If you are considering renovating your home, you are probably aware of the increasingly popular trend of using “reclaimed wood” materials in renovation. Oftentimes, pieces of wood from old sheds, barns, or other aged structures are taken and used in new projects or artistic endeavors. While this is a good use of resources, it can also be a major pest risk if not handled properly. Because it is often untreated, reclaimed wood can sometimes contain wood-boring pests that are difficult to detect. One of the most destructive of these pests, the powderpost beetle, can cause major problems for homeowners. Powderpost beetles are a group of small, wood destroying beetles that are notorious for infesting and destroying deciduous trees. They mate inside of dead hardwoods and thus can often be found in the wild inside dead branches or trunks of trees. They are relatively small, growing to a little under 1/4 inch in length, and are usually brown in coloration.

Powderpost beetles can cause problems for homeowners in a variety of different ways.

For one, they can infest secluded portions of the home such as crawlspaces or basements. Because of their preference for wood with higher moisture content, they are often attracted to more humid environments. Once inside these spaces, they can infest various parts of the structure such as framing and trim.

Powderpost beetles lay their eggs under the surface of the wood, and these will hatch into small, white colored larvae. These larvae will survive the winter inside the wood, boring tunnels throughout as they develop. Finally, in the spring, the now fully grown adults will work their way to the surface and spread to new locations.

This will often leave behind a characteristic sign of their activity in the form of small, rounded holes in the wood that are around 1/8 inch wide. This is usually accompanied by a small pile of very fine, powdery sawdust and should be fairly easy to spot, especially in more extensive infestations.

While the powderpost beetle is relatively straightforward to treat in crawlspaces and basements, it can become much more difficult when the beetles gain access to the living areas of the home.

Powderpost beetles can reduce almost any type of hardwood to kindling if given the chance, and they will infest items such as antique furniture, walls, or even picture frames. Beyond this, it becomes much easier for the beetles to hide when they move into a living area, and the treatment options for such cases are more limited. For this reason, it is critical to avoid bringing powderpost beetles into your home.

If you plan to use reclaimed materials in your home, make sure to have those inspected by a licensed professional. Infested wood will often have lots of small holes, and you might be able to see collections of sawdust around wherever the wood has been laying. If you spot any of those signs, you may want to think twice before bringing that wood or furniture into your home.

It also is becoming normal practice for builders to have newly constructed frames of houses coated in some form of borate treatment. This type of treatment will make the wood resistant to most wood destroying organisms and has been shown to be extremely effective for dealing with these pests. While this type of treatment typically must be applied to the frame during construction, it can also be done during any type of major home renovation.

Beyond this, homeowners should also consider having regular inspections performed by a licensed pest control service. This can help to identify any type of pest activity in your home, and in many cases, early detection can make a great difference in the difficulty and expense of treatment.

At Arrow Pest Service, we have served for decades as a leading provider of pest control for the greater Panama City area. We offer a wide range of treatment options designed to safely and effectively deal with any pest problem that you might encounter. In fact, we are so confident that we can deal with your pest problems, we offer a 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE on all of our services!

So if you are dealing with pest problems of any kind, DON’T WAIT! Call us today at 850-874-1900!


Here’s to YOU living pest free!

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