• Call (800) 479-6583
  • Mon-Fri 8am-5pm
  • |
  • Sat 9am-5pm

Powderpost beetleHow To Control Powderpost Beetles

Most people think that when it comes to wood-loving bugs, the usual suspects are termites and carpenter ants. While it may be true that these insects do a lot of damage to the wood elements of homes because of their affinity for burrowing through wood, there is another bug that homeowners should worry about targeting your home’s precious wood.

Powderpost Beetles are one such pest. Powderpost beetles are rather rare and are largely unknown but it doesn’t take away from the fact that these pests can be damaging and destructive to homes. Here at Solutions Pest and Lawn you can rest assured that if you need to figure out a way to control a powderpost beetle outbreak on your home, we can point you in the right direction in finding every product you will need to deal with this wood-loving irritant, on top of receiving free DIY how-to advice.

Powderpost Beetle Background Information

Powderpost Beetles (Lyctoxylon dentatum) are part of the Lyctinae subfamily and are also known called Wood boring beetles. They get the name “powderpost” due to the fact that the larvae of these beetles feed on wood and if given enough time they can break down wood until it becomes merely a powdery dust. There are about 70 subspecies of powderpost beetles. These include species like lyctidae, bostrichidae, and the anobiidae (anobiid) which is the most common.

Powderpost beetles have six legs and cylindrical, or elongated bodies that are typically reddish-brown/black color. They have protective wings that feature distinct pit-like rows, giving them a hardened appearance. Powder post beetles go through several stages similar to a fly or a flea. Starting from an egg, they develop into a larvae, pupae and then adult. The adult period is a short lifespan where they mainly lay eggs and soon perish.

It is during the larval stage that powderpost beetles to the most damage.  Once the eggs hatch and the larvae emerges,  they begin to bore into and feed on the wood surrounding them.  It takes typically up to 5 years before the larvae will mature into an adult which means a lot of feeding on wood and on furniture. If a powderpost beetle has infested a wooden piece of furniture this could be indicated through tiny holes in your furniture from this process. You may also find piles of sawdust-like waste called frass which looks similar to coffee grounds. This is another indication of an infestation.

holes in wood from powderpost beetlesTips on Powderpost Beetle Control

Powderpost beetles, and indeed most wood loving insects thrive in areas where there is moisture and dampness. This can be a serious issue not only because of the insects but also because these same damp conditions can encourage the growth of other wood destroying problems such as mold. Therefore, if you want to protect your home you should aim to remove as much moisture as possible from the wood that makes up its frame.

The powder post beetle normal enters homes through lumber or wood products that are unfinished like furniture or paneling. They will also attack older wood that has been untreated. The highest risk for infestation is the wood that has been improperly stored outside such as using old barn wood or wood piles in those do-it-yourself projects.

When you purchase wooden objects check to make sure to inspect the wood to make sure it has been dried and treated or that it has been sanded and has a varnished finish. Also, do not purchase wood with damaged surfaces or with present exit holes.

Solutions Recommended Products for Controlling Powderpost Beetles

There are several effective ways you can handle powderpost beetles, one of them is using a product that is also effective in treating termites which is Boracare. Boracare works well to treat active infestations of powderpost beetles. This product contains borate which has the ability to penetrate and get rid of Powderpost beetles inside the wood as well as those entering or exiting the surface of the wood. Boracare also works because it attack the larvae inside the wood, preventing them from causing further surface damage in the future.

Tim-Bor Insecticide is also a good insecticide to tackle powderpost beetles but is geared more towards prevention but not control. Jecta Injectable Borate is another fine borate based product that is a good option when you have a piece of furniture that cannot be stripped of it’s finish. In cases such as this, holes will need to be drilled for Jecta to be applied.

When it comes to insecticide sprays, boracare could be applied as a spray or Tempo SC Ultra or Tempo WP Insecticide to treat an infestation.

Browse our powderpost beetle control products below and if you have any questions, chat with us online or give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you.


Powderpost Beetles - The other Wood Destroying Insect To Worry About

While homeowners are well-aware of the threat of termites to the precious wooden elements of their home, there are few which know about other insects which can have a field day on wood and cause a lot of destruction that is expensive to repair. One such insect is the powderpost beetle which likely comes second to termites on the damage they can inflict on the wooden parts of homes.

Types of Damage Powderpost Beetles Inflict on Wood

Similar to termites, there are types of powderpost beetles which enjoy consuming hardwood varieties such as oak, ash, walnut, bamboo and hickory while other types enjoy softer woods like pine. The majority of standard homes are made with a softwood frame meaning that if powderpost beetles are present, these species can cause considerable structural damage to homes.


For the powder post beetles that exclusively eat hardwood, that doesn’t mean your home will be spared from their drilling and damage. Powderpost beetles have also been discovered to infest wood paneling in homes, crown molding, the frames of doors and windows, hardwood floors and wooden pieces of furniture.


The Three Main Species of Powderpost Beetle


There are three main varieties of powderpost beetle that are found in the US that do a number on wood by boring into it and reducing it into dust: Anobiid powderpost beetles, lyctid powderpost beetles and bostrichidae powderpost beetles.


Perhaps the most common of all the powderpost beetle species, anobiid Powderpost beetles are from the Anobiidae family of beetles. Anobiid powderpost beetles typically attack only sapwood by have been known to deviate and consume other woods on rare instances.

Anobiid powderpost beetles are mainly concentrated in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States and are prominent in the coastal areas. The reason for this is likely due to moisture as they do well in such areas. Unlike Lyctid and Bostrichidae powderpost beetles, the" frass" which anobiids release are coarse and look similar to gritty coffee grounds.


A worrisome trait of a anobiid powderpost beetle is their likelihood of re-infesting wood furniture after being removed.


Lyctid powderpost beetles are known to bore through hardwoods including but not limited to myrtle, ash, hickory, oak, bamboo and mahogany. This is largely because lyctid powderpost beetles have a tendency to enjoy wood that have large pores. These insects are also , much like the anobiid powderpost beetle, are concentrated in the Pacific Northwest. Lyctid powderpost beetles are also commonly discovered in furniture, wood paneling and trim in the gulf coast states.


New homes in the process of being built using ash wood paneling by customer home builders carry a high risk of becoming infested by lyctid powderpost beetles. The "frass" or wood powder feces from Lyctid powder post beetles is flour-like in texture.

Lyctid powderpost beetles typically focus their consumption and attack on hardwoods, but there have been instances where they have been found in soft woods also.



Bostrichidae powderpost beetles are least common type of powderpost beetle due to the fact that they are primarily found in the tropics. They can be discovered in either hard or soft woods but have a preference for soft woods. The “frass” left behind by Bostrichidae powderpost beetles are coarse and look similar to coffee grounds.


Interesting Facts About Powderpost Beetles

  • It is often believed that powderpost beetles are in their adult stage when they are boring into wood and doing the most damage but on the contrary, the most damage done by these wood lovers when they are in the larvae stage.

  • Adult powderpost beetles are not known to live very long, usually only long enough to lay eggs before their lifespan ends.

  • Once powderpost beetle eggs hatch and the larvae emerges, they begin to relentlessly bore into and feed on the wood they are surrounded by. It takes around five years for powderpost beetle larvae to mature into adulthood which means that’s a lot of feeding on wood being done! There have also been shocking reports of powderpost beetles emerging out of furniture 35 years after it was initially infested by them.

  • The life cycle of a powderpost beetles goes from egg to larvae to pupae and finally adult. Once reaching adulthood, powderpost beetles will emerge from the wood and is the time they are most visibly seen by homeowners.

  • The distinguishing feature to figure out what species of powderpost beetle you are dealing with is “frass”. This is the waste and wooden fecal matter which powderpost beetles leave behind from the exit holes they create in wood. The way the frass looks and is textured can range from from very fine (similar to flour) to very coarse (similar to coffee grounds).

  • When an adult female powderpost beetle emerges from its infested wood, it will begin to look to mate with an adult male. She will then lay her eggs either on or underneath a piece of unfinished wood. While adults do not have a long lifespan, they can live for several days or weeks. Powderpost beetles are nocturnal, making locating them quite difficult.

Contact Us