How to Get Rid of Powderpost Beetle



There are 4 different types of powderpost beetles: Lycid, Bostrichidae, Anobiidae, and Creamycidae. The stage of the beetles where they do the most damage is the larvae. The larvae of all the beetles will reduce wood to a mass of very fine, powder-like substance, but the adults do very little damage.

Adult powderpost beetles appear once a year, usually during June. When the adult powderpost beetle appear in June, they leave small holes around the size of a pin in the surface of the wood and some leave a hole about the size of a pencil lead.

Lycitdae or also known as True Powderpost Beetles, are extremely small and less than 1/4′ in size; powderpost beetles Lycidae are flat and reddish brown to a black color. Larvae are white, cream colored and have dark brown head. The larvae of powderpost beetles (Lycidae) create tunnels in the wood as they become pupae and as an adult when they come out of the wood, the hole is the size of 1/32-1/16′ pinholes.

Anobiidae (Furniture and Deathwatch Beetle) attacks building timbers that are in poorly ventilated areas where there is moisture. Anobiidae powderpost beetles got the name Deathwatch beetles because from the ticking sound that the adult makes inside the infested wood. You will be able to hear them at a quiet night. These powderpost beetles can range in a size from 1/32-3/8′ long but the ones that attack the structures are around 1/8-1/4′ long. The anobiidae powderpost beetles are elongate and cylinder like. The first body segment looks like a hood which hides the head.

The Long-Horned or Round-Headed powderpost beetles feeds and lives in dead or dying trees, but they can also feed on living trees. The main reason on why the Cerambyciae powderpost beetles can come into the house is from firewood brought inside during the winter season. Old House Borers are found in older building but are becoming more common in newer buildings 10 years or younger. The adult old house borer powderpost beetles are brownish-black to black, semi-flat, and about 3/4-1′ in diameter. The exit holes that these powderpost beetles make are oval and around 1/4-3/8′ in diameter. The damage will have already occurred for several years before you might even notice the exit holes.


The powderpost beetles are found in stored lumber, rafters, joists, finished wood, and furniture products and pinewood. Also starch-rich sapwood of large-pored hardwoods i.e. ash, hickory, oak, walnut and cherry trees and structural timbers


There are several procedures to take to help prevent beetles from infesting wood.

  1. Inspect wood prior to purchase
  2. Use proper air-dried wood
  3. Seal wood surfaces
  4. Use chemically treated wood
  5. Use good structure design i.e. ventilation, drainage, and proper clearance between wood and soil to decrease the moisture content
  6. Use the central heating and cooling systems also to speed up the wood drying process.
  7. Sand and varnish the non infested wood
  8. Items that are held in value should not be stored in buildings outside such as in barns or sheds because these types of buildings are most of the time infested with powderpost beetles.
  9. If it is possible remove the infested wood form the premises.

As we described above, powder post beetles will leave holes when they inhabit the wood and will lay eggs because of this, we suggest that you use Timbor (TIMBOR INSECTICIDE & FUNGICIDE) which is a powder that you will mix with water to be used as a spray. You will mix one lb. with one gallon of water. Timbor (TIMBOR INSECTICIDE & FUNGICIDE) can possibly stain so it is not suggested to be used on furniture. Timbor should not be used on painted, varnished or sealed wood, or cellulose material. If the wood is drier than the normal moisture content then you need to apply by brush or spray two applications of the solution. You will spray this product using a hand sprayer (CHAPIN SPRAYER). Boaracare (BORACARE TERMITE) is a liquid that reacts faster than Timbor, it is used the same way as Timbor. If your furniture is severely infested, then it is recommended to fumigate it in a fumigation chamber, however, only by a licensed professional. If it is not severely infested, use aerosol products (PRO CITRA DL , CY-KICK AEROSOL) to spray only in places where you think that powderpost beetles have laid their eggs.

Timbor Boracare

These products can be used with this item:

Chapin 1 gallon Sprayer
Pro-Citra DL CY-Kick

Date: Tuesday, 12. January 2010 2:30
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  1. 1

    A very useful article indeed, and real do-it-yourself.

  2. 2

    How to treat infestation of post beetles in hardwood floor in house less than 5 years old?

  3. 3

    It kind of depends.
    Do you have a crawl space? In that case, you have to start treatment down there.
    We recommend using Boracare or timbor to be used under the floor.

    If you only have small spot of infestation,
    you can use aerosol products for the spot treatments.
    Of course, treating inside the source of problem will definitely give better result, though.

    If you have more questions, please e-mail me at
    and tell me more in detail how the infestation is at your home.

  4. 4

    I have a new (~2 yr old) oak timberframe house and have discovered active powder post bettles in a beam. The beams are coated with linseed oil. Will the treatment be sucessfull if I spray it on without sanding? Will it darken/stain the wood? I have found other holes but have not seen any activity. I was told that these are probably old. How do I know the difference between an old (inactive) and a new holes. I am watching for sawdust. Is there any other way to tell?

  5. 5

    It seems you have fairly good idea what to do.
    I’m very impressed!

    Sad thing is that there’s no other way to differentiate the active holes
    from inactive ones besides looking for debris / sawdust.

    About the treatment, we recommend that you sand the wood to remove the coating.
    That’s the best way. Another way is if the holes are on the surface
    (meaning they are not covered with coating / painting), you can do the surface treatment
    and the treatment will soak into the holes. But this method is not as effective as the other one.

    Let us know if you have other questions.

  6. 6

    We have a log home of rough poplar over 15 yrs old. Noticed the dust late last fall. We added a new addition of treated pine less than 3 yrs ago and completed stripped the entire house and restained this summer. What can I do?

  7. 7

    It depends on how bad your infestation is. If your infestation is not too severe, and you only see a few holes, you can just go ahead and use aerosols like Pro-Citra or Cy-Kick. However, I normally recommend people to use Timbor or Boracare.

    You actually have to use a sprayer with it (after mixing with water, of course),
    and it is better to remove any paints or coatings on the surface.
    What you want to do is completely soak the wood of the infested area with the solution.

    But before anything, do an inspection first. If your infestation is not severe,
    I’ll just say go with Cy-kick and spray it into the holes. It will leave residues
    and when the powderpost beetles start climbing out, they will come in contact
    with the residue and die instantaneously. However, with severe infestations,
    it will not be sufficient.

    I wish you a good luck.

  8. 8

    great info. thanks Brought furniture from very humid climate to very dry climate Noticed what looks like deathwatch beetles. Have holes everywhere,and yes I can hear what sounds alot bigger at night. Noone in my area seems to be able to deal w/this huge problem. Outside logs also have tons of holes. Help

  9. 9

    Well, I am facing an extensive infestation of what looks like carpenter ants and powder post beetles. I have been in my log cabin for almost two years(it was built in the 80′s)…The gutters had been leaking(previous owner) and had saturated the bottom log and sill oft he cabin…as we renovate we are finding the damage is extensive…and now I am seeing the pinholes and “eaten” wood…We really want to handle the problem ourselves, but how do we know we are treating the whole infestation…and if we call a professional..who do we call and how can we be sure they are not taking advantage…please help..very stressed about bugs!

  10. 10

    Usually, we would recommend Timbor Insecticide and Fungicide, but since it is an infestation on your furniture, we would advise not to use Timbor Insecticide and Fungicide because it could leave a stain. We recommend that you use Boaracare (BORACARE TERMITE). It is used for the same purposes as Timbor Insecticide and Fungicide, but it reacts faster. You would have to purchase a hand sprayer (CHAPIN 1 GALLON SPRAYER) to distribute Boracare onto your furniture. If the infestation on your furniture is severe, it is recommended to seek a licensed professional to fumigate it in a fumigation chamber. If the infestation is not severe, use aerosol products (PRO CITRA DL BOTANICAL INSECTICIDE, CY-KICK AEROSOL) to spray into the area where it is assumed the powderpost beetles have laid their eggs.

  11. 11

    This sounds really bad. Basically, we don’t know how long the cabin has been infested.
    The problem with log cabin is that it is perfect place for wood-destroying pests like carpenter ants,
    powderpost beetles, termites, and carpenter bees. Logs are often not treated, so these insects find it easy to penetrate.

    You would have to replace the logs that are severely damaged to the point it will be hazardous to any people inside.
    If you think you can salvage much part of the cabin and you really do not need to replace the logs, here’s few things to understand.

    Basically, there are four types of wood-destroying pests, as mentioned above.
    Out of these four, termites and carpenter ants will cause the most severe damages, as they dug tunnels inside
    a wood structure. Powderpost beetles and Carpenter bees will make holes on the surface, about 1/2 inches to 2 inches deep.

    Termites, you’ll have to call the termite controls. It’s really difficult for individuals to control them.
    As for as others, here’s what you can do.

    For carpenter ants, I recommend that you use Carpenter Bait Kit.
    It contains Advance 375 A Ant Bait and Maxforce Carpenter Ant Bait Gel.
    You might want to use bait trays for Advance 375 A Ant Bait. As for as Maxforce Carpenter Ant Bait Gel,
    just squeeze small amount of the gel (about 1/2 size of a person’s finger nail) on multiple places each time you apply it.
    where you have located the Carpenter Ants. Depending on how big the carpenter ants colony is,
    it will completely destroy the colony after multiple applications.

    You might want to use other products like Masterline Bifenthrin (which also kills termites as well).
    It will not only kill Carpenter Ants, but also Carpenter Bees as well.

    For Powderpost Beetles, use Boracare. It will penetrate into the wood, and kill the Powderpost larvaes.

    You’ll have to mix these two products with water and use sprayer and apply directed onto the surfaces of infested areas
    or on the insects. It will also leave residues on the surfaces of treated areas, which will continue to kill pests
    after it’s completely dried up to 3 months.

    When using a pest control company, and also to know whether you are treating the whole infestation,
    you really have to do good inspection. Again, Carpenter Ants and Termites will dug tunnels.
    Carpenter Bees will make a finger-size hole, and Powderpost Beetles will make tiny holes all over the places.
    For Carpenter Bees and Powderpost Beetles, wherever you see the holes, that’s where the infestation is.
    For the other two, you’ll have to remove a piece of the outer layer of a wall (in your case, you’ll have to cut it out
    from the logs that seemed to be infested. And since each log is separated, that can mean that you have to
    do it for each single one of them. But, if you see that one side is infested, and the other side the first log
    you inspect is not infested, you may be safe to leave that side untreated. I’ll say inspect anyway,
    but I know that’s a lot of work for you)

    When calling professionals, you’ll have to check after they treated to be sure that they are not taking advantage.
    I would trust big companies because for them, their reputation will make it difficult to do it otherwise.

    I wish you a good luck, and let us know what happens.

  12. 12

    I have a very old ( about 140 years) farm house with log support beams in the bassement. The logs have powder post beetle hole but the inspector said he could see no activity at the time we bought the home. I now have some damage in my bathroom wher moisture collected on the window. Will it be effective to spray the basement logs or is it too late? I cannot afford to have the entire house fumigated. Thanks! L Gronevelt

  13. 13

    Hello L Gronevelt,

    I would recommend using BoraCare Termiticide for your support beams in the basement as long as it is untreated wood. BoraCare is very effective with the longest residual time for the protection and elimination of powder post beetles.

    For damages indoors by powder post beetles, I would recommend that you do a spot treatment or surface treatment of the infested area with the BoraCare. You cannot do a broadcast treatment indoors. Wait until it is dry to come in contact with the applied area– give it 24 hours.

    If you want extra security. After you have applied BoraCare on the untreated wood, finish it with a polish. BoraCare’s product label states that it has a residual time that lasts for a life time. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact me again. Thanks.

  14. 14

    I have 1926 Tudor open porch with a powder post beetle problem. It is a highly peaked roof with painted wood beams. The beams with pin holes are reachable and I could treat them–but with what? I don’t know if I could reach the peak. Would the infestation move to higher ground if I treated the lower beams. I do see dust and holes but it looks like some major munching has been going on. Could there be two different problems?

  15. 15


    The best product I can think of for you, or at least the most powerful stuff, is the BoraCare Termiticide.
    It targets powder post beetles as well and is known to be very effective against them.

    I only recommend the BoraCare Termiticide, however, if the wood you are applying on is unpolished wood.
    If it has been polished, I’d recommend sanding it down, applying the BoraCare Termiticide, and polishing it back up.

    You can also use the Crack & Crevice I if you do not wish to go through all the work involved in applying BoreCare Termiticide.
    You would basically inject a straw into the aerosol opening and apply into the holes made by the powder post beetles. I would recommend you do a full treatment all the way up to the peak for security and prevention.

  16. 16

    After I submitted my original problem,Ihave had an entomoligist identify carpet beetles (positively) also powderpost/deathwatch probability. Another professional identified Sawyers. Sooo,I have begun taking up all carpet the concrete below (radiant heat) has wood surrounds that look crumbly.. Now I’m still leaning towards boracare and also the spray. Wht do you suggest? And do you sell Dynamite??!! This is frustrating..

  17. 17

    I have powder post beetles and wish to treat with Bora-care. Is it as effective to spray at this time of year as it is in the spring, as long as the weather is warm enough?

  18. 18


    Bora Care is an excellent product to use because it has got to be the strongest stuff for wood boring insects.
    The manufacturer states that it has a residual time for a life time.
    If you were to apply it now, it will definitely be effective until next spring!

  19. 19

    Hi, after doing some research online, I believe I have powderpost beetles in my new oak hardwood flooring. The infestation is small 4″ x 10″, but am getting about 2 new hole a day. My thought to get rid of them without replacing part of the flooring is to drill 4-6 1/32 holes and use a suringe (spelling ?) to insert the Bora Care solution.
    Do you think this will work? and Where can you buy Bora Care products?

    Thank You

  20. 20

    Hello! Powderpost beetles can be a pain in the neck! Actually, I don’t think that spot treatment will work for Powderpost beetles. The reason you see the holes is not because they penetrate the wood from the outside, but they lay eggs inside the wood and they eat from the inside out. The Bora Care solution is effective but not in that manner. It’s the most effective to spray the entire area or paint it on. You can dilute the 1 gallon solution with water and you use less water to dilute the solution depending on how heavy the infestation is. The product label on the back of any product should show dilution ratios. I hope this helped you! Good Luck!!

  21. 21

    I have powderpost beetles in my honey locust firewood. Will they stay in it all winter or once they become adults ,do they leave?

  22. 22

    Hello! Actually, for lumber and wood, yes, Powderpost Beetles are known so survive whole winters and will stay. They lay eggs, hatch and will live in the wood.

  23. 23

    I have just lost two of my aborviti and noticed dozens more dead in the neighborhood. I’ve inspected the trunks and there are many pinholes and larvae beneath the bark. Most of the adjacent trees show no signs. Can the Tim-bore be used on live trees and is the best product to use to prevent attack? Has anyone had any luck painting the trunks of live trees? How completely to you need to paint them to allow them to survive a mild attack?

    thanks, mike

  24. 24

    Hi Mike,

    I’m sorry about the losses of your arborvitaes. The pinholes and larvae beneath the bark are probably a type of beetle that is infesting the arborvitaes. Timbor would probably be the safest product to effectively use for this treatment. One 1.5lb bag of the Timbor mixed with one gallon of water and sprayed around the areas needed should do the treatment for your arborvitaes.

    Good luck with the treatment!! (:

  25. 25

    I have a friend who has a powderpost infestation in a cupboard near his kitchen sink. The inside of the cupboard where the pinholes are along with the frass are painted and possibly varnished on top of the paint. I am curious if I use timbor or boracare on this situation will it penetrate this surface? Or what other meens of application will I have to pursue?

  26. 26

    Boracare or Timbor is the most effective when the wood is sanded down or unfinished. The idea for powderpost beetle control is to let the insecticide soak through to the tunnels of infestation. If it does not soak through, then you can only target the adults that are already outside of the tunnels, however, the larva thats inside will not be effected. He needs to sand it down, treat the wood, and then finish or varnish the wood again. That is the most effective way of control.

  27. 27

    I have what I think is an active infestation of powderpost beetles in my hickory floors. The floors where installed in Jan. 2007. Our first dust covered pin holes where discovered in March 2007 and the problem is continuing to get worse each year. This spring we get anywhere from 5-20 new holes each day throughout our downstairs area of our home, 1200 sq. ft. We also find 2-4 beetles on the floor near the exit holes, some seem to be alive others dead. We consulted a hard wood floor company who said the beetles can’t live in this area I live in the Sacramento region of California; it’s too hot and dry. They also said the wood looses it’s moister each year and the beetles will eventually die out as the wood continues to dry out. What should we do? Continue to wait? We love our floors, but it seems like our problem is growing bigger each year not ending. Help…

  28. 28

    Hi Amy,

    You may want to try using Boracare. Boracare has the capability to penetrate through unfinished surfaces of wood. However since it is flooring you are having problems with I assume it has a finished surface so Boracare will only remain on the surface of the floor but will still be efficient in helping you eliminate the infestation to its minimum. Good luck!

  29. 29

    Hello. Sorry that this is a little late on post.
    We just moved in to a retirement building that is now an apartment complex. The wood looks very old and thin, we do seem to have a little bit of a beetle problem. After reading I’m pretty sure it’s a Powderpost problem. We can’t seem to find WHERE they come from, all we know is they show up in one main area. Each room in the complex is pretty small so.. There’s pretty much the kitchen / living room, and two small bedrooms and a small bathroom. They are pretty much all about 20-30 feet away if that. We’ve noticed that they seem to come out more so when it rains, but they have come out before. At first we thought it was the hole in our screen door, but after leaving that closed for many days and still having this beetle issue, we knew it wasn’t that.
    I don’t really want to go spend money on things that won’t cure this problem if I don’t know what it is.
    I can’t seem to find an exact picture of this beetle anywhere, all I can say is it comes pretty darn close to the Anobiidae style beetle.
    Any help or input would be great. I could also upload a picture and provide a link if necessary.

  30. 30

    Hi Bryce,
    It does sound like you probably have a powder post beetle problem, but I don’t want to say I’m 100% certain of that yet. I would love it if you sent us a picture to so we can try to identify your pest for sure for you. If in the time that it took for me to reply, you confirmed that you do in fact have powder post beetles, then I would recommend using either Timbor or Boracare to treat the entire wood area where the beetles seem to be coming in. You may also want to let the owner of the complex know. Powder post beetles can be as bad as termites and can also affect other rooms, so this problem should be treated ASAP.

  31. 31

    Hi, I recently bought what I had thought was a finished mask in Mexico. I got home and started to notice “sawdust” under the mask where I had placed it and upon inspection have found severl small holes. I now suspect powder beetles. How can I get rid of them. Can I use heat or cold? Should I be worried about them getting into the wood parts of my house such as floor boards and framing? I live in a climate that does get as cold as -40degrees C in winter.Thank you so much for your help!

  32. 32

    Hi Melissa,
    Well, that’s not a very fun souvenir, haha! Thankfully, powder post beetles generally aren’t as problematic as termites or carpenter ants. You should still keep an eye out for any beetle activity in other wooden areas of your home though; they can travel. I personally don’t know what temperature powder post beetles die at, but Boracare will do a good job killing them for you. Try looking up what temperature they die at online! Good luck!

  33. 33

    Hello, I recently pulled my log bed frame out of storage and set it up in my house. I started hearing a weird noise coming from 3 posts at night and noticed some fine saw dust on the floor.After research I believe this to be the death watch beetle. There is varnish on the entire frame. Is there anything I can do to kill these critters without removing the varnish?

  34. 34

    Hi Robert. Unfortunately, the only way to thoroughly treat for wood-infesting insects is to make sure the wood is bare or drilling holes into the wood. That will ensure that the wood treatment will soak through the wood and not stick to the surface.

  35. 35

    Whoa! do we need help! We’ve lived in this house for 45 years (it’s probably 55 years old). It’s made entirely of fir and redwood which was cut and milled off the property. The powder post beetles have always been in the fences, out buildings etc…’til now! They’re dropping out of the (open ceiling) beams into and onto everything. Short of pulling the roof off and laying down new beams I can’t see that there’s a solution. Your input, please!

  36. 36

    Well, in order to make sure that the insecticide soaks through the wood, you do need to make sure the wood is bare. It is difficult to treat beams though unless you are getting it professionally treated. You can also look into fumigation, however, there are restrictions and regulations on fumigation treatment processes. If you can find a way to get the insecticide to soak through the wood beams though, Boracare or Timbor are both great products to treat for powderpost beetles.

  37. 37

    We just bought a used table (Indian made) that is infested with wood beetles. We love the table and so are really sad about this – as well as about the cost of the table and the cost of fumigation – and the possibility that even fumigation won’t work.

    We don’t know what to do. There is a 7 and a 2 year old in the house and a newborn due very soon so we don’t want to do anything that would be harmful to them.

    Fumigation is an option but is it OK to bring it back into the house with the kids afterwards? Does the poison gas stay in the wood – this is a dining table.

    I was wondering if orange oil works at all?

    Or what about fumigation and then orange oil to stop them returning?

    We live in Southern California.

    Thank you

  38. 38

    Hello Michelle, Fumigation is very expensive but it is effective if done properly. Also, most insecticides that are used for fumigation does not leave a residual. That means that once the insecticide has cleared, it is no longer effective. As long as you give it ample time after the fumigation for the chemical to dissipate, then it will be okay for you to bring the table back inside the house.
    Orange oil is said to be effective against many crawling insects. As you may know, it is a more organic or natural type of insect killer so you may be interested in that. We only have 1 spray though that has an orange oil based active ingredient but that is just a knockdown residual and will not penetrate the wood. It will also not be an effective preventative for wood beetles. If you have any other questions, you can always call us at 1-800-788-4142.

  39. 39

    it seems we have beetles in our hardwood flooring that is 3 months old and is a new home. our floors are stained and varnished what do you recommend we use to get rid of these insects. they are in the entire home not just one spot
    thank you connie

  40. 40


    I live in a mountainous area of France (850 meters above sea level). We’ve recently renovated an old barn and now live in it. I’ve just noticed some fine powdery dust on the floor below one of the original oak beams. I can see tiny holes in the beam but there are holes in most of the beams anyway (they’re 200 years old). They were treated during the renovation. I see on the net that most wood boring insects are active during the summer months. Right now it’s winter and temperatures falling to -2 at night. So, is this likely to be some sort of woodworm problem at this time of year? Thanks for any help.

  41. 41

    Unfortunately, for wood infesting beetles, you have to treat the wood directly. In order to do this, treatments with insecticide like Boracare and Timbor must be allowed to soak through the wood. You can drill holes and inject or paint it on or you will have to sand down the finishing so that the wood is bare.

  42. 42


    For wood infesting beetles, if the temperatures are warm enough and there is enough moisture, they will begin to emerge or stay active. This can prove to be a problem indoors because the temperature is usually maintained at a constant warm temperature. You should use Boracare or Timbor to treat for wood infesting beetles. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to contact us again.

  43. 43

    HELP! I had my house spray for termites and know they say I have carpet beetles. I fist notice them in my window and sliding doors. and know they are upstairs in two of my rooms. Also can they be harmful to people and animals. I am so worry about this. Also if your house has been treated for termites I though it would kill any insect in my walls of my home. please help. I am going nuts.

  44. 44

    Hi Laura, Termites and Carpet Beetles are totally different insects. In fact, although pest control is a broad term, many professional companies separate termites from the rest and will call it termite control because the methods of treating them are entirely different. Also, treating for carpet beetles is not difficult, but sometimes it may require setting up traps as well as spraying. Carpet beetles will not harm people and only the animal based fibers like wool fibers and etc. Over an extended period of time though, they can really damage carpeting, upholstered furniture, and clothes, so it is important to treat them as soon as you can. If your pest control technician has treated for termites, although it may kill the carpet beetles if the beetles come in contact with the treated area, it is not totally effective for carpet beetle control. Also, most termite control products are meant for outdoor control or is specifically labeled for termites. You will have to use a different insecticide for carpet beetles. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to contact us again.

  45. 45

    I have 2 triangular shape tennis ball size sawdust piles on two corners on two shelves on the garden window that hangs partly outside in my bedroom. I noticed the piles a few months ago and swept them up, but they just came back. I now see what looks like black dots of bug droppings mixed with the sawdust all over the windowsill. I do see a few tiny winged bugs along the wall edge and have noticed a few small beetles on the floor and in the nearby bathroom. At first I thought it was termites, but after researching think it could be powderpost beetles. I am just wondering if it could be termites both. I live in an apartment and it is just freaking me out, cuz I wonder if they can get on me when I am sleeping and on other things of mine. I have left an urgent message with the apt after hours. I wonder if I should just keep cleaning up the sawdust and get por citra or cy-kick aerosol to use regularly, after the apt. complex does their thing if it comes back.

  46. 46

    Hello Aly,
    Tennis ball size sawdust piles are quite amazing. I’m not sure if they are from either termites or from powder post beetles. You should definitely get an inspection done by a professional so that they can accurately identify the pest for you and then treat accordingly. Cy-kick is a good general bug spray but it has no residual (or a very a short one at least) and so you will have to apply it once every few days if you choose to use Cy-kick. That is the same for ProCitra. It would be the best to identify the pest first and then treat the pest infestation according to what you find out because you will be able to use better products to totally eliminate the problem. I hope that helped. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to contact us again.

  47. 47

    I am really impressed with the depth of your knowledge and have gained a lot of information from the posted comments. We are in a 6 year old house and for the last 6 months or so, I have noticed fine sawdust on the items stored in the partly finished(concrete finished floor) storage room in the basement. The storage room is large and the sawdust is mostly on one side. My online research made me aware that it seems like powderpost beetle infestation. Also, couple times last year , I have seen some dark brown/black beetles on the carpet in the finished rooms in the basement as well as on the main and upper floor. Are they carpet beetles? I didn’t see them again this year. What should I do? Appreciate your suggestions.

  48. 48

    Hello Sumib,

    The best thing to do is to have an inspection done to your property so that you can identify the pest. You can also take samples to a local pest control technician and they may be able to help you identify the pest. Before any pesticides are applied to your home, we definitely suggest that you have the pest identified so that you do not misapply any pesticides. Until you can find out what the target pest is, we cannot suggest any insecticides for you.

  49. 49

    Hi Sunny!

    our hundred year old house in the Rocky Mtns. just north of montana is showing signs of powder beetle I think. For a couple of years now, fine powder has been dropping, lightly and consistently, in one area in the corner of my kitchen. Occasionally an exoskeleton of a larvae falls out too. The infestation is hidden behind trim, and the removal of the trim does not expose the problem, so we cannot access it. We might never treat this issue, as we are due to build a new home. My question to you is, how dangerous is the dust and perhaps, fecal residue, to my very young children? I do not keep or prepare food there, but is it dangerous to be eaten or breathed in?

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge! – Carmen

  50. 50

    Hi Carmen,

    Of course, anything that is foreign that enters the body can have adverse side effects, especially if your children has asthma or allergic reactions to dust and etc. However, I don’t think that there has been no proven research that the sawdust piles or feces of powderpost beetles have a direct link to disease. We recommend vacuuming daily. You should treat the home, but if you are building a new one, you want to make sure that you take all precaution and treat the new home before the wood is finished so that you can try and avoid problems like this in the future. We recommend Boracare or Timbor.

  51. 51

    i have a powder post problem in a 82 year old old cabin more inside than out. beetles came in with the fire wood. inside of the cabin was varnished 82 years ago. This summer I sanded the most infected areas and then brushed on Boracare. I cant see that my efforts had any effect on the population.Now what to do??. Can I add boracare to the varnish then apply it to the logs to seal the surface or should I spray Cy-kick on invected areas. Please help. Thankyou.

  52. 52


    Thank you for contacting us. It is difficult to treat just one or even just a few isolated spots if the wood is a part of the structure. It is not recommended to mix the Boracare with the varnish before application. Although it is alright to treat with Cy-Kick for powderpost beetles, you will only receive a short residual treatment. Unfortunately, for a structural infestation, you are limited on what options you have. Although it is costly, sometimes it is the only option to fumigate the structure for complete eradication and control. I apologize for being unable to better assist you.

    Best Regards,

  53. 53

    I have bamboo flooring in my home. We noticed very small holes, about the size of the tip of a pen. They are powder post beetles. They are now just in one bedroom, but we have been told that there could be eggs in the flooring in our entire house, which is 2,000 sq feet of flooring. The floors are bamboo from China and were installed about 8 years ago, but the problem just surfaced about 6 months or so ago. If we just treat one room, is it possible other eggs will hatch later in the rest of the house?
    Someone told us the eggs can lay dormant for 20 years, is that true, and if not, how long can they remain dormant?
    A few pest control companies have told us the only way to kill all the eggs is to fumigate the entire house.
    Please let me know.
    Thank you.

  54. 54

    I have called terminix for my powderpost beetles only to find they do not fumigate here and they would have to get their ppl in California to come here and the cost 7 grand which i cannot do. will a mixture of borax and water injected into the wood kill the eggs and larva?

  55. 55

    Hi Bob,
    Honestly, I don’t think they can remain dormant for up to 20 years. But for an infestation that size or even structural infestations will require a fumigation treatment. Unless you are willing to sand down past the sealer and directly to a bare surface of the wood to treat with a liquid insecticide, usually fumigation is the only other option for powder post beetle treatment. Fumigation is done professionally and we do not recommend doing a DIY fumigation treatment. Firstly, equipment is costly and not readily accessible, and secondly, it is potentially very harmful if you are not following all precautions. I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to better assist you, but if you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact us again! :)

  56. 56

    Hi Robin,
    It really depends on where you are trying to treat. Liquid borate treatments are really the most effective for powder post beetles when the borate fuses with the wood. That means that the treatment must soak through the entire piece of wood. You will have to apply it to a bare side of the wood and if the area you are treating is finished with a sealer, you will have to sand down the sealer to get to the bare wood. If you cannot do this or if it is a structural infestation that you are dealing with, unfortunately, the only other effective treatment is fumigation. You should not depend on just one company to give you a quotation for treatment. Call different companies to find out quotations for fumigation. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to contact us again.

  57. 57

    Borate is toxic when burn so that isnt a choice, any ideas besides trying to get the wood dry fast as possible. Thanks again.

  58. 58

    Hi Richard,

    Unfortunately, we do not have an answer for your inquiry. I’m not quite sure if there is a method to dry out wood faster. I apologize. If you have any other questions though, feel free to let me know. Thanks.

  59. 59

    Hello, we purchased a TV/storage/entertainment center 12 years ago and noticed within the past couple of years (maybe longer) small holes the size of a pin around the molding of the furniture. We honestly didn’t think anything of it and then decided that we would use the piece in your basement as a service bar to cut down on cost with purchasing a new piece of furniture. We don’t have plans to resurface but have removed the hardware, plan to put in a counter, etc… but after reading the posts, it sounds like we need to put a hold on our project. I would like to send you a couple of photo’s to get your thoughts. Also, with the age of the furniture just want to get your thoughts if having the home fumigated is recommended to prevent any other issues with our other wood furniture.

  60. 60

    Hi Craig,
    Yes, please send us the photos to and we can kind of get a better feeling for what you are describing. Our technicians can help you once they look at the pictures.

  61. 61

    We bought a piece of old furniture, refinished it and placed it in our home. Started noticing the dust on the floor and several holes, so we thought something was inside the wood, but had never heard of powder post beetles. We placed the furniture in our garage until we could figure out how to treat it. Now, we notice the pin size holes on the wall in our garage, which is unfinished wood, so I’m guessing the beetles exited the furniture and entered the wood on the wall. If we treat with Boracare, will that be sufficient??? Can we ensure it kills the beetles and they don’t go further into the structure of our home? Thank you in advance!

  62. 62

    Hi Kelly,

    Boracare is one of the top recommended products for wood-boring pests like powderpost beetles because if it is applied correctly, it will soak through the wood and fuse with the wood giving you an indefinite residual time. We cannot say if it has spread into the rest of the structure of the house or not, but if you get an inspection done, they will be able to tell you. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to contact us again.

  63. 63

    I have a 50 year old shabby house that we’ve been fixing up as time & $ allow. 2, 3 or maybe 4 years ago the kids brought some rotten wood from the backyard in the the room for some project they were going to make. The wood was in there for at least half a day – too long ago to remember for sure.

    We just had the wood floor in there refinished last week. There are little holes all over the oak, in random boards that I noticed when it was first sanded. The floor refinisher said that’s common for second grade oak however, no other oak floor in my house or my neighbors has those holes.
    I’m really concerned my kids brought post beetles in the house. Do I need to unfinish this floor to figure out & address the infestation? I’m thinking I should spray the crawlspace under the house with Boracare this spring to be safe however, that won’t address the oak in the boy’s room. You’ve mentioned Boracare isn’t OK indoors. We’re talking under 300 holes @ this point. Should I drill the holes a little to break the seal of the finish & spray something in there?

    When I went in there just now to see how many holes there are, all the holes were sealed shut last week and now about a dozen have been broken open so I am guessing some bugs came out? Should I treat any furniture/trim we put in that room with a preventive to make sure the bugs don’t spread? Should I put packing tape on the floor over the regions with holes to catch any bugs that exit out?
    The room is empty except for some oak trim we’re getting ready to put in so now is the time to address whatever is going on. I can send pictures if that’d help.

  64. 64

    I am fairly certain that I have a powder post beetle problem in my hickory floors. We installed our floors in our house in 2010 and just started noticing the pinholes in a few planks of wood in December of 2012. I monitored the situation for a while and saw sawdust one day that wasn’t there the previous day. One particular plank was much worse than all the others so I decided to tear it out. once I tore it out I noticed pin holes on the edges of adjacent boards to the 1 that I tore out. I removed all of the boards that had visible damage, i.e. pin holes. I also noticed that they were pinholes extending down into the plywood subfloor, which I thought was strange because I thought they only inhabit hardwood. After reading some articles online I read that I should use a boric acid powder and mix it with water to create borate. I put the solution in a spray bottle and sprayed the subfloor and the edges of the adjacent planks that didn’t have any holes in them. I saw one beetle crawling over the area about an hour after I treated it. I am worried that there are more that I am not seeing. I mean there could be thousands under that floor that I cannot see. I don’t want to install new planks until I know I fixed the problem. Is there anything else I should be doing? We live in South Dakota. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  65. 65

    Hello Sam,
    For an infestation that large, you will have to used insecticide treatment or fumigation. We do not specialize in fumigation treatment and you will have to hire a professional for a fumigation treatment. Typically we recommend Boracare for a powderpost beetle treatment. All treated areas must be avoided until the Boracare has completely fused with the wood, which can take several hours, even up until a whole day. This means that your boys will have to vacate the room and stay away for a period of time. Also, for the insecticide to be effectively applied and treated to the wood, the wood must be bare. This means that all sealants and finishing must be sanded down until the wood is bare. Unfortunately, these things are required for treatment for powderpost beetles. We recommend having a professional inspect the area so that they can give you a more accurate diagnostic about the infestation and the options for treatment. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to contact us again.

  66. 66

    Hi Scott,
    Unfortunately, for large infestations like this that cover a large area, it is the best to get an opinion from a professional that can actually go and inspect the area. Usually, fumigation will be the option that will treat this large space at one time. Otherwise, you would have to consider manually treating with a liquid like Boracare, which will require you to sand down the wood until it’s bare so that the liquid can permeate through the wood and fuse with the wood. I apologize that I was not able to better assist you, but my best advice would be for you to go and have at least an inspection done by a professional and sort of weigh out your options that way. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact us again.

  67. 67

    I found on small hole on my bedroom floor, which is stained and sealed hardwood. Do you suggest applying boracare to the pin hole or should I go under the house and spray the spot under the bedroom? I have a dog, is this stuff too toxic for pets?


  68. 68

    Hi Kathleen,
    The safety of the product will depend on what product you use. It will be difficult to apply insecticide to just one pinhole. It is the best to reach the side of wood that is not stained and sealed and if that is under the house, it is possible that it will be more effective to treat from under the house. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to contact us again.

  69. 69

    I recently came across a small area of very fine powder on my basement floor (it wasn’t there a few months ago; house is 12 years old). It wasn’t in a pile but in an area about 1′x2′. While searching the internet for a cause I came across powder post beetles. Upon inspection of the rafter above I see pin sized holes along the whole beam (several dozen) above where I found the powder. I didn’t find any other beams or structure that have the holes. The holes were all along the beam but the powder was only at one end near the wall. Should I consider spraying/brushing Timbor on the beam?

  70. 70

    Hi Kevin,
    Timbor may leave a visible residue because it is a dust form. We recommend using Boracare. However, for borate products, it is best to apply the product on bare wood. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to contact us again.

  71. 71

    I have a small infestation of powder post beetles on ash flooring that was installed 3 years ago. I was advised that the beetles would die out on their own, but each year I get a few more sites with about 20 – 30 holes. I have had the floors stripped (all 1200 sq feet)and am going to treat with Tim-bor. How long does the flooring have to stay unfinished after the treatment? I need to schedule the flooring company to come and re-sand, stain and varnish the flooring. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

  72. 72

    Hi Angela, Thanks for uploading your question. The flooring just needs to be unfinished for the initial Tim-bor Treatment. Once it has been treated with the Tim-bor and fully dried you can re-sand and stain the flooring.

  73. 73


    Do any type of those beetles pinch or slice humans? My husband and I have a log bed and I think they may be there.. we’ll find one in our bed occasionally and we find it because we wake up from the pinch or slice it is doing to us.


  74. 74

    Beetles can bite humans. However powder post beetles spend most of their time inside the wood, therefore unless the infestation is severe you are not likely to see them forage out in the areas. If you are seeing small pin holes in the wooden frames of your bed, they are likely to be powder post beetles. For treatment I would recommend BORACARE. If the wood has a finishing you may need to sand it down so that the boracare is able to be applied on the bare wood. This will allow the chemical to thoroughly seep through the wood for best treatment.

  75. 75

    We have a rather large barn that is very old…the framing timbers are estimated to have been erected in the early 1700′s. With the extremely wet May/June that we had here in Upstate NY, we have noticed an alarming amount of activity that we suspect to PPBs.I believe that fumigation costs for this barn would be prohibitive. Can BORACARE be used as a more economical method to slow down or stop further damage? Are there alternative products that may be more effective for local applications on a larger scale?

  76. 76

    Boracare can definitely slow down their activity and eventually help you get rid of the Powder Post Beetles. Boracare is best applied on wood with unfinished surfaces so that it may be able to thoroughly penetrate deep into the wood.

  77. 77

    I have anobiidea beetles (powderpost) in the floor joist. We only see one joist wth holes however ther is insulation stapled in place so the floor boards cannot be inspected without removing the insulation. The flooring directly above the joist is plywood. What is the liklihood that the flooring is infested above the joist. I am assuming that the plywood is 3/4 inch. The age of the house is 30 years. We are planning to have a professional come in to treat the all of the joists under the house but is it necessary to remove the insulation net to the floorboards?

  78. 78

    Hi. I just moved into a newly constructed condo and sprayed the inside with home defense prior to moving in. Then a week later noticed these dead light brown or redish beetles all over the place. Not a ton but in most rooms at least one or two. I noticed a wall that looks like it has random holes I n it but it seems to be plaster not wood. How can I tell if they are powder post or foreighn grain beetles. The holes do not have any residue or powder. I have collected some samples but the teo beetles look so alike. I find them mostly in the window seals.

  79. 79

    Situations like this need to be directly inspected to determine the severity of the infestation. IF you are planning to have a professional come in to treat the joists, he may be able to tell you if it is necessary to remove the insulation net to the floorboards. Sorry we couldn’t be much help with this one. Good luck!

  80. 80

    They could be beetles foraging in to overwinter since it is getting colder outside. How large are the beetles? Most grain beetles and powder post beetles are going to be very small compared to other species of beetles. In this Fall season, it would be best to treat around the outside perimeter of your home as well as along all window/door frames, crack and crevices to prevent them from foraging indoors.

  81. 81

    Thought nothing of dismantling an old historic house and re-building it on a new lot. We used the old, original beams. We thought that would be charming. during the resurrection we did not notice pin holes at all. Now 12 years later the “ticking” keeps us up at night. We removed clapboards from the exterior to inspect and the beams were chewed through. To the extend they were not supporting the structure. There was a moisture problem, which has been corrected. The contractor balloon framed around the damaged beams. We had an exterminator spray the timber prior to re-siding. Now we hear ticking again. Should we remove all the cedar siding again? Or should we bite the bullet and fumigate? I could never sell this house in this condition.

  82. 82

    You can fumigate the house but fumigation will not restore the damages which could have an effect for the support on the structure. First you should inspect the area again to check the severity of the damage. Also check to see if the damages are reoccurring in the same area or other areas. If it is the same area even after the wood was treated, the area should be checked again for possible sources of moisture problems. Also check the surrounding areas of the infestation source so that you can make sure all areas are treated before sealing the place back up.

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