Powderpost Beetle Identification Guide


What are powderpost beetles?

Named for their ability to turn wood into a fine powder, powderpost beetles in New Haven are a type of wood-destroying insect. While they may not be one of the most well-known insects, they are second only to termites in the amount of damage they cause in wooden structures. Powderpost beetles vary by species but are typically reddish-brown to black and grow to between 1/16 and 3/16 of an inch in length; their narrow, elongated bodies are flat from top to bottom. Their larvae are white, C-shaped, and about 1/4 of an inch long.

wood with holes in it due to hatching of powderpost beetles

Are powderpost beetles dangerous?

Powderpost beetles are not dangerous to people; however, they are hazardous to properties. Depending on the species, these pests invade both hardwoods and softwoods, causing significant damage to its structural integrity as the larvae feed on it. An untreated infestation can lead to extensive damage and costly repairs over several generations.

Why do I have a powderpost beetle problem?

Powderpost beetles find their way in through pieces of wood furniture or wood products that are already infested. These wood-destroying pests invade and damage things like antique furniture, flooring, structural timbers, and wood trim. Adults are active at night and are highly attracted to outdoor lighting, entering homes and other buildings on their own through spaces in the exterior walls or areas around windows and doors.

Where will I find powderpost beetles?

Female powderpost beetles lay their eggs on or under the surface of a piece of wood. When these eggs hatch, the larvae move deep into the wood, tunneling through and using it as a food source. As they feed, they reduce the wood to a fine, dust-like powder. After completing the development process, the new adults create round exit holes the size of a pinhead to escape, mate, lay their eggs, and complete the destructive cycle over again. Depending on environmental conditions, the time required for larvae to complete their development varies from a few months to several years.

How do I get rid of powderpost beetles?

Here at Connecticut Pest Elimination, our dedicated and licensed pest technicians provide the comprehensive home pest control services needed to eliminate powderpost beetles and other common pests and keep them from returning! Guard your home or business against pests with the help of a local, full-service pest control company with over 27 years of experience. For more information about our residential and commercial exterminator services, reach out to Connecticut Pest Elimination today!

How can I prevent powderpost beetles in the future?

In addition to our professional services, the following prevention tips will help you to avoid problems with powderpost beetles here in Connecticut:

  • Seal all openings in your foundation, exterior walls, and spaces around windows and doors.

  • Treat wooden structures on your property with paint or stain.

  • Paint or stain exposed bare wood in your home or business.

  • Avoid the use of old barn wood indoors.

  • Use dehumidifiers in your home or business to reduce humidity levels.

  • Replace white outdoor lights with yellow or LED lights that are less attractive to insects.

  • Inspect wooden antiques for powderpost beetle damage before bringing them into your home or business.


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