Important Powder post Beetles Facts You Should Know (2018)

Important Powder Post Beetles Facts Facts You Should Know

Insects are disgusting creatures. Most of us are scared of insects due to many of the inspiring facts from the horror movies. Perhaps, the planet Earth has an awful lot of beetles. Although some beetles are good for pollination, apparently some beetles bring really bad news for your backyards and gardens. They can be destructive and invasive. What most people find sickening, beetles find it attractive.

The bad and the ugly critters prefer the garden to get shelter from the bad weather especially during cold winters. There are quite a few large families of beetles that account for common sightings. Beetles principally belong to the order Coleoptera which is the largest of the insect species. There are over 350000 species in the order Coleoptera found across the world. There are nearly 12,000 species found only in the United States of America, and 300,000 species are spread all over the world.

Many beetles are equipped with jaws and have the ability to bite and harm the humans; however, Powderpost beetles do not either have jaw bone strength nor venom; therefore there is no significant health threat to human, but it has the strong ability to damage structures of wood.

What are Powder Post Beetles?

control powderpost beetles naturally

Did you know that some beetles damage wood? Powderpost beetles are among the seventy species of wood-boring beetles that breed in the dead and dried hardwoods like the dead branches and limbs of trees. If you have antique furniture in your home, you could have seen holes and wood dust. Have you ever wondered what is causing damages to your loved treasure, although there can be other reasons, the possible offender is none other than Powderpost beetles causing damages to your eternal beauties? What are Powder post beetles and what do you need to know about Powder post beetles are

  • True and False Powder post beetles –When the moisture content in wood is 6 percent or higher, then it is an ideal condition for the Powder post beetles to attack. The true Powder post beetles are convex, reddish to dark brown beetles, generally found in the United States, capable of attacking both hardwood and softwoods. True Powder post beetles are otherwise known as termites. Generally, true Powder post beetles live in trees, lumber, soil and wooden structure. They eat wood and create dust to derive cellulose and nutrients. False Powder post beetles do not produce dust unlike true Powder post beetles; however, they create a burrow in the wooden structures and infest the items in which they live. Female bugs bore the wood and make tunnels to lay eggs. Apparently, both the species got the common name Powder post beetles due to their behavior of loving wood barks.
  • Information and identification of Powder post beetles – Powder post beetles are very small, reddish-brown insects. They are flat-bodied bugs that are longer in structure providing them the ability to attack woods. They make up the superfamily Bostrichoidea along with common furniture beetles and deathwatch beetles. Homeowners can notice their presence in large holes of wooden furniture and wood dust. The wood dust is typically called as frass. They are nothing but the feces and the sawdust they leave behind. The creepy critters use these holes as the exit points. Powder post beetles have the potential to make fine dust out of any healthy wood. Generally, wood borer insects have big prothorax. However, Powder post beetles don’t go because of their visible big heads.
  • Life Cycle of Powder post beetles – Wood boring Powder post beetles spend much of their time as larvae, there are instances that it can take up to 5 years until it becomes a mature adult. Like many other insects, Powderpost beetles undergo complete metamorphosis. But what exactly is metamorphosis? Metamorphosis is a biological process, in which the insects undergo various processes in their life cycle until it approaches their adulthood. This is generally accompanied by a change of nutrition, source, and behavior. There are two types of metamorphosis which the insects undergoes: Complete and Incomplete Metamorphosis.

Incomplete metamorphosis also called as direct or simple metamorphosis, is a process in which the insect undergoes only three stages namely the egg, nymph and the adult stage. For example, grasshopper and cricket undergo incomplete metamorphosis. Similarly, complete metamorphosis is another biological process in which the insects undergo four stages of their lifecycle namely, the egg, larvae, pupa, and adult until their reach their adulthood. Powder post beetles undergo complete metamorphosis. Apparently, the time spent in each stage varies from insect to insect. Likewise, development time varies on temperature, moisture and starch content of the wood. The lifecycle of wood-boring beetles like Powderpost spends most of their lifecycle in larvae stage during which the infestation usually occurs.

  1. Egg Stage– The adult female lays the eggs by boring tunnels in the wood that contains moisture. They are usually in cracks, crevices, end grain and old exit holes. The eggs hatch after a period of 2 to 3 weeks on surfaces or crevices of wood. On hatching, the larvae begin to feed. The larvae of different species of Powder post beetles differ in size and shape.
  2. Larvae Stage – The white grub or the scarabaeid larva stage of Powder post beetles last for one and a half months to 12 years period. They do their feeding in wood especially the hardwoods like oak, ash, walnut and many other types of wood containing moisture. They infest even on hardwood floors and considered as most devastating critter second to termites. The larvae derive starch, sugar, and protein from these woods and nourish them to grow into the pupa stage.
  3. Pupa stage – The fully grown grubs enter the pupal stages and finally emerges as the adult Powderpost beetles. Pupa stage in Powder post beetles lasts for one to four weeks until it reaches the adult stage. The adult stage is indicated by the wood powder on the ground from the tiny holes of the furniture or wood beam. The mature adults use the exit holes to depart from the crevices.
  4. Adult stage – The adult insects are usually 1/8 to ¾ inch long. It has a brown cylindrical body with six legs and two antennae. They have a harder outer shell to cover their wings. The female insect can lay about 15 to 50 eggs in one time. After the eggs hatch, the mother insects doesn’t help the little ones in feeding but will ensure that they have enough to eat. In her lifetime, a female insect can lay up to 300 eggs. Therefore their multiplication is very huge, so unless they are not controlled in their initial stages, the infestation becomes very devastating.

The complete lifecycle of Powder post beetles takes from few months to several years to complete one generation.

  • Powder post beetles can survive coldest winters – These species love to have their habitat on deciduous trees rather than evergreen trees. Because of this nature, they are known to survive extreme weather conditions. Their active infestation is primarily noticed in late winters through early summer.

3 Types of Powder Post Beetles

different types of powder post beetles
Source: post-beetles.htm

What do you need to know about Powder post beetles and their classifications? Powder post beetles are classified into three types chiefly

  • Anobiid Powder post Beetles
  • Lyctid Powder post beetles
  • Bostrichidae Powder post beetles

1. Anobiid Powder post Beetles


The most common urban pest problem is generally caused by Anobiid Powderpost beetles. The beetles most frequently infest structural components like beams, sill plates, hardwood flooring and furniture that are made of plywood.  They are great lovers of softwoods (wood from a conifer like pine, fir or spruce). These insects are about 1/6 to 1/8 inch long with reddish brown or grayish brown in color. Some species are also dark brown in color. These creepy critters have a cylindrical structure with an elongated body fully covered with fine hair. Anobiid beetles head are bigger in size, so the insects appear as if, it is wearing a hoodie. Their infestation occurs throughout the United States. However, coastal states and south-eastern states are majorly targeted by this pests.

How to get rid of them: Adult beetles do not cause damage to the wood unless at the time of exit, apparently, the larvae stage of the lifecycle is the most damaging. However, there are ways to keep the pest under control. These pests basically prefer damp woods and wood stored in poorly ventilated areas. Some of the signs of infestation of Anobiid Powder post beetles are

  • If there is an infestation from Anobiid beetles, you could see piles of powder near the infected woods
  • Feces and frass

Totality wood treatment is the perfect solution for treating the infestation. It is a liquid formulation that gets easily mixed with water and an effective remedy for keeping the insects at bay. Woods that are in pre-construction and post-construction stages contains moisture so becomes an easy target to their infestation. However, the totality wood treatment protects these wood and saves from damages for up to two years. This can be done by spraying, brushing and foaming applications.

2. Lyctid Powder post Beetles

Lyctid Powderpost Beetles

While Anobiid species affect both hardwood and softwoods, Lyctid beetles generally target hardwood trees like the timber, maple, teak, mahogany and many others which are 5 years older or less. They belong to the species of wood-boring insects and are found throughout the world. Adult beetles are dark in color with a cylindrical shape. Their eyes look spherical and appear weird and quite disgusting. They are generally 1/16th to a 3/16th inch long, and their lifecycle completion takes about a year when they are in woods or outdoor areas. However indoor insects require 2 to 3 years period to complete their lifecycle. Females lay their eggs in the wood cracks or crevices. Once the egg hatch, they tunnel through the wood for feeding and cause most damages to the wood. The larvae stage exists for two to nine months. After they have molted number of times, they move to the surface and pupate. At the end of the pupal stage, the adult beetles emerge and exit through the holes causing even more damages.

What damage can Powder post beetles make: The infestation of these insects is generally found in new homes or newly manufactured territories. Since this type of species can survive on less moisture, they can target furniture in indoor homes. The presence of this insects can be identified when you notice frass as fine face powder which generally occurs when they emerge from the exit holes. You can also closely witness the wood to see the presence of the larvae or other pupal because they are usually present higher in numbers. Apparently, you cannot see the adult insects because they are attracted towards the light and generally spotted on window sills.

Bora-care Wood Treatment – If you are not comfortable with totality woodcare treatment, you can try another method of wood-care treatment called as bora-care woodcare treatment. It is an active fungicide, insecticide, and termiticide used for all woods in the construction phase. This is composed of an active ingredient borate, they are mixed with water and applied to the wood either by brushing or spraying. Perhaps, this is the best wood treatment product on the market.Bora-care wood treatment is found most effective against all species of Powderpost beetles, termites, carpenter ants and decay fungi. They can be used for both interior (apartments, schools, and hospitals) and exterior use (kennels, stables, and food processing plants)

3. Bostrichidae Powder post Beetles

Bostrichidae Powderpost Beetles

These species of insects are not common unlike Anobiid or Lyctid insects. However, they are found abundant in the tropics. Bostrichidae main targets are sapwood and conifers. They are commonly called as auger beetles and false powdered beetles. They have a slender shape cylindrical bodies and appears similar to other species. It has a very similar structure to Anobiid Powderpost beetles with its head projected downwards, so they are not generally visible from above. One of the exceptions in the Bostrichidae family is the black polygon beetle whose head is protruding forward and not unlike other insects of this species. The unique difference of this type of species is, it produces coarse powder when the adult insect emerges from the holes.

How to get rid of Bostrichidae Beetles

The best evidence of Bostrichidae Powder post beetle infestation is the emergence of holes in the wood with frass beneath it. The frass is characterized by coarse powder falling with a sudden jerk to the hardwood like the flooring, trimming and even in the ornamental pieces. The infestation can be effectively controlled by insecticide and fumigation.

Prevention and Control of Powder Post Beetles

kill powderpost beetles

After natural calamities, there is often a proliferation of wood-boring insects like Powder post beetles doing considerable economic damage. Most Powder post beetles enter the home through lumber or unfinished products like furniture and paneling. They cause serious damage to both the interior and exterior of your homes, so it is essential that you should be aware of the prevention and control of this harmful pests.

Prevention Technique for Powder Post Beetles

Adult insects are very active in the night and easily gets attracted towards the light. Prevention is always the easiest and the most economical solution when it comes to creepy little insects. Some of the ways of preventing the spread of this insects and keeping the insects at bay are

  • Keep a vigilant inspection of the wood sources at home.
  • While purchasing wooden objects or furniture, unsure whether they are made of kiln-dried wood or wood that is sanded or varnished because these pests cannot enter the wood unless it contains some percentage of moisture.
  • Painting and coating the surface – Varnish or paint prevents wood infesting Powderpost beetles from boring into timber because these insects do not infest wood that is painted, varnished, waxed or similarly sealed

Controlling the Powder Post Beetles

Powderpost beetle

When the houses are made of wood, it is often a horrible situation for the homeowners to protect against the wood boring insects and for the complete removal of infestation. To control the infestation, the homeowners first ensure whether their wood sources are infected with these creepy little pests. Then you can carry out either a natural repellent or adopt a chemical repellent strategy to get rid of this infestation. Some of the common popular methods of controlling the Powder post wood-boring beetles are

  • Totality Wood care Treatment (already discussed above)
  • Bora-care Wood care treatment(already discussed above)
  • Pest control termination– For most species of Powder post beetles, the eggs and larvae stages live their entire lives inside the wood structures. To control the infestation and killing the insects, pest control termination services provide a great source of relief. Their technicians who have been in business for a long time use the right customized solutions for controlling the pests. When the infestation is minimal, they adopt a physical pest control approach; however when the damage is devastating, then they use fumigation.
  • Microwave Treatment – Although this treatment provides an effective solution to control the pest infestation, however, it is messy and dangerous for humans if not done correctly. So, it is not a recommendable technique

There are several things that can be done to get rid of and control the infestation of the wood boring insects. Apparently, following the above prevention and control techniques will help you deal the insects in a more organized manner.

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