Beetles are boring—boring through the wood of your home that is. While the topic of beetles might be a little boring, the last thing you want is to miss the signs of wood-boring beetles in your South Carolina home. Fortunately, we've put together some quick and un-boring information about wood-boring beetles. Here's what you need to know.

powder post beetle on wood
old house borer on wood siding

Pests That Damage Wood

You might think that termites are the only wood-destroying pests you need to worry about in South Carolina, but that is not true. There are several insects that can damage the wood inside your home and some of them don't just harm your home, they can hurt your belongings as well. We also have animals that damage the wood in our homes, such as mice, rats, squirrels, and woodpeckers. But we'll cover those wood-destroying critters in another article.

Wood-Boring Beetle Species

There are dozens of species of wood-boring beetles that can be categorized into four basic groups: true powderpost beetles, false powderpost beetles, old house borers, and Anobiid beetles. All of these beetles have an elongated pill shape, three distinct body parts, and handlebar antennae. The wings of these beetles are hidden under a protective covering that is divided down the center. The two types we see in homes most often are old house borers and powderpost beetles.

Old house borers — These beetles attack softwood and can come into a home with firewood and lumber. While they eat softwood like subterranean termites, they will do something that those termites won't: They lay their eggs inside your home. When those eggs hatch, the worm-like larvae will get busy eating the wood of your home. This makes old house borers highly destructive pests when they get into a home or business.

Powderpost beetles —  These beetles feed on hardwood. This can make them a threat to hardwood furniture and furniture items that have hardwood in them. They can also do a number on a hardwood floor or the hardwood structures in your home such as window and door frames, banisters, crown molding, baseboards, and much more. It is important to take measures to keep these beetles out of your home. But this can be difficult. Powderpost beetles are great fliers and often come in from the outside through an open door or window.

Warning Signs Of Wood-Boring Beetles

There are three warning signs wood-boring beetles can give you. These signs are extremely subtle and you'll have to look closely to see them.

  • Tiny holes. When we say tiny, we mean it. A hole from wood-boring beetles isn't much larger than 1/16 of an inch. You'll be able to put the tip of a sharpened pencil in there—that's about it

  • Sawdust. When we talk about the sawdust of wood-boring beetles, we emphasize the second syllable. These beetles create a dust that is as fine as flour. If you see powdery dust on your furniture or on hardwood structures in your home, take notice.

  • Beetles. When you see beetles in your home, it is important to properly identify them. While the larvae (worms) of these pests are what bore voraciously through the wood in your home, you're probably never going to see them. It is the adult beetles that will alert you to a problem.

How To Stop Beetles From Destroying Your Property

If you're seeing these beetles in your home or you're noticing signs, you probably want to know how to get rid of them and how to protect your property. There are many suggestions on the internet for how to control wood-boring beetles. We would not recommend going that route. Arresting an infestation isn't your standard how-to project. If you fail to eliminate these insects, you may not know it. This will allow them to continue to damage your home. It is best to hire someone with the training and experience to make sure those insects are completely eliminated.

At Aiken Pest Control, we use conventional treatments to arrest most infestations of wood-boring beetles. In severe cases, we will suggest fumigation. If you live in Aiken or the surrounding area, contact us today to get your questions answered or to schedule treatment for your property.


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