Powder Post Beetles Archives - Pest End

Category: Powder Post Beetles

Powderpost Beetles

Powderpost beetles are wood boring beetles that can reduce wood to a powder-like consistency when it is heavily attacked or infested over an extended period of time.  The general term “powderpost beetles” is used for members of these three beetle families – Lyctidae, Anobiidae, and Bostrichidae. These beetles are particularly concerning in that they can breed and re-infest wood structures.  Let’s examine how to identify these types of pests and discuss the  damage inflicted on the wood and treatment options.

Identifying the types of powderpost beetles –


ppostbtlLyctid beetles are reddish brown to black and 1/32 to 1/8 inches long. Their body is elongate and flattened. A key characteristic of lyctid beetles is the two-segmented antennal club. Unlike anobiids and bostrichids, the head is readily visible from above.


Anobiid beetles  are reddish brown to brownish black and range in length from 1/16 to 1/8 inches. They have a slender, cylindrical body. In most species, the head is bent downward and concealed by a hood-like pronotum. The antennae have 11 segments.

images-9Bostrichid beetles are reddish brown to dark brown or black and 1/32 to 3/8 inches long. They generally are cylindrical with a roughened thorax. The tips of the elytra (hard forewings) are frequently concave and pitted. The head is bent downward and is not visible when viewed from above. The antennal club has three or four segments.(Source: Ohio State Agricultural and Natural Resources Fact Sheet)

Damage – Damage by these types of beetles can occur in a wide variety of wood including: floors, molding, paneling, crates, furniture, antiques and lumber. Wood that has been heavily damaged by powderpost beetles is reduced to a powdery mass surrounded by a thin shell of sound wood perforated with small holes. Commonly small exit holes on the wood surface are visible.  It is common, as well, that homeowners see the damage rather than the actual beetle itself.  Severe damage may indicate that many generations of beetles have infested the same wood over and over.

Solutions – Infestations many times are present even prior to the purchase of the wood product.  Prevention and control should ideally begin at lumber yards or factories.  Unfortunately that is not always possible so treatment of an infestation may be the only viable solution to prevent further damage and/or re-infestation.  Solutions such as freezing, painting and insecticides are options depending upon the severity of the problem.  Consult with Pest-End to determine the severity of the problem and the best method of eliminating this pest.