There exists numerous groups of wood-boring powderpost beetles all over the world, including the United States. Powderpost beetles come second to termites in terms of damage inflicted to structural wood within homes and buildings. The three most damaging groups of powderpost beetles are lyctids, anobiids, and bostrichids, and species belonging to all three of these groups can be found within the northeast states. Of these three groups, anobiid powderpost beetles are the most destructive and economically costly in the US.

It can be hard to make out the features of powderpost beetles due to their excessively small sizes, but all species from each of the three groups are generally smaller than an inch in body length, but most are less than half an inch. Anobiid powderpost beetles have cylindrical bodies that are covered in fine hairs and they are reddish-brown to dark brown in color. Anobiid beetles infest seasoned softwood and the sapwood of seasoned hardwoods. Areas of a home that are most commonly attacked by these beetles include beams, sills, joists, studs, subflooring and plywood, and woods like pine, poplar, beech and maple are preferred by anobiid beetles. It is not uncommon for anobiid beetles to attack furniture as well.

Lyctid powderpost beetles look similar to anobiid powderpost beetles in terms of color, and their bodies are elongated, but not cylindrical. They attack both softwoods and hardwoods, particularly ash, hickory, oak, maple, and mahogany. Wood paneling, hardwood floors, window frames, door frames and furniture are most prone to attack.

Bostrichid powderpost beetles, also known as “false powderpost beetles” do not attack structural wood as frequently as anobiid and lyctid powderpost beetles, but they still inflict costly damage to structural wood. These beetles attack unfinished woods, furniture and window sills. These pests can be eradicated from homes by means of fumigation, heat treatments, insecticides, moisture control strategies as well as many other methods.

Have you ever had a powderpost beetle issue within your home?