Powderpost Beetle

//Powderpost Beetle

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Powderpost beetle

Powderpost beetles are insects that would fall under the “pest” category, and for the strangest reason: they have a hankering for antiques. An enemy to lovers of old furniture, the powderpost beetle also love getting into other dead and moistened hardwoods, like dead branches and trees. They are second only to terminates in their ability to damage wooden structures. (YIKES!)

What is a Powderpost Beetle?

Powderpost beetles are part of the of the lyctidae family of insects. They are small, brown, and usually around ¼ inch or less in length. Powderpost beetles deposit themselves in wood, with a preference for slightly moistened and rough cut.

What do Powderpost Beetles Do?

Powderpost beetles are destructive; their tell-tale sign is a bunch of holes in an area that give out fine, powder-like sawdust in wooded areas. It takes them about a year to make their Swiss cheese structures within wood, less if the wood has high moisture and starch.

Life Cycle of a Powderpost Beetle

Powderpost beetles will usually begin depositing eggs into around the spring, which will develop within the wood itself. Their larvae look like little grubs and get to about 1/5 inch in length. Around midwinter they reach adulthood and exit the structure they’re in by creating the little holes and sawdust they’re known for. While they’re not picky eaters, powderpost beetles do prefer the sapwood of oak, and have no problem re-infesting a nice hunk of wood for many generations.

Powderpost Beetle Infestation

The best way to avoid an infestation is to make sure any wood you have is as dry as possible. Sanding and varnishing wood pieces would discourage the females from finding crevices to deposit their eggs to begin with. Avoid putting valuable pieces in places that encourage a moist environment, such as sheds, so your beautiful antiques don’t end up as housing and food for these and other wood boring insects. For furniture that does become infested, it’s possible to save it if detected early and put through a fumigation treatment.

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Not your average Post Beetle.

Bloom Editor Danielle Schneider

Bloom Writer Leah Iannacone

2018-03-22T14:11:56-07:00March 21st, 2017|What's this Bug?|2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. bonnie crill May 19, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    Do you know of anyone in the Boise, Idaho area who can help with Powder post beetles?

    • Danielle Schneider July 4, 2017 at 11:26 am

      Sorry Bonnie, unfortunately we don’t work in the Boise area so I don’t have anyone I could refer you to. A simple internet search should help though. Good luck, and I hope your problem gets solved.

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