You’ve probably heard of carpenter ants and termites, but what about the lyctid beetle? Commonly referred to as the powderpost or wood-boring beetle, lyctid beetles are wood-loving bugs that get their name from the way they can turn wood into powder. I wish we were kidding, but yes, that's right. Given enough time, powderpost beetle larvae can actually break wood down to dust. Read on to learn how to identify, prevent, and control lyctid beetles this summer.
What Is a Lyctid Beetle?
Powderpost beetles are brown and usually less than ¼” in length. They have six legs and a set of protective wings on their cylindrical bodies. These nasty little guys cause the most damage in their larval stage and have a fairly short adult lifespan.
Where Are Lyctid Beetles Commonly Found?
Lyctid beetles make their homes in raw hardwood. They typically appear in the springtime when it's time to lay their eggs; however, their larval stage lasts throughout the winter.
How Can I Tell If I Have Lyctid Beetles?
You’ll be able to tell if you have lyctid beetles by examining the raw hardwood around your property. Lyctid beetles bore into lumber to lay their eggs and bore another hole as they emerge. Check your wooden furniture, structures, and trees for these tiny holes. The holes are typically 1/16th–1/8th of an inch in diameter, and you’ll likely find bunches of them together. The telltale sign of powderpost beetles is the powdery residue they leave behind from the destruction of the wood.
Do Lyctid Beetles Cause Harm?
If left unchecked, lyctid beetles can cause serious harm to any wood you might have on your property. Just like with termites or carpenter ants, it’s crucial to address your problem early.
How Do I Get Rid of Lyctid Beetles?
If you have an isolated outbreak of lyctid beetles, there are a few ways to get rid of the pests:
- Remove infested wood from your property
- Treat affected areas with a borate-based insecticide
- Inspect any potential powderpost beetle “hot spots”
In cases of serious infestation, contact a pest control professional.
How Do I Prevent Lyctid Beetles?
While infestation isn’t entirely preventable, there are some ways to protect yourself from lyctid beetles:
- Dry all rough-cut lumber in a kiln
- Use chemically treated wood
- Don’t allow damp wood (rotting trees, collapsing sheds, etc.) to collect on your property.
- Sand and varnish all of your wooden furniture
- Use a preventive borate-based insecticide
- Inspect all wood prior to purchase
- Don’t store wood near your home
If you need professional pest control in the Des Moines area, call Springer today! The professionals at Springer can tackle any pest problem and will help you prevent future outbreaks as well. If you are concerned that you may be battling a powderpost beetle or other infestation, contact Springer for a thorough pest inspection. Trust Springer with all of your pest control needs!