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What To Do About Powderpost Beetles On Your Portland Property

powderpost beetle crawling on wood

Termites might be the first bugs that come to mind when you think of destructive pests, but there are actually many wood-boring insects that can infest your property and cause damage. 

Powderpost beetles are known to wreck wooden furniture and weaken structural wood. You might not know you have these pests if you don’t spot them, and an infestation can last for years. If you want to avoid damage, here’s what to do about powderpost beetles on your Portland property.

Powderpost beetles aren’t just one species, but dozens with their own particular traits and behaviors. They range in size from 1/16 to 1/4 inch in length and vary in color from solid black to reddish-brown. What all powderpost beetles share in common is that they lay their eggs in vulnerable wooden materials where their larvae can feed.

It’s powderpost beetle larvae, not adults, that are responsible for damaging wooden structures on your property. The larvae will bore through wood as they feed, emerging as developed adults after one to five years. Even just a few larvae can cause substantial damage before they reach maturity.

Powderpost beetles often reside in dead branches and tree limbs and it's not uncommon to find them living in stacks of firewood. But these destructive insects can also infest wooden siding, crown molding, door frames, and even structural wooden supports. While powderpost beetles in your yard aren’t much of a threat, an infestation in your home can be a real problem.

How To Spot A Powderpost Beetle Infestation

Like termites and carpenter ants, an infestation of powderpost beetles can be hard to detect. But there are some telling signs you can look out for:

  • Frass: Wood-boring insects tend to expel their waste in the form of tiny, sand-like grains called frass. Powderpost beetle frass can be especially fine and powdery, but can also be more coarse in texture. Frass will appear around infested areas like furniture and windowsills.
  • Holes: Adult powderpost beetles leave exit holes as they emerge from their larval home. The holes are usually about 1/16 inch in diameter and will be packed with powdery frass.
  • Damage: If you notice crumbling or disintegrating wood around your property, it’s likely that powderpost beetles or other wood-boring insects are to blame.

How To Prevent Powderpost Beetles

Luckily, there are few things you can do to prevent powderpost beetles from infesting your property:

  • Use quality lumber and wood. Many powderpost beetle infestations occur when previously infested wood is used for construction purposes. Try not to use old lumber or improperly stored wood.
  • Finish wooden surfaces. As much as possible, try to finish any wooden segments of your property with varnish, shellac, or paint to discourage female beetles from laying their eggs.
  • Reduce moisture. Ensure proper ventilation and airflow in dank areas with exposed structural wood. Powderpost beetles prefer wood with high moisture content, and ventilation can help reduce that.
  • Store furniture properly. Don’t leave furniture in sheds, barns, or other wooden buildings where powderpost beetles are common. Inspect any antique or second-hand furniture for signs of beetles.

The Best Way To Get Rid Of Powderpost Beetles

If you want to protect your Portland property from powderpost beetles, the best way is with help from Big Blue Bug Solutions. For more than 80 years, we’ve provided New Englanders with the most reliable and professional pest control services around. With comprehensive residential and commercial treatment plans available, we’ll eliminate your powderpost beetle problem at the source and prevent new infestations.

If you need assistance with powderpost beetles on your property, get in touch with us today for your free inspection.