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What Are Wood Boring Beetles?

As their name suggests, wood boring beetles generally feed on living, diseased, dead, dying and decaying trees. With their eating habits, these insects play a significant ecological role because they help in decomposition of deceased plant life by tunnelling through them. However, they are also quite infamous for their annoying quirk of attacking harvested lumber, firewood and furniture, which makes them destructive pests as well. Sometimes, these critters lay their eggs in crevices and cracks of exposed timber as well, leading to a full-blown infestation that keeps boring through the material over a period of 2 to 5 years.

Wood boring beetles can accidentally be brought in through firewood. But even if two or three manage to invade, they can go on without showing signs of active infestation for a long time. They usually make oval or round exit holes in wood, the diameter of which range from 1/32 to ⅜ inches. These holes often have wood frass or fine sawdust and excrement falling out from them, providing telltale signs of the pest’s presence.

Literally anything that is made of wood can draw the attention of wood boring beetles. The targets may be wooden shipping carts, crates, pallets, picture frames, broom handles, wicker baskets, bamboo products, furniture items, artifacts and panelling. Full-growns of a few species can penetrate plastic, plaster and soft metals also.

There are certain species of the critter that mostly infest trees, like the ambrosia beetles, flatheaded borers, bark beetles and roundheaded borers. As such, they are not much of a threat to residences and commercial places. The ones which attack human dwellings include the powderposts, the false powderposts and the deathwatch.

Infestation of wood boring beetles can be prevented using several control measures. These are practically the most effective ones:

  •     While selecting wood products and timber, it is important to inspect them thoroughly.
  •     Firewood must be stored away from the house or office, and also debarked & split to ensure quick drying.
  •     Air or kiln dried wood is invulnerable to the attack of powderpost beetles to a great extent.
  •     Proper ventilation and drainage must be ensured to reduce moisture.
  •     Infested tree branches close to the premises should be cut off.


If you think that you are facing a wood-boring beetle issue, then immediately get in touch with our pest control professionals at R.I.P. Pest Management. If you found this post useful, then leave a comment below.

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