Some types of beetles feed on wood (hence the name wood-boring beetles). They can cause significant damage to wood structures because the beetles remain unseen while the wood is being eaten. Adult beetles do not eat wood; only the beetle larvae do. When you see holes in structural wood or in furniture, it is because the larvae have already left and you are seeing the exit holes. Generally, beetles are attracted to the same type of wood from which they were born. Wood-eating beetles cannot be effectively treated using sprays because they are located deep within the wood. Cowleys Pest Services offers beetle control in Mercer, Ocean, Monmouth, Middlesex County. Our professional beetle exterminators serve throughout Edison, Woodbridge, Lakewood and more. Contact our pest removal experts today to handle your beetle infestation.
The three primary wood-boring beetles are the Lyctid Powderpost Beetle, the Anobiid Powderpost Beetle, and the Round-headed Wood Borer (commonly known as the old house borer). The Lyctid and Anobiid Beetles are both small, reddish-brown to black beetles. The primary distinction is that the head of the Lyctid is visible from above and the head of the Anobiid is not. In both cases, the beetle larvae bore into and destroy the wood in order to feed on starch. The Lyctid beetle is attracted mostly to hardwoods including furniture, flooring, and cabinets. The Anobiid Beetle is mostly a softwood infestation problem especially with woods in damp areas. Both beetles are capable of causing extensive damage, in part from the wood being exposed to water damage from the exit holes.
Powderpost beetles are typically introduced into a home as eggs or larvae in firewood or in new molding that has been improperly stored or dried. Infestations are most likely to occur in hardwood flooring and paneling. The first sign of an infestation is usually fine talcum powder-like frass coming out of tiny round holes in the wood. Another indicator is the presence of small, elongated black beetles on windowsills and other surfaces.
Powderpost Beetles are the most destructive beetle pest of seasoned wood (Powderpost Beetles are second only to termites in the amount of damage caused to wood and wood products). These small, wood-boring insects damage both hardwoods and softwoods, although hardwood infestations are more prevalent. The term “powderpost” refers to the type of damage done by these insects. These beetles produce a powdery wood dust as they emerge.
Larvae of these beetles are often referred to as “woodworms.” Beetles spend most of their lives as woodworms in the wood where they tunnel in search of the starch and other nutrients they need. Development tile varies depending on temperature, moisture, and other factors but can last from months to several years. Once they complete development, the larvae tunnel back to the surface where they pupate to adult beetles. They emerge through round emergence holes pushing out a fine boring dust. Adult beetles live long enough to mate and lay eggs for the next generation.
What makes these beetles so potentially damaging is their ability to repeatedly infest dry, seasoned wood over many years and many generations of beetles. There are other wood-boring insects considered less important because they do not infest wood after the first generation thereby limiting their damage potential.
Several species of Powderpost Beetle are common in Monmouth County and Ocean County. Some species feed exclusively on hardwoods like the oak, ash, walnut, and hickory found in hardwood floors, baseboards, molding, door and window frames, wood paneling and furniture. Others prefer softwoods like pine used in structural timbers. Wood damage occurs slowly. Because Powderpost beetles only lay their eggs on raw wood, sealing hardwoods with paint, varnish, or wax usually protects wood from powderpost beetle invasion.
The time to watch for Powderpost Beetle damage is from April through July when adults emerge, leaving telltale “birdshot” holes in wood. When damage is discovered it n be difficult to determine whether the damage is old or evidence of an active infestation. A qualified pest control professional can verify identity and determine whether the infestation is active before beginning treatment.
Old House Borers are large insects with a life cycle that can extend to 10 years or more. The adults are often large colorful beetles with long antennae. The larvae are usually large, cream-colored with a distinct head capsule. These beetles attack only softwoods and the initial introduction typically occurs while lumber is being stored in a lumberyard. These borers create large tunnels whose exit holes can be up to ½ inch wide. The first emergence of these beetles typically appears within five to seven years after construction.
The earliest indication of an Old House Borer infestation is usually the noise made by older larvae chewing in the wood. The appearance of oval emergency holes is the next step. The frass consists of fine powder and small tightly packed pellets. Like other wood-boarding beetle infestations, the most structural damage is caused by water infiltrating into exterior emergency holes, promoting decay.
If you have a beetle infestation in your Mercer, Ocean, Monmouth, Middlesex County home, contact the pest control professionals at Cowleys Pest Services. We serve Edison, Lakewood, Woodbridge, Brick, Toms River, Piscataway, Trenton, Middletown, Princeton Junction, Old Bridge and surrounding New Jersey.