Wood-boring beetles are one of the most common pests that attack homes.
These beetles are attracted to wood, which is their primary food source. They bore into wood, making tunnels as they go. These tunnels can weaken and damage the wood, making it structurally unsound.
Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent wood-boring beetles from infesting your home.
In this guide, I will get into details, including what these beetles are, how to identify an infestation, and the best ways to get rid of them.
Wood-boring beetles are a type of insect that feeds on wood. There are many different species of wood-boring beetles, and they are found all over the world.
These beetles range in size from 1/8 of an inch to 1 inch long. They have cylindrical bodies and hard wings. The front wings are darker than the back wings and have ridges running along them.
Wood-boring beetles typically lay their eggs on the surface of the wood. The larvae hatch and bore into the wood, where they feed on it for several months. They then pupate and emerge as adults.
The adult beetles mate and lay eggs, starting the cycle all over again. A single female beetle can lay up to 100 eggs in her lifetime.
Wood-boring beetles can get into your home in various different ways.
The most common way is by hitching a ride on firewood that is brought into the home. If there are beetles or larvae in the firewood, they will eventually emerge and start infesting your home.
These beetles can also get into your home through cracks and openings in the exterior of your home. They can also be brought in on furniture or other wood items that are brought into the home.
Once they are inside, they will start looking for a suitable place to lay their eggs. And once the larvae hatch, they will start boring into the wood, causing damage.
How Do I Know if I Have a Wood-Boring Beetle Infestation?
There are several signs that you may have a wood-boring beetle infestation. And knowing these signs is an important first step in getting rid of them.
The first and most obvious sign of an active wood-boring beetle infestation is the presence of these beetles themselves. You may see them crawling on the outside of your home or flying around near lights.
If you have an infestation, you will also most likely see these signs:
- Small holes in wood surfaces
- Powdery sawdust around these holes
- Tunnels in the wood made by larvae
- Adults emerging from these holes
Keep in mind that if you notice white, non-clumpy powder on or near wood, it’s a sure sign that the infestation is still active. Woodworms may be hiding in the wood yet.
On the other hand, infestations that have been there for a long time have a characteristic yellow, clumpy powder.
This means that the woodworms will almost certainly have matured into adult beetles and departed the wood by the time you discover infestation holes.
If you see any of these signs, it is important to take action right away. The longer you wait, the worse the infestation will become.
There are several different ways that you can get rid of wood-boring beetles inside your home.
Some of these include:
1- Remove or Replace the Wood
The very first thing is to remove any infested wood from your home. This includes firewood, furniture, or any other wooden items that may be infested.
If the infestation is severe and you can throw the wood completely, you may need to replace the affected wood entirely.
This is especially true for the infestation that has been present for a long time on wood furniture, support beams, outdoor decks, hardwood floors, etc.
2- Use Insecticide to Treat the Wood
An insecticide is an effective way to kill wood-boring beetles and their larvae. There are many different types of insecticides available on the market.
You can use a spray-on insecticide or a liquid insecticide that you apply directly to the affected wood. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label carefully.
Another good way is to use an additive with paint, stain, polyurethane, or varnish and apply the mixed paint to the affected wood.
Also, you can spray the mixed additive paint around the door and window frames, as well as other potential entry points for these pests, which include:
- Corners of the rooms
- Under your furniture and appliances
- Along the line where baseboards meet the wall
This will help to protect the wood and prevent further infestation.
3- Use a Vacuum Cleaner to Remove Beetles and Larvae
If you have a small infestation, you can try to remove the beetles and larvae with a vacuum cleaner. This will help to get rid of them quickly.
There are also a few traps available to catch and kill adult wood-boring beetles, although these are not much common.
If you decide to use them, you can purchase these traps at your local hardware store or online.
4- Use the Sun or Freezer to Kill the Beetles
Killing wood beetles with heat and cold is one popular method that is used by many people.
For this method, you can place the affected wood in direct sunlight for a few days or in a freezer for at least 24 hours.
This will kill the beetles and larvae present in the wood.
For more severely large infestations, you may need to use a combination of these methods for a prolonged period of time.
- To ensure that the beetles are destroyed by cold, keep the infested wooden things at about 0 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 7 days.
- To destroy insects with heat you may need to raise the internal temperature of the wood to 140 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 to 4 hours.
Some wood-boring beetles are resistant to cold and heat. This implies that the length of time they are exposed is crucial in eradicating them.
5- Keep the Wooden Items Dry and Seal the Cracks
Wood beetles are usually attracted to damp and wet wood.
So, one of the simplest home remedies to get rid of them is to keep the wooden items in your home dry.
For this, you can use a dehumidifier or an air conditioner to keep the humidity levels low in your home.
You should also try to repair any water leaks or other sources of moisture in your home.
Additionally, you must seal any cracks or holes in the walls and floors, as these can provide entry points for these pests.
6- Use Natural Predators to Get Rid of Wood-Boring Beetles
There are a few natural predators that you can use to get rid of wood-eating black beetles.
Some of these include:
- Nematodes: These are small parasitic worms that can kill the larvae of wood-boring beetles.
- Ladybugs: These are small beetles that feed on other insects, including wood-boring beetles.
Nematodes and ladybugs can be purchased easily from your local gardening store or online.
7- Fumigate the Wood with a Fogger or Bug Bomb
If you have a large beetle infestation in and around your house structure, you may need to fumigate the affected wood.
While this isn’t very safe, it can be effective and fast in getting rid of wood-boring beetles.
For this, use a fogger or bug bomb by following the instructions carefully provided by the manufacturer.
You should do this in a well-ventilated area. Plus, make sure to cover the treated surface and leave the house immediately after using the fogger with your family.
You may need to stay out of the house for at least a few hours to allow the fumes to dissipate.
Are Wood-Boring Beetles Dangerous for Humans and Pets?
Just like other common carpet beetles, wood-boring beetles are not dangerous for humans and pets.
Common furniture beetles also do not bite or sting, so they should not cause any health concerns to people or animals.
However, their larvae can cause damage to the wood in your home. This can lead to structural issues and also make your home more susceptible to other pests.
If you leave the infestation untreated, it can also lead to expensive repairs that can go as high as $5000 or more.
So, it is important to take measures to get rid of wood-boring beetles as soon as you spot them in your home.
Wood-boring beetles can be a real nuisance as they infest and damage the wood structure in your home. Fortunately, there are a number of home remedies that you can use to get rid of them.
Some of the most effective methods include using heat or cold to kill the beetles, keeping the wooden items dry, and using natural predators.
You can also try fumigating the severely affected area with a fogger or bug bomb. However, make sure to follow the instructions carefully and take all necessary safety precautions when using these products.
Hi, I am Mark Garner a professional carpenter, woodworker, and DIY painter. I live in the small city of Peoria, Arizona as a semi-retired woodworker. I have started this blog with a simple motive to help you with my wood experience in this sector. If you like to know more about what I love doing and how it all got started, you can check more about me here.