Find Powderpost Beetles in Soft & Hard Woods


Powderpost beetles lay their eggs in cracks of wood and the larvae tunnel into the surface, filling it with a very fine powder-like dust.

Powderpost beetles have long, narrow, flat bodies that allow them to easily attack wood surfaces. These beetles are reddish-brown in colour.

There are several hundred species of these powderpost beetles, but fewer than 20 are widespread. They can emerge from wood used in construction from one to 10 years after a structure has been built. Usually, they emerge during the spring. Powderpost beetles live between one and two years.

Colour: Reddish brown to black

Legs: Six

Shape: Narrow oval

Size: 1/8 to ¼ inch

Antennae: Yes

Flying: Yes


Adult powderpost beetles are very active at night, enjoy flying and are attracted to the light. These beetles often burrow small, one-eighth inch round holes in wood. Their larvae can create channels where they have chewed their way through. There is usually a fine sawdust-like powder streaming from exit holes.


These beetles are most likely to be found in softwoods (pine, spruce, fir) or certain hardwoods (oak, maple) frequently used for construction, including wood used in log homes, conventional homes and furniture. Powderpost beetles often attack hardwoods, and can be found in hardwood floors, timbers and crates, antiques, and other objects made of hardwood materials.


Some researchers believe that powderpost beetles are second only to termites in the United States in their destructiveness to wood and wood products.


Powderpost beetles can be prevented through vigilant inspection of wood sources in the home.

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