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WOOD BEETLES? FOOD BEETLES? FUNGUS BEETLES?

By Chris Williams on November 26, 2018.

We seem to have a serious infestation of tiny, brown wood beetles in our home. We’re finding them crawling around in the dining room and the kitchen. When I looked them up on the Internet, they look like powderpost beetles. We did find a section of baseboard in the dining room that has a couple of little holes in it. How do we stop the beetles and the damage?

C. W., Nashua NH

Don’t panic. You really need to have our technicians take a look at your situation. Call our office to schedule, and in the meantime, save some of the beetles in a little bottle for identification. Be careful about making an identification from the Internet. Many insect photos are incorrectly identified and many insects with very different habits look alike. You need professional training and a microscope to tell them apart.

POWDERPOST BEETLES USUALLY APPEAR IN SPRING

Adult Lyctid (Powder Post Beetle). Shutterstock.

First, what you describe does not sound like a powderpost beetle infestation, especially not at this time of year. In the winter, even indoors, beetle larvae feeding inside wood slow down a bit and adult beetles don’t emerge from infested wood until spring. See Is the Wood Damage From Powderpost Beetles?

STORED FOOD PESTS ARE ACTIVE YEAR ROUND

Sawtoothed grain beetle. Shutterstock.

It seems more likely that you could have infested food products in your kitchen cabinets. There are several tiny, brown beetles that will infest packaged or bulk foods (see Stored Food Beetles Will Eat Anything…Almost). The wormlike larvae feed in the food, then pupate in the food or nearby on shelves. When adult beetles emerge, they may fly to lights or wander, looking for a new food product to lay eggs in. It’s usually foods that are old or damp, or in poor condition that are infested and a heavily infested product can produce lots of beetles over time.

Another possibility is fungus beetles. These tiny, brown beetles feed on fungus that is growing on surfaces. See Fungus Beetles Mean Things Are Too Damp.

As far as the damaged wood in the dining room, it could be unimportant or it could be an unrelated pest problem. Again, our technician could determine whether it is even insect damage, if it is old damage, or if it is a current problem that needs to be addressed.

Give Colonial Pest a call today! We’re trained and equipped to resolve your pest problem, no matter the pest.

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