How to Get Rid of Powderpost Beetles

How to Get Rid of Powderpost Beetles

There are many types of pests in our area. As people travel for the holidays, they hope to avoid the nightmare scenario of returning to a house full of creepy-crawly insects. 

The thought of a house full of spiders, ants, flies, or bed bugs will make any homeowner shudder. No one wants to encounter any of these pests if they can help it. 

As frightening as the thought of finding your house to be full of spiders, there are some insects that are even scarier. Wood-Destroying Insects may not get the attention of some of the other more headline-worthy pests, but they deserve recognition. They pose a greater threat to your property than spiders or roaches and may reside in your home for years before you realize it. 


One type of Wood-Destroying Insect for which you should be on the lookout is powderpost beetles. In this article, we will help you identify whether or not you have a powderpost beetle infestation, and how to get rid of them. 

What Are Powderpost Beetles?

Powderpost beetles are wood-boring insects that prefer untreated, unpainted, and unsealed timber with relatively low moisture content. They are second only to termites in terms of structural damage.

Wood products such as beams, hardwood flooring, cupboards, musical instruments, and furniture are all susceptible to attracting powderpost beetles.

Because of the lumber industry, many species of powderpost beetles have spread around the world. Powderpost beetles consume a range of various types of wood, although some tend to be more specialized and choose a single type of wood on which to feed.

Powderpost beetles can infest any old wood, from scrap timber in our backyard to antique furniture in your cellar.

How to Recognize a Powderpost Beetle Infestation

Powder beetles burrow through wood and lay their eggs on untreated wood's surface or in tunnels just under the surface. Powderpost beetle infestations are slower to develop than termites. The beetle larvae gnaw through and infest for years before releasing powdery wood debris.

Signs you have a powderpost beetle infestation include:

  • Wood that is crumbling or deteriorating. Powderpost beetle infestation is marked by wood that looks to be turning to dust or deteriorating for no apparent reason.
  • Powderpost beetles consume wood and leave tiny holes in it. If your furniture, floors, cupboards, or other wood surfaces have numerous tiny holes, Powderpost beetles may have infested your home. 
  • Keep an eye out for little excrement, especially near things like wooden porches, window sills, and furniture.

If you are seeing signs of a wood-destroying insect infestation, you need to make sure you take steps to exterminate them immediately. 

How to Exterminate Powderpost Beetles

  1. The first step is to reduce the moisture level of the wood to less than 20%. Moisture monitors can help you figure out how much moisture is in a piece of wood. Central heating, vapor barriers, dehumidification systems, and adequate ventilation can all help to control moisture.
  2. Rid-A-Bug installs TAP (Thermal, Acoustical, and Pest Control) insulation in attics and crawl spaces that can help control moisture. 
  3. Restore any wood that has been damaged by water. You may not be aware of water damage in your home, but flooding from a leak, plumbing issues, or excessive humidity could be creating an ideal setting for powderpost beetles.
  4. Sand and varnish your wood to deter powderpost beetles. Adult beetles won't be attracted to sanded and varnished wood since they can't pierce the surface or find cracks and crevices to lay their eggs in.
  5. Unpainted furniture can be treated with Tim-bor or Boracare (not varnished, painted, waxed, or sealed). Timbor and Bora Care help keep recently hatched larvae out of wood.
  6. Fumigation chambers are used to treat infested furniture. Look for fumigation licenses from pest control providers.
  7. Step 5: Hire a professional powderpost beetle exterminator. This infestation can be difficult to control on your own, so professional help may be required.

Prevention Is Key

The best way to control powderpost beetles is to prevent them from ever choosing your home. Here are a few ways to prevent the presence of powderpost beetles:

  • Inspect rough-cut or raw lumber for signs of powderpost beetles, such as tiny holes and tunnels, before you bring it into your home.
  • Before taking rough-cut or raw lumber to your house, request that it be kiln-dried.
  • Apply a long-lasting wood protectant like Cedarshield on fences, decks, chairs, tables, raised garden beds, and other wooden structures. Powderpost beetles will seldom live on wood that has been treated.
  • Do not store your wood furniture and other items in your shed or bard.
  • Powderpost beetles and other wood-destroying insects find wood unappealing after sanding and varnishing.

Rid-A-Bug Exterminating Powderpost Beetle Control

Even if you take all the right steps, you still might find yourself dealing with a stubborn powderpost beetle infestation. If you have these or other wood-destroying insects in your home, contact the team at Rid-A-Bug for fast extermination and help with prevention