After termites, wood-boring beetles are the most important wood-destroying insects in homes.
The amount of damage that wood-boring beetles cause depends on many factors. The type of wood (hardwood or softwood), the moisture of the wood, and the environmental conditions at the infestation site all affect the severity of beetle damage.
Only the larvae damage wood. The female lays an average of twenty to fifty eggs in crevices or on the ends of boards. When they hatch, the tiny larvae bore down into the wood (Photo 4). As the larvae grow, they bore to a point just underneath the surface of the wood, there they change into adults.
After they change, the adults cut a 1/32- to 1/16-inch circular exit hole in the surface of the wood. Often, powdery wood dust created by the beetle's feeding is pushed out as the adult beetle emerges. This is why they are called "powderpost" beetles.
Males and females exit at the same time and mate, and the new generation of females lay eggs again.
Fumigation is usually the recommended treatment for wood boring beetles. The penetration of fumigants can kill wood-boring beetles in all areas of the home. However, fumigants cannot prevent future wood-boring beetle infestations.