Baton Rouge Property Owners' Complete Guide To Powder Post Beetles

June 15, 2020

When it comes to wood-damage, most of us think of termites and carpenter ants. But, another wood-destroying pest to consider is the powder post beetle. This nocturnal, wood-foraging pest is a close second to drywood termites in their ability to cause large-scale damage to dry, seasoned wood; but, what do we really know about them? Here are some useful facts to help you identify powder post beetles on your Baton Rouge property.

perderpost beetle damageon a wooden structure

The Lifecycle of Powder Post Beetles

Powder post beetles go through four stages in their lifecycle. They start out as eggs, develop into larvae, then pupae, and finally, adult beetles. Let’s start with the adult. Fully grown, adult beetles mate and lay their eggs in the pores of wood. They prefer bare, unfinished, and untreated wood. Here they insert their eggs below the surface, allowing them to develop into larvae.
The larval stage of the powder post beetle is when they cause the majority of the damage. As the larvae develop, they feed on and get nutrients from the wood. To do this, they make narrow tunnels through the wood, weakening and compromising the structure over time. After tunneling through the wood, the larvae develop into adult beetles. Here’s what they look like:


Whitish-cream color
Worm shaped with dark brown heads


Up to ¼ inch
Flattened, oval-shaped body
Reddish-brown to black in color

How To Identify A Powder Post Beetle Infestation

Once the larvae become adults, which can take anywhere from one to five years, they emerge from the wood. They usually come out during the late winter, chewing tiny exit holes through the wood to make their way out. If the wood they’re infesting is inside your home, you can expect to find small holes in the construction and other noticeable signs, such as:

Piles of powder (fine, ground-up wood)
Small, round “shot holes” in the wood (exit holes made by adult beetles)
The frass they leave behind (mix of larvae excrement and wood particles)

Ways To Control Powder Post Beetles

If you detect any of these signs, you may have a large powder post beetle situation on your hands. Even if you don’t notice any of these signs, you still may be experiencing beetle activity without knowing it. If you want to get serious about your beetle control efforts, there are some preventative measures you can take to keep these pests off your property. Consider the following methods to help reduce attractants around your home.

  • Be sure to kiln-dry or air-dry your lumber.
  • Control moisture issues around the property.
  • Examine wood prior to purchase.
  • Inspect and seal wooden surfaces.
  • Maintain proper drainage and ventilation.
  • Remove any moisture-damaged or rotting wood.
  • Use chemically treated wood.

These prevention tips can be very helpful in minimizing your chances of experiencing powder post beetle activity on your Baton Rouge property. It’s great to stay on top of things and be proactive in protecting your space, but no matter how hard you try, sometimes pests manage to infest anyway. Powder post beetles are no exception.

Trying to treat the problem yourself is not an effective way to handle a powder post beetle infestation. The only effective strategy is to target the root of the problem, and that’s why you need help from the pest professionals.

How River City Termite & Pest Can Help

The team at River City Termite & Pest provides quality powder post beetle control services that you can depend on all year long. Our team begins by conducting a thorough inspection of the property, identifying problem areas, and pointing out conducive conditions. From there, we come up with an appropriate treatment plan that is customized to meet your needs. Call us today to get started.

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