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Wood-Destroying Insect Reports are not just termite inspections

powder post beetles

There has always been a misconception on what is reported during a Wood Destroying Insect report. Many people still call this report a termite letter. Actually there are many other things that a termite inspector must look for before issuing a WDI report. In this post I will talk about one thing in particular, Powder Post Beetles.

Powder Post Beetles are not as common or destructive as termites but they can and do infest homes in North Carolina. They are also capable of causing serious damage to structures. I want to keep this as simple as possible so, I will not get into the different types of Powder Post beetles or their life cycles. If you are a realtor or a home owner this is how to recognize evidence of this insect.

  • I usually see evidence in the floor system. Areas like the floor joists and support girders. Mostly in crawl spaces but also in basements.
  • The damage they create looks like small round holes in the wood. It almost looks like someone shot the wood with a shot gun.
  • The best way to determine if they are active or not is to look for fresh frass (saw dust coming from the holes). The picture above is an excellent example of active powder post beetles in a home I inspected in Raleigh.

If you see this in the floor joists or anywhere else in your home you should call a professional immediately. There are several treatment options and most companies will give you a free estimate. If this is found while your home is being sold, you will usually be forced to treat it and sometimes have a little less control over what company does the treatment.

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