Most homeowners in New England have enough to worry about with the potential for carpenter ants and termites to chew up their homes. Unfortunately, there’s another bug out there which is hungry for the soft starchy flesh of trees, one which far fewer people know about. And they should since it’s just as destructive as the better-known wood eaters. Meet the powder post beetle. If you’ve got an infestation, you need to know the warning signs and contact New England pest control experts ASAP.

What Is A Powder Post Beetle?

Strictly speaking, there’s no one kind of powder post beetle. That’s an umbrella term that covers roughly 70 different species of tree-munching beetles. However, they’re all pretty similar in terms of their looks and behaviors.

A typical powder post beetle is reddish-brown, roughly 1/4 of an inch long, with a prominent head and extended thorax. They’re generally nocturnal and can survive in a wide range of climates, even colder areas which many other beetles cannot live in. Due to their lifecycle, they can be found almost everywhere on Earth by hitching a ride on lumber being shipped.

How Do Powder Post Beetles Attack Homes?

There are two ways powder post beetles can undermine homes, trees, and basically anything else made of wood.  First, they eat wood. It’s their primary form of sustenance, particularly the starch within the wood. The only trees or timber which are safe are those with a low starch content. They also prefer wood which is slightly moist and may be put off by extremely dry wood.

The bigger problem, however, involves their life cycle. Female powder post beetles will lay their microscopic eggs directly inside a piece of wood. This is done using an extremely thin ovipositor which is inserted into the pores of the wood. Once laid, the eggs will hatch into larvae in secret, with the powder post beetle larvae eating the wood around them as they grow.

Eventually, they’ll chew their way out as full-sized beetles, and start the process over again.

How Do I Know If I Have Powder Post Beetles?

Outside of seeing one with your own eyes, there are two big warning signs that you need to look for powder post beetle identification:

1 – Powder

Powder post beetles get their name because they create piles of extremely fine sawdust when they eat. If you see sawdust around your wood with no clear source, there’s a good chance it’s due to powder post beetles or some other wood-eating insect.

2 – Holes

Whenever a juvenile powder post beetle chews their way out of their woody nursery, they leave behind a tiny round hole that’s a couple millimeters across. Generally, there won’t just be one hole, but a large group of them. If you are searching for how to tell if powder post beetles are active, this is a clear undeniable sign of powder post beetle infestation.

And keep in mind, they won’t only attack structural wood. They’re just as happy to eat and breed in any wood that’s available, including household items like wooden broom handles or wooden toys.

Powder Post Beetle Treatment & Control

Prevention is very much the best solution. Powder post beetles cannot eat or chew through most forms of treated wood. Keep a close eye out for any gaps in your wood’s finish. Keep them well-polished and protected.

If you do have an infestation, it can be extremely difficult to control. The dense nature of wood protects the young larvae from many typical kinds of chemical sprays. Generally, full fumigation is required – a costly process that requires you to leave your home while it happens.

If you do see signs of powder post beetles, please Call in the Experts for professional powder post beetle control.

Expert Pest Control, the #1 local, trusted pest prevention professionals, knows how to search and destroy powder beetles and their breeding grounds. Don’t try to take care of this problem yourself. You need professional powder post beetle exterminators.

At Expert Pest Control, we don’t just perform prevention and extermination in the house, we educate our neighbors to prevent future outbreaks and secure their properties. For over 25 years we’ve been your local, trusted resource for pest control. Contact us below to learn the best way to get rid of any strain of powder post beetles, termites or other destructive pests on your property.

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