How To Get Rid Of Powderpost Beetles

I’ll be using this article to give tips on how to get rid of powderpost beetles.

If you’ve never had any problems with powderpost beetles, then count yourself among the lucky few. They are wood-infesting beetles who don’t care how much you spent on your woodwork!

The good news is, just like every other pest, they too can be eliminated.

Keep reading!

Powderpost Beetle Treatment

Contrary to what you may think, it’s not the adult beetles that attack your woodwork, it’s the young larvae. Strange right?

The reason for this is that adult powderpost beetles do not live long. Most of them will be dead right after they have laid their eggs. As soon as the young are released from the eggs, they get straight to work and start chewing away at all the woodwork around them.

The bad news is, the young beetles take up to 5 years to fully mature, which means they will keep causing damage to your property for 5 whole years!

I bet you’re not going to allow that to happen. Now let’s get into how you can get rid of them.

How To Kill And Get Rid Of Powderpost Beetles

Household beetles love your areas so if you can eliminate the moisture around your woodwork then you will reduce their occurrence.

If it is out of your hands to control the moisture, then the only alternative left would be to remove the infested wood and replace it with insect and mold-resistant wood.

There are new types of wood preservatives that can repel the attacks of powderpost beetles.

You can also try to cement fiber-based wood to replace the old and infested wood.

There are localized wood treatments that can also keep your wood safe from these beetles. It works well, just as long as the wood has not been sealed, painted, or finished.

One major issue with direct wood treatment is that none of the powderpost beetle control products are capable of piercing through stains, paint, or varnish.

To treat wood that has been painted or varnished, the wood must first be sanded down to expose the wood surface. If not, the product will not be able to penetrate the wood.

Spraying any water-based protection on finished wood would just be a waste of time, as it will just slide off the wood surface like water.

After the wood has been sanded and the protective liquid applied, you can still paint or varnish the wood if you wish.

A wood injector seems to be a viable option for securing your woodwork against powderpost beetles. With this tool, you can inject pesticides directly into the wood.

To do this, you have to first drill holes in the areas of the wood where the beetles have infested, then inject the pesticide through the holes. Upon contact with the larvae, the pesticide will kill them immediately.

Do not inject through the exit holes, since they must be old and the beetles can use that route to escape.

Natural Treatment For Powderpost Beetles


Sprinkling Salt

Salt remains one of the most popular natural home and garden remedies for pests, powderpost beetles inclusive.

All you have to do is sprinkle an adequate amount of salt across the infested areas.

Borate salt works very well on thin wood, but the same cannot be said when sprinkled on thick or dense wood. The reason for this is simple, it lacks the required penetrating power for tougher wood types.

Replacing The Infested Wood

As I have mentioned before, replacing infested wood is another great way to get rid of powderpost beetles.

Some people may find the whole extermination process stressful and simply opt for a change of wooden structure.

The cost may be something to consider here. If the cost of changing the wood is significantly more than eliminating the pests, and you don’t have the budget for it, then disinfesting may be the only choice you have.

Using essential oils at home for disinfecting

Essential oils are also an effective natural means of tackling these beetles.

Oils such as eucalyptus and basil do very well when applied directly on the beetles or around the areas where they operate.

For essential oils to get the job done, you need to apply them for three days straight. One session would not be enough.

Eucalyptus and basil are great, but the most effective we have come across so far is cedar oil. It works very well, regardless of whether you’re using it at home or in your garden.

Removal Of Unfinished Woods

Powderpost beetles are more attracted to unfinished wood than they are to finished wood, especially when the unfinished wood is moist.

You can coat your unfinished wood with varnish or paint to help protect against the beetles. Paint and varnish also help preserve the quality of the wood.

Structural Fumigation For Powderpost Beetles

Here is an estimate on the cost of treating powderpost beetles.

Hiring a fumigation service to fumigate your home, infested furniture, and garden is a sure way to kill powderpost beetles.

I have to mention that this is the most expensive option, so you need to have a good budget for it. I’m talking thousands of dollars here!

It’s value for money though, as both adult and larvae infestation can be completely taken care of with just a single treatment.

The eggs however prove to be more stubborn, as they are not easily killed. The reason for this is the nature of their eggs. It has a water-like covering which makes it hard for pesticides to penetrate.

Hard doesn’t mean impossible though, you will only require more effort. Specifically, about ten times the amount of pesticide used in killing both adults and larvae is needed to kill the eggs.

You can only imagine how expensive such a fumigation exercise would cost.

This is known as the 10X rate in the fumigation industry. Once again, the cost can be pretty high!

Bearing this in mind, you need to be smart when dealing with a fumigation service. Make sure you hire a reputable service that will give you a written guarantee to fumigate all over again if the powderpost beetles are not completely gone. With no extra cost of course.

Powderpost Beetle Prevention

If you’re lucky enough not to have experienced powderpost beetle attacks, or maybe you just got out of one, then you should take prevention very seriously.

Take the following steps to prevent powderpost beetle infestation in your home.

Get A Warranty

As you build a new home, be sure to get a warranty from the builder or the person supplying the wood against powderpost beetle attacks.

Don’t Use Old Wood

There is a high possibility that old lumber would already be infested with powderpost beetles. Go for new, fresh wood instead.

Use Well-Preserved Wood

Any wood that hasn’t been dried and stored in the right conditions is a good candidate for powderpost beetle infestation.

Be sure to keep wood moisture less than 13%. You can use about 6ml of polyethylene on the soil beneath the pier and beam structures.

Increase Ventilation In Damp Areas

Allowing a good flow of air both in and out will help remove moisture from the wood.

Inspect Old Furniture Regularly

Old furniture might already be infested with powderpost beetles. The only way to be sure is by inspecting them regularly.

Be on the lookout for exit holes around the wooden structures. If you find any, then you can be sure that the wood is infested.

How To Eliminate Powderpost Beetles In The Garden

You can start by spreading salt all over infested wood. This can get rid of the powderpost beetles, although this measure is only temporary.

The salt can penetrate exposed surfaces with ease, but to be sure the job is completely done, you can spray some pesticides to kill the active larvae as well as the adults if they attempt to come outside.

Using essential oils such as cedar, eucalyptus and basil have proven to be effective against powderpost beetles.

Pests find these oils very harmful, rightfully so, since it kills them. There’s a small issue with using essential oils though, it doesn’t penetrate deep enough to reach beetles that are dug in deep. This means that the oil-treated areas need to be re-treated again within a very short time frame to get the best results.

You can also use Boric acids and borate salt to treat any infested areas. Before you sprinkle the salts, be sure that the surface you’re applying it on is moisture-free.

After eliminating the beetles from your garden, you’d do yourself a favor by conducting annual inspections over the formerly infested areas.

By doing so, you will easily discover all the risk factors that could cause powderpost beetle infestation.


Powderpost beetles are among the most destructive pests known to man. Their young larvae spend years destroying household woodworks that cost thousands of Dollars.

Follow all the tips in this article and your powderpost beetle infestation problems would be solved.

I hope this article on how to get rid of powderpost beetles has been helpful.

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