Several beetle species found in central Texas infest structural wood and finished wood furnishings within homes. These beetle pest species are often referred to as “wood-boring beetles,” and they are divided into three families known as Lyctidae, Bostrichidae, and Anobiidae. These three beetle families are more commonly known as “true powderpost beetles,” “false powderpost beetles,” and “deathwatch beetles,” respectively.
Wood-boring beetles belonging to the true powderpost beetle family tend to be the most common home-infesting species in the US, particularly in the southern states. According to a recent nationwide study of pest control professionals, powderpost beetles were the fourth most managed wood-infesting pests within homes, making them more common than all termite pest species within US structures, with the exception of the eastern subterranean termite.
Most species of winged wood-boring beetle adults are attracted to artificial light sources within and on the exterior of homes. Due to this attraction, adults often invade homes where females deposit eggs in tiny cracks and crevices on the surface of woodwork. These eggs hatch within a few days, at which point the emerging larvae immediately begin excavating nesting tunnels within wood. Much like termites, wood-boring beetle larvae consume the wood items that they inhabit. Unlike termites, wood-boring beetle damage usually becomes obvious on the surface of infested wood, but only after infestations are no longer active.
Once larvae mature into winged adults, they carve small 7 mm exit holes on the surface of damaged wood in order to take flight and mate. However, it should be noted that most wood-boring beetle species tend to reinfest the same timber-framed structures every year. As a result of their reinfestation habits, it is not uncommon for homeowners to find numerous exit holes located on the surface of structural wood and/or wood furnishings. In order to avoid the destruction that results from reinfestations of wood-boring beetles, homeowners should contact a pest control professional upon noticing small holes on the surface of valued wood items.
Have you ever found small holes on the surface of finished wood within your home?