Powderpost Beetles are second only to termites as destroyers of wood inside homes.

Powder Post BeetleThere are four species: Lyctidae, Cerambycidae, Anobiidae, and Bostrichidae. While these look different, they damage wood in a similar fashion.

These beetles bore under the wood and lay eggs in the wood pores. The eggs hatch into tiny grubs which feed on the wood for months until emerging from the wood leaving behind a hole (the size of pencil lead) as well as a flour like powder. This cycle continues each year causing increased damage to wood in your home.


Lytcid Beetles (Lyctidae) are the most common and are known as true powderpost beetles. They rarely infest wood older than 5 years. Infestations are often the result of eggs or larvae in the wood at the time it was placed into the home. This is usually the result of improper storage or care of the lumber at the lumber yard. They can also enter your home hidden in wooden furniture, so therefore it is important to keep this in mind when purchasing new wooden items. It is recommended to inspect the items carefully at the time of purchase.

Deathwatch Beetles (Anobiidae) are 1/8″ to 1/4″ (3-7mm) long at adulthood and a brownish-red color. Mature larvae are up to about 1/2″ (11mm) and are long and white. They get their name from their mating call, a tapping sound made by its head against the tunnel wall. These sounds were once heard commonly in quiet rooms during funerals, and there were also superstitions that if they were heard in the night while you were watching over someone that was ill, that this person would soon pass. The Deathwatch Beetle prefers older wood (9 to 10 years or older).

Old House Borers (Cerambycidae) are 3/4″ to 1″ (18-25mm) in size. They are brownish black to black in color and covered with short, gray hairs. Despite the name, Old House Borers are found in homes less than 10 years old. They can survive in relatively dry wood with moisture levels as low as 10%. These beetles feed on seasoned softwoods and prefer the sapwood portions of pine, spruce and fir.

For proper wood borer control, contact the exterminating professionals at Atlantic Exterminating. A qualified team member will evaluate your situation to ensure successful beetle removal.

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