How Powderpost Beetle Infestations Start On Aiken Properties

November 12, 2021


Powderpost beetles can cause a lot of confusion for Aiken property owners. They are a close second to termites in their ability to destroy wood. While the damage done by powderpost beetles does not necessarily indicate an active infestation, it can be alarming for property owners to find.

It's important to be able to distinguish an active infestation from an inactive one. Powder looking like freshly sawed wood from the hole is a sign of an active infestation. The holes from old infestations take on the appearance of the surrounding wood. Before taking action, it's best to consult the professionals in determining what kind of infestation it is and what treatment is needed, if any.

a powderpost beetle on a plant leaf

Powderpost beetles are 1/8-1/4 inch long. Their bodies are oval-shaped and dark brown with a shiny shell. They're not harmful to people or pets, but they do spread quickly when their eggs hatch into larvae that can bore through wood and create substantial damage.

The Life Cycle Of A Powderpost Beetle

Adult powderpost beetles mate and lay eggs that hatch into tiny larvae. The larvae are white or cream-colored and look something like small white worms. The larvae are the ones that damage building materials. These larvae typically bore 1/2-3/4 of an inch into the wood as they grow and infest the spaces before emerging as adults after 1-5 years.

A powderpost beetle infestation starts when one of these insects burrows into the wood of a building. They bore systems of tunnels, called galleries, using their powerful front legs to push out sawdust and loosen the wood. As they tunnel through your property, they lay eggs in the cracks and crevices found in old or damaged surfaces like siding or window frames or underneath floors.

Powderpost beetles can cause damage to any Aiken property due to their tendency to feed on wood. The damage they cause wooden structures is second only to termite damage. Infestations usually begin with a single adult female who will lay eggs several weeks after moving into a building's structure.

What Causes A Powderpost Beetle Infestation?

There are a few different reasons a powderpost beetle infestation could move into your Aiken home. Let's look at some:

  • Wood left outdoors in a garage or crawl space has been shifted or moved, so it's now unfavorable for powderpost beetles to burrow.

  • Wood damaged in a fire or storm has been left untreated and created the perfect habitat for powderpost beetles.

  • If a home is left undisturbed for some time, powderpost beetle larvae develop and continue to infest the home.

Powderpost beetles can cause severe damage to wood siding, particularly on homes during the summer months when it's hot and humid. If you see evidence of them on your property it is important to take steps to remove them as quickly as possible.

Ways To Make Your Aiken, SC Property Less Appealing To Powderpost Beetles

Since it's always easier to prevent a problem before it starts, it's helpful to take these steps to limit powderpost beetle infestations:

  • Inspect your home for damage early on to help prevent the infestation from spreading.

  • Avoid using old materials around your home that could create an ideal habitat for infestations.

  • Keep organic debris such as downed trees and woodpiles off of your property or as far as possible from exterior walls.

  • Remove wood water or fire-damaged wood.

  • Make sure to cover exterior wood with paint or stain.

The best way to get rid of powderpost beetles is to contact the professionals: Aiken Pest Control. We can help you set up a plan to keep these wood-boring insects away from your home and also treat any existing infestations. Contact us to find out more about our beetle control options.




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