Facts about Powder Post Beetles

Wood damage Living in a warm climate is great, but it’s also great for pests like ants, spiders, termites, powder post beetles, and many more critters. Some bugs are just a nuisance, but others are truly destructive and can do a lot of damage to your home. The repairs can run into thousands of dollars.


Types of Behavior

Most people have heard of termites and know the harm they can do to your home. Termite control companies know that the powder post beetle is a serious threat to wood and wood products, doing damage that is second only to termites in the United States. The adult powder post beetle flies at night, and, like many nocturnal insects, they’re attracted to light. The adult does not eat wood. The adult lays eggs in hardwoods such as oak, ash, hickory, walnut, and cherry. The larvae bore into the wood and eat the wood with sapwood that is rich in starch. The larvae are often found in hardwood floors, timbers, crates, antiques, and other objects made with hardwood materials. If the shot holes made by the emerging adult beetles are not discovered, over time they can reduce the wood to a mass of fine powder. They are prevalent in warmer climates but can survive in cold climates too.


Signs of Powder Post Beetle Infestation

If you see signs of possible powder post beetle infestation, companies that do termite control in St. Augustine, FL, can perform a thorough inspection of your home. Signs of an infestation are a fine powdery substance on the ground and tiny holes where adult beetles have emerged from the wood. A re-infestation can continue for generations of the beetle’s life cycle. Examinations need to be made of wooden beams in homes and outbuildings, hardwood floors, cabinets, furniture, and even musical instruments.


When Do Powder Post Beetles Get into the Wood?

Quite often, the wood is already infested with powder post beetle larvae when it is first installed in a home. Wood that hasn’t been dried or stored properly, or old barn wood, for example, could be infested with eggs or larvae. Sometimes lumber brought into the United States from other countries may be infested, from improper storage and drying.


Prevention and Control

One of the best ways to eliminate the chance of powder post beetle infestation is to make sure the wood in your home is sanded, varnished, waxed, painted, or sealed in some way. The beetle cannot penetrate the finished wood surface to deposit their eggs. Termite protection professionals can treat the areas where powder and shot holes are found. If the area is too damp, you will need to reduce the moisture level in the wood in the affected area to less than 20 percent. Vapor barriers and good ventilation can help control moisture. Don’t store valuable wood items in sheds or barns. These types of buildings are common habitats for wood boring beetles.