Powderpost Beetle Identification Guide

What Are Powderpost Beetles?

Despite powderpost beetles being second only to the termites in the amount of damage they can cause to wooden structures, they are a pest that many are not familiar with. The powderpost beetle’s feeding habits allow them to reduce large pieces of wood to a fine powder. Adult powderpost beetles have a slender body that is reddish-brown to black. Larvae are white or cream-colored and their body forms a “c” shape.

The most common way that people identify a powderpost beetles infestation is not by the insects themselves, but rather the results of their work. When feeding these beetles leave piles of fine dust outside of the exit holes they create in pieces of wood they are feeding on.

powderpost beetle on a cracker

Are Powderpost Beetles Dangerous?

Powderpost beetles are not directly dangerous to people, but they can cause extensive damage to wooden structures located in and around our homes. The larval stage is the stage of development that causes damage. Females lay eggs on the surface of or cracks in wood. After hatching, the larvae move deeper into the piece of wood. There they begin feeding until they develop into an adult- a process that sometimes can take four or five years! The damage that powderpost beetles cause has the potential to become costly and extensive to repair.

Why Do I Have A Powderpost Beetle Problem?

In most cases, powderpost beetles find their way inside homes inside of a piece of wood or wooden structure that is already infested with eggs or larvae. After the larvae emerge as adults they mate and lay more eggs. Females often choose the same piece of wood they emerged from, causing more and more damage with each generation.
Adults mainly live outside at times entering homes. Outdoor lighting fixtures attract them and they will gather on the exterior walls of homes and other buildings. They move inside through spaces in walls or openings around windows and doors.

Where Will I Find Powderpost Beetles?

Powderpost beetle larvae live inside of and feed on pieces of:

  • Seasoned hardwoods

  • Flooring

  • Furniture

  • Structural wood

  • Wooden trim

  • Picture frames

  • Wooden antiques

  • Wooden paneling

How Do I Get Rid Of Powderpost Beetles?

Getting help from a professional pest control expert is a great way to eliminate powderpost beetles and keep them from returning.
At Albemarle Termite & Pest Control, our technicians are highly trained and dedicated to providing safe, affordable, and effective pest control services. We put our customers first and continuously exceed expectations. Home or business owners looking to eliminate pests once and for all, should call Albemarle Termite & Pest Control today!

How Can I Prevent Powderpost Beetles In The Future?

Avoid the damage powderpost beetles cause with the help of the following prevention tips.

  • Seal cracks and crevices found in your home’s foundation and exterior walls.

  • Place weather-stripping around windows and doors.

  • Make sure any wood you used in your home for buildings projects has been properly dried and stored before purchasing.

  • Inspect wooden furniture or antiques before bringing them into your home.

  • Limit the use of old barn wood inside your home.

  • Paint or stain exposed bare wood in your home and on your property.

  • Use dehumidifiers in your home to reduce humidity levels.


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