps to help prevent future infestations so you can make sure that it doesn’t happen again.