The Powder post beetles bore into wood and often confused with termites because of the similarities in their behavior. The Powder post beetle is named because they reduce the hardwoods that they infested in to a fine powder, which is ejected in a small pile at the exit hole. These beetles are small, about 1/4 inch long and are a reddish, dark brown or black color. Because they prefer hardwood they are often found in flooring.
The difference between the damage caused by the beetle versus termites is that the Powder post beetle causes very small round holes formed on the wood surface, caused by the emerging beetle. If the population concentration of beetles is high, a piece of wood will have a large amount of emergence holes. If the wood is then cut open, it would contain the inner workings of larval galleries packed with fine powder. Another identifying feature is the fecal matter, which will be tiny and have tapered ends, and that is different from that of dry wood termites.
They will mate soon after the exiting the infected piece of wood, and lay between 25-20 eggs in the wood galleries about a week later, with the eggs hatching 3 weeks following. The larvae will go through multiple molts, while eating the wood almost immediately. The entire life cycle takes 9 -12 months to complete.
Control methods for Powder post Beetles begin with proper identification, which can be quite difficult. Controlling moisture is also important, as beetles prefer moist areas. Remove any suspected infested wood, and determine from that the necessary means of insecticide treatment.
Control of wood destroying beetles by treatment includes the use of insecticides in a combination of residual and injected insecticides, as this is typically the most effective means of control. Applying a liquid insecticide to the surface of infested wood will not likely provide immediate control of wood-boring insects and larvae which are deep inside the wood. A good Borate product will give you control if the wood surface is unfinished. These are applied directly to the wood thatís is infested. For injection treatments, certain aerosol products can be sprayed or injected into the infested wood and that are particularly useful when treating galleries in the infested wood. Wood injection with Borate products is a good alternative, using holes drilled about 8 to 12 inches apart.
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