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Elimination

The first step is to correctly identify the species because some anobiids, like the drugstore beetle and cigarette beetle, attack dry foodstuffs. Once you have located the infested wood, find the exit holes and check them again after a few months to see if any new holes have been formed. If so, it is best to call a pest management specialist because dealing with an anobiid beetle infestation can be a complex process. A specialist can come out and determine the scope of the problem and recommend the best solution. Sometimes the problem can be solved by simply removing the infested piece of wood.

Physical measures can be used to prevent anobiid beetles from moving in in the first place. The most important thing is to control the level of moisture in high-risk areas (e.g., crawl spaces, attics, and basements). Effective measures for reducing the risk of infestation include repairing leaks in the roof and plumbing, fixing drainage issues, and improving ventilation.

Actions

  • Get rid of the wood where the infestation originated (if possible).
  • For minor infestations, apply an approved pesticide to the affected section of wood

Prevention

  • Keep humidity as low as possible.
  • Repair water leaks quickly and dry out any wet spots indoors

Description and development

Anobiid beetles belong to the Anobiidae family . There are at least 260 species in North America. They can vary from 1 to 9 mm in length, depending on the species. Their bodies are cylindrical in shape and their coloring ranges from light brown to black. An anobiid beetle’s head is not visible from the air. The pronotum (first part of the thorax) is shaped like a hood and covers the head.

A few species, including the drugstore beetle and cigarette beetle, attack stored dry goods. See their respective sheets for more information. Other anobiid species attack wood. This sheet addresses those species. The most common are the Anobium punctatum and Euvrilletta peltata powderpost beetles.
After mating season in the spring, the females find cracks and other openings in wood to deposit their eggs. After hatching, the larvae bore tunnels and live off the wood. The wood moisture content required for growth is between 13% and 30%. After one to three years, the larva will return near the surface of the wood to excavate a cavity where it deposits its pupa (cocoon). The adult emerges from the pupal chamber by boring an exit hole 1.5 to 3 mm in diameter, depending on the species. The powder that sifts from infested wood is actually a mixture of larvae fecal pellets and wood fragments. The anobiid beetle life cycle (from egg to adult) varies from two to five years, depending on environmental conditions.

Habits

Anobiid beetles may attack living trees or dead wood. The larvae can live on coniferous (soft) wood and deciduous (hard) wood. Consequently, all wood is susceptible to anobiid beetle attack (wood in structures, furniture, door and window frames, etc.). Anobiid beetles usually only attack structures with wood that is ten years or older.

Tips

Injecting products into visible holes is ineffective because they are exit holes, which means the insects are no longer inside. Adults are rarely seen, so an infestation may not be immediately obvious. Exit holes and frass (a mixture of larvae feces and wood chips) may be the only clues.

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