Skip to Content

How To Tell If You Have Powderpost Beetles On Your Worcester Property

a powderpost beetle on wooden surface

While there are many pests capable of causing property damage, one of them might be a pest you hadn't heard of. The pest in question is the powderpost beetle. This is a term used to describe several small insect species that reduce wood to a flour-like powder. As such, only termites are known to cause more damage to wood.

This pest ranges from 1/8-3/4 of an inch long. The developing larvae are the ones that cause the most damage as they create narrow tunnels within the wood while feeding. All development and tunneling take place below the wood surface. This is why most infestations aren't discovered until the wood has been reduced to powder with small round "shot holes" present.

The shot holes are exit holes where the adult beetles have managed to escape out of the wood. While the eggs are laid on or below the surface, the end result is the eggs hatching into tiny larvae that bore into the wood. It can take 1-5 years for adults to emerge, which is why identifying an infestation in the early stages is critical to preventing extensive damage.

Signs of an Infestation

By and large, the major sign of an infestation is damaged wood. This can be firewood, wood in furniture, the walls, and other sources of wood. However, there are some telltale signs that indicate powderpost beetles as the culprit instead of other pests like termites. These signs are:

  • Crumbling/decaying wood: When wood seems to turn to dust or decays without an apparent reason, it's usually a sign of powderpost beetles at work.
  • Tiny holes: These pests create extremely tiny holes in wood surfaces. Carefully inspect the wood to see if these holes exist. If they do, you likely have an infestation on your hands.
  • Tiny feces: These droppings are incredibly tiny and are often found near areas such as windowsills, furniture, and wooden porches.

Prevention Tips

Considering the sheer damage potential, it's much better to prevent an infestation than it is to correct one already in process. The easiest ways to prevent an infestation include:

  • Paint and stain: These pests will only lay their eggs on bare unfinished wood. As such, the easiest way to remain protected is to stain or paint wood in and around the home. Also, be sure to keep firewood a minimum of 20 feet away from the exterior of your home.
  • Embrace quality: When it comes to home improvement projects, you might be tempted to use old wood from barns or some other second-hand materials. If this applies to you, then consider using new wood to minimize your chances of infestation.
  • Moisture control: Like many pests, this one also has strict moisture requirements. If you keep the area in and around your home dry, powderpost beetles will not be interested in sticking around.

Say No To PowderPost Beetles With Big Blue Bug Solutions

Pests of all kinds with varying threat levels are going to try to get into your property. Some, like powderpost beetles, are especially dangerous to your building's structure. At Big Blue Bug Solutions, we know that's not acceptable, which is why we're prepared to deliver superior results with our many programs designed to meet your needs and your budget.

With over 80 years of experience, you can count on us to know what it takes to keep you and your loved ones safe from pests now and in the future. In addition to providing ongoing coverage, we also maintain our position as the cleanest company around with our Blue Glove service. Our team wears blue gloves and blue booties when entering homes so they remain as clean as they were before we came.

Reach out to Big Blue Bug Solutions today to get started on having a pest-free home.