Powderpost Beetleis a broad classification used to refer to several species of wood-infesting beetles that reduce the wood they inhabit to a distinct flour-like powder or frass. Similar in some respects to termites, Powderpost Beetles have the capacity to inflict damage to certain wood members within a structure if left untreated.
Certain Powderpost Beetles, such as the Lyctid and Bostrichid PPB, pose very little threat to a building's structural integrity itself, as most structures are framed with softwood lumber which is minimally susceptible to attack. The most commonly impacted woods include oak, walnut, hickory, cherry, poplar, and ash. Some tropical hardwoods, such as bamboo, are also particularly vulnerable to intrusion from Lyctid or Bostrichid powder post beetles. If an outbreak of these beetles is suspected, consider whether any hardwoods have been newly introduced to the structure. This may be in the form of flooring, trim, stairwells, or even cellulose components of carpets and other fabrics imported from tropical climates.
Unlike other powderpost beetles, the Anobiid is capable of infesting both softwood and hardwood lumber, posing a much greater threat to the structural integrity of the home. Beams, joists, and studs may be comprised by infestations of the Anobiid powderpost beetle. Powderpost beetles are typically discovered through the presence of piles of powder directly beneath the impacted wood along with multiple small holes in the surface of the wood directly above the powder. These holes are exit holes where adult powderpost beetles have chewed through the wood.
How To Treat for Powderpost Beetles...
Unlike subterranean termites, which travel back and forth from their underground colonies to their food source, powderpost beetles remain inside the wood they're infesting. These beetles are also often brought in to the structure within newly introduced products, and are generally limited to those specific wood components. Because of this, the best approach to dealing with powderpost beetles (whenever possible), is to remove and replace the impacted wood.
Sometimes, however, removing and replacing may not be a practical option due to the fact that the amount of that same kind of wood is too vast, or the infestation is too widespread. In these instances, a structural tent fumigation may be an option, but may also be cost-prohibitive. For isolated occurrences of powderpost beetles, borate products such as Bora Care can be sprayed directly onto the surface of the wood. For any surface spray, be sure to remove and paint, varnish, or other coating on the impacted wood before making applications to allow the product to absorb into the wood. Wood injection with a Termiticide may also be a practical option.