Common Signs of Powderpost Beetle Damage

 In Blog, Homeowner Tips, Pest Identification
English: 1: The adult beetle burrows hole into...

1: The adult beetle burrows hole into wood and lays eggs, carrying fungal spores. 2: The larva feeds on the fungus, which digests the wood, removing toxins 3: The larva pupates. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)  


Imagine grabbing a piece of wood to build your next log fire, only to find that the log crumbles in your hands, disintegrating into nothing but wood fragments and powdery dust. This is often a symptom of powderpost beetle damage.

Common Signs of Powderpost Beetle Damage 

Powderpost beetles mostly damage wood, including wood house walls, firewood, and wood in furniture. These insects are most destructive in their larval stage, when they dig their way through wood surfaces. Common signs of powderpost beetle damage include the following:

  • Crumbling or decaying wood. Wood that appears to be turning to dust or decaying for no apparent reason is a common sign of powderpost beetle invasion.
  • Tiny holes in wood surfaces. Powderpost beetles create minute holes in wood surfaces. If you notice such tiny holes, your home may have been invaded by powderpost beetles.
  • Tiny feces. Be alert for the presence of tiny feces, especially near areas such as wooden porches, window sills, and furniture.

Driving Away Powderpost Beetles

Early detection of powderpost beetles is key to preventing possible infestation and future damage. Regularly monitor wood areas and check for tiny holes caused by the bugs. Adults usually lay eggs in the wood, after which the larvae emerge, subsequently feeding on the wood from the inside out.

Avoid bringing firewood indoors for storage. Instead, bring wooden logs inside only if you will be burning the logs immediately. Check for any insects or insect damage before bringing any natural or organic material indoors to avoid insect issues in the future. Also, avoid bringing in wood that has just been exposed to rain or any other moisture, as powderpost beetles (and other insects) often thrive in moist conditions.

For furniture or other areas in the home, surface insecticides can reduce or eliminate the problem. A professional insect control company should be able to point you toward the right insecticide for your particular needs.

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