What Do You Know About the Powder Post Beetle?

The Powderpost Beetle
The Powderpost Beetle

The name sums up this tiny wood-boring beetle pretty well. They are capable of turning large sections of wood to powder and undermining the structural integrity of floors, cabinets, furniture and other wood. Only the tireless termite is responsible for more damage to wood in American homes. They are more destructive than other wood-boring insects because they will re-infest the same wood in a home over several generations of beetles. Most other wood destroying insects leave after the first generation.

Identification and life cycle

They are sometimes called “furniture beetles” because some species have a fondness for the soft wood used to make chairs, tables, cabinets, and other furniture. Powder post beetles are usually a reddish brown color, but may be brown or black. They grow to a length of 1/8″ to 1/4″ and have large heads with two-jointed clubs as antennae.

Powder post beetles prefer untreated, dry wood. They will often lay their eggs in the pores of lumber while it is being stored and cured. The larvae (“woodworms”) will tunnel through the wood searching for starch and other nutrients. Their development to adulthood take months or years, depending on the environment. They emerge as adults and live long enough to breed and lay about 30 eggs.

For the most effective, non-toxic treatment of these stubborn and highly destructive pests, call the experts at Allison Pest Control. We cover Monmouth County and Ocean County.