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powder post beetle

Introduction

Lyctid powderpost beetles are a species of wood destroying insects that are found throughout the world. There are 11 known species found living in the United States.  This species of wood infesting beetle attacks new wood and can be problematic in new home construction and newly created wooden furniture and structures.

Recognition

Lyctid powderpost beetles are reddish-brown or black, have antennae with a 2-segmented club, and a long, flat body shape.  Adults measure from 1/16th to 3/16th of an inch in length.  Their whitish cream larvae are c-shaped and grow to be about ¼ of an inch in length.

Biology

Females lay their eggs in the cracks and crevices of wood that has not been treated (waxed, painted, or stained).  Once the larvae emerge from the egg, they will tunnel through the wood to feed.  After a period of about 2-9 months and after they have molted several times, the larvae will move closer to the surface of the wood and pupate.  Adults then emerge (usually in the late winter, early spring) and tunnel their way out of the wood.  These new adults will find a mate and the females will lay eggs usually in the same piece of wood that they have just emerged from- causing even more damage to it.
 
The life cycle of the lyctid powderpost beetle depends on temperature and other environmental conditions and can take anywhere from 3 months to over 4 years to complete.

Habits

Lyctid powderpost beetles only attack hardwoods and prefer wood that is less than 5 years old.  These beetles usually attack oak, hickory, walnut, maple, bamboo, and ash, and require a moisture level of 8-32 % in the wood for proper development.  They will attack manufactured items along with lumber.  Most of the time an infestation occurs in a home after wood or lumber that is already infested with eggs or larvae are introduced into the home during the building process.
 
While these beetles are not dangerous to people and aren’t known to carry or transmit any known disease, they are extremely dangerous to the structural integrity of a home.  Because wood is generally infested over and over again the damage that the larvae cause can become quite extensive and costly to repair.
 
 

 

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Prevention

Lyctid powderpost beetles attack young wood so preventing problems with these pests can be very difficult. The best defense against these pests is early detection and treatment. Noticing exit holes in wood in your home and/or piles of fine wood shavings is a good indication that these beetles have invaded your home. Another way to help prevent problems with these beetles is to make sure that any wood used in your home, or wooden structures located in your home, are treated in some manner- painted, stained, waxed.

Control

At Rottler Lawn & Pest Solutions a trained technician will inspect your home and determine if there is an active lyctid powderpost beetle infestation or if the damage is from a past infestation. We will then provide control services which may include a borate treatment of exposed structural wood. Fumigation may also be required and is actually considered to be the most effective control option.

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