Powderpost beetles are a type of woodboring beetles, which, unlike most woodborers, have a smaller prothorax, making their heads easier to spot. They attack seasonal trees, eventually reducing the wood to dust. The term “powderpost” stems from the fact that the larvae feed on wood and reduce it to a fine powder. Powder post beetles can infest many types of tools or tool handles, frames, toys, flooring, books, furniture, and structural timbers.
The old-house borer is the only one of its kind that re-infests the same wood that it came from. They are black or brown in color with shiny spots that look like eyes. The name is misleading, as they are more commonly found in new houses, especially if the wood is not properly treated during production and the house is built with wood infected with the beetle eggs. It is also due to the fact that the beetles need the higher resin content found in newer wood.
Old-house borers prefer softwood, especially pine. However, only the larvae feed on wood. The larvae can take up to thirty years to reach full maturity depending on environmental conditions. Typically though, they will mature in three to fifteen years, all the while damaging the wood. Once they have reached adulthood, they cut large oval shaped exits in the wood, leaving a fine powder around the escape hole. Adults are most active during the summer months.