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Powderpost Beetles 101: What Every Portland Homeowner Ought To Know

powderpost beetle on cracker

Have you wished in your heart of hearts that someone, somewhere in the world, would put everything you need to know about powderpost beetles in one convenient location? If so, we have some good news for you. You found it! If you have concerns about powderpost beetles damaging your Portland home, this is the resource for you. Here's what you need to know.

What Is a Powderpost Beetle?

There are several species of beetle that are categorized as powderpost beetles. All of them have the unsavory ability to reduce wood to a fine powder—hence the name. If these beetles get into your home, they can do considerable damage, over time.

What Kind of Wood Do Powderpost Beetles Damage?

It depends on the species. Some species of beetles that are categorized as powderpost beetles will only attack hardwood. Some will attack hardwood and softwood.

Do Powderpost Beetles Prefer One Home to Another?

Yes. Some homes have a greater risk of being damaged by these beetles. This is because powderpost beetles require high humidity or moisture to live and breed. Homes that have damp cellars, humid basements, or crawl space underneath will be at greater risk than homes that do not. These insects also present a greater risk to homes that are on the coast, like many residences in our Portland service area.

Pro tip: Adding dehumidifiers to cellars and basements or encapsulating a crawl space can help to control the dampness that promotes powderpost beetle activity.

How Do Powderpost Beetles Attack a Home?

The primary way these beetles will damage the wood of your home is by depositing eggs in the tiny cracks and crevices of wood. When the eggs hatch, the larvae tunnel through the wood and cause damage. When they mature, they move toward the surface and enter their pupal stage. At the conclusion of this stage, they are adults. The adult males and females tunnel out of the wood and mate. The females return to lay more eggs, and the cycle continues.

Pro tip: Sanding wood can help to make it resistant to powder-post beetles.

How Do I Tell if My Home Has Powderpost Beetles?

It can be difficult to detect these insects because they live almost exclusively inside wood, and though they produce a fine, talc-like powder, they can push this powder out of tiny holes under your home or in walls, ceilings, and floor voids.

Pro tip: Use a flashlight to look for the tiny holes (and powder) these insects create in dark, moist locations under your home or under exterior structures.

How Much Damage Can Powderpost Beetles Do?

In the United States, powderpost beetles are only second to termites in terms of how much damage they can do to man-made structures. If left untreated, your home can be at serious risk for damage. The tunnels that larvae create can weaken support beams and cause them to split.

Pro tip: When you have ongoing residential pest control for your home, you'll get routine inspections from a licensed professional who knows how to uncover pest activity and prevent extensive damage to your home. Powderpost beetles are far from the only pests in Maine that can damage the wood of your home or damage your belongings.

Control For Powderpost Beetles In Portland

If you're dealing with bugs in Portland, you can contact Big Blue Bug Solutions for effective elimination and exclusion. Our team of experienced and highly trained professionals knows what is required to arrest infestations and protect your property. We can also provide you with ongoing residential pest control to catch pests early and prevent them from doing damage to your Portland home.

Reach out to us anytime. We're here to help.