3 Important Facts to know about Powderpost Beetles

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Do you have antique furniture in your home? Have you noticed wood dust and small holes in parts of your loved furniture? Are you wondering what is ailing your family treasures? There could be several reasons, but the most likely culprit is that Powerpost Beetles have invaded your timeless pieces. These beetle pests are sneaky, and they’ll bore themselves into old wood just like that, emerging triumphantly from their holes and ruining your furniture for posterity. Know how to spot Powerpost Beetles by reading on to get our top three most important facts about these insects. You’ll be able to spot them — and hopefully stop them — before they do too much irrevocable damage. Here’s all you need to know about Powerpost Beetles:

Fact #1: Where They Live
Powderpost Beetles love dried wood. That’s while you’ll find them in dead tree branches and other decaying wood. They can transfer their habitats to other nearby wood, which makes your antique dresser stored beside old wood piles or in a garage with old wood joists a prime spot of real estate for these sneaky bugs. Powderpost beetles also can find their way into lumber that is being cured — and then suddenly, and creepily, they emerge from the product that has been made using the lumber.

Fact #2: What They Look Like
Powderpost Beetles are tiny — 1/4-inch in length only — and brown. You’ll have to look hard for them and the holes they leave behind. In most cases these beetle bore holes in your wood furniture that have a diameter of between 1/16- and 1/8-inches. When they bore these tiny holes, they are laying their larvae to grow. So if you can’t see the holes immediately, you should be able to see the sawdust piles on the floor or on the furniture. This is a sure sign that a Powderpost Beetle is laying more generations of beetles in your wood furniture — and it won’t be long before they begin to emerge as full-grown beetles.

Fact #3: What Should You Ask When Buying Furniture and Lumber
U-Spray, Inc. said, “If you are purchasing lumber, make sure you ask if the lumber has been treated in the drying process.” For rough-hewn lumber that means the wood needs to be dried in a kiln. If you are looking at a piece of furniture, notice if it has been sanded and varnished sufficiently. This protects the wood and prevents the Powderpost Beetle from getting into the wood to lay eggs. Also look for holes. If you see them, you’ll know the furniture has had a previous infestation. So you’ll need to ask the seller for a certificate proving the furniture has been properly fumigated. If you discover that your wood furniture is infested with Powderpost Beetles, you do have steps of remediation. You can have a pest control specialist take the furniture and put it in a fumigation chamber. Ask if your pest control person is licensed to do this, as fumigating an infested piece of furniture requires certification. Also note that once you have had your furniture fumigated, you are not protected from a future beetle attack. Instead, be vigilant, and do not store your furniture in a wood barn or outdoor shed, as these structures are infamous for being Powderpost Beetle habitats — and they are literally waiting for your wood furniture!

With just a little attention to detail — and our handy guide listing the top three important tips for recognizing Powerpost Beetles and the damage they can do — you’ll be on your way to protecting your grandmother’s beautiful cherry dining set and that antique wood chest handed down through the generations. Certainly you can’t always stop Powerpost Beetles, but you can take preventative measures to keep your beautiful hardwood furniture out of environments in which they might try to set up their homes. Be vigilant, inspect your wood furniture often, and if you have to store your furniture, do so in a climate-controlled storage unit rather than in an old shed or garage that is proximity to other aging wood.