Powderpost Beetles In Your Firewood – Signs of Infestation

It’s Spring, and powderpost beetle larvae are maturing into adults and emerging (at night) from whatever wood they’ve been inhabiting in order to lay their eggs and spread the population. And they love to live in stacks of firewood.  

Powderpost Beetles In Your Firewood – How did they get there?

Powderpost beetles love moist and unfinished wood. Unless wood is kiln-dried, sanded and varnished, it makes a great home for them. And, who kiln-dries, sands and varnishes their firewood? That firewood pile on the back porch may be Disneyland to powderpost beetles.

Powderpost Beetles In Your Firewood – What damage do they cause?

Basically, the adult powderpost beetle lays her eggs in a small crevice on the moist, un-sanded, unvarnished wood. The eggs contain fungal spores. The eggs hatch and the larvae begin to bore into the wood, tunneling about for up to 5 years. The larvae actually feed on the fungus as it digests the wood removing toxins and making it edible.

The larvae then mature into adults, exit the wood through small pin-holes they create (a tale-tale sign). They then lay more eggs in the wood and die after a few days. The new eggs hatch and the cycle repeats until the wood literally disintegrates. Yes, you can actually pick up a chunk of firewood and watch it crumble in your hands!

English: 1: The adult beetle burrows hole into... Credits: 3 Common Signs of Powderpost Beetle Damage

  1. The adult powderpost beetle burrows a hole into wood and lays eggs, carrying fungal spores.
  2. The larvae feeds on the fungus, which digests the wood, removing toxins.
  3. The larva pupates. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Powderpost Beetles In Your Firewood – What happens when they get into your home?

Here’s the scenario: You bring a small stack of firewood from the back porch into your living room and it sits there for a month or so waiting to be burned. During this time a few adult powderpost beetles emerge and lay their eggs on some unfinished furniture in your home, or find an entrance through the wall into your home’s framework or siding. Once they’re out and about, they pretty much have the run of your home. And remember, they’re pretty small and only need a pin-hole sized opening to get to unfinished wood. Since the larvae do their work behind the scenes, and the adults pretty much only emerge at night, you might not discover the problem until things literally begin to fall apart or crumble before your eyes.

Powderpost Beetles In Your Firewood – How to keep them out of your house.

  • Never store firewood inside your home.
  • Bring only as much firewood into your home as you will burn immediately–the same day.

Powderpost Beetles In Your Firewood – What if it’s too late and they’re loose in your home?

If you suspect a powderpost beetle problem — for example, you notice small pinholes in your furniture or siding or foundation, or you see tiny feces, especially near areas such as wooden porches, window sills and furniture, schedule a professional powderpost beetle pest inspection. This is one problem you do not want to ignore. Powderpost beetles, left untreated, can do as much damage to wood as termites!

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Powderpost Beetles In Your Firewood - Signs of Infestation
Powderpost Beetles In Your Firewood - Signs of Infestation
Powderpost Beetles In Your Firewood - How did they get there? What damage do they cause? How to keep them out of the house? What if it's too late?