Small Talk

Wood boring beetles?

November 7th, 2012
Different view of the holes.

Different view of the holes.

I need to crowd source this one. I have bugs in my bathroom cabinet (as opposed to bees in my bonnet; LOL). Can you help me identify what is it and how to treat it?


For years, I have been using, to my waning dissatisfaction, Terminix, who told me this is a powder-post beetle. The serviceman sprayed some kind of poison under the cabinet and killed it temporarily, but it came back again a few months later.

Now, I know you're going to say a residence is the biggest investment a person makes, so I should give it a lot of attention. The reality is, we are two working parents who are super tired at the end of the day and still need to tend to a small child. So, things fall through the cracks. We try. We sometimes fail.

When I get a free minute, I'm fixin' to make a pest-control company change (any recommendations?), but in the meanwhile, I want to figure out what the heck to do with this bug.

I don't see the animal, but I see what I think are big holes it makes while it burrows into the wood. It lives in the wood under the bathroom sink. It eats the wood and leaves droppings. The droppings are coarse, more like pencil shavings, than fine powder that the powder post beetles are known for. I also don't see pin holes that the powder post beetles are known for.

Thanks for the help!

The spotlight is on several holes I think the bugs live in.

The spotlight is on several holes I think the bugs live in.

Different view of the 3 holes.

Different view of the 3 holes.

There's wood rot but no other damage like pinholes.

There's wood rot but no other damage like pinholes.

The droppings.

The droppings.

Different view of the droppings.

Different view of the droppings.

8 Responses to “Wood boring beetles?”

  1. M:

    Hello Diane,
    I haven't seen that one before. I hope you can get rid of that pest.

  2. kuunakanaka:

    aloha Diane:

    we switched from Terminix to Environ Control, and have been pleased with our pest management. we still maintain Terminx for the termite warranty plan. we've had power post beetles attack our tansu.

  3. JMY:

    Hey Diane,
    I think we have the powder post beetles boring thru our bamboo floors. I've drilled holes and sprayed over-the-counter bug and beetle spray/poison into the holes and covered up. Seems to be working for now (no "volcanoes" of wood powder). Maybe you can try this sort of self-help home remedy?? Good luck

  4. Manuwai:

    Unfortunately you may need to fumigate. Spraying is not an effective way to control wood-boring pests. Powder Post beetles (Bostrichidae) are highly destructive and even a consideration in the world of international trade.

  5. Diane Ako:

    Thanks for the replies everyone!! So... you think this IS a wood boring beetle even if it doesn't totally fit the description?

  6. greenthumb:

    Diane, it wouldn't hurt to get an onsite second opinion. (Sorry, it's kind of hard to see in 2-D.) We left Terminix because they kept changing our tech and because of the level of service. Years later and we still get calls and mail even though we kept asking to be removed from their lists.

    Also if you think they are under/behind the cabinet base/wall, your most efficient option may be to pull that part out, see what's there and treat, and then replace with new wood. I know it's a drag but then you get the damaged part outta there, including anything that may have nested or whatever inside.

  7. Bugging:

    Big problem if you ask me hard to get rid of completely if already installed had them invade my home one company seems to have it more

  8. Bugging:

    Makes me wonder if we purchased from same company?

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