The Highly Destructive Pacific Deathwatch Beetle Is Considered The Most Serious Wood-Infesting Beetle Pest
The Pacific deathwatch beetle is part of group of wood-boring beetles widely known as powderpost beetles. They are common worldwide, but the Pacific deathwatch beetle is common in the southwest, and is considered by experts to be the most destructive and serious of the wood-infesting beetles. They can cause extensive structural damage to the wood and structures made with wood both in and around homes.
Pacific deathwatch beetles have an elongate, but also rounded, oval-shaped body with an enlarged hump that covers their heads. They are reddish brown to black in color and are around ¼ of an inch in length. Their larvae, which are the true culprits when it comes to the destruction of wood, are C-shaped and plump, with a creamy white coloring. The adult beetles lay their eggs directly in the natural pores and cracks of wood. When the larvae hatch, they bore into the wood, spending months and even years feeding and tunneling through the interior of the wooden structure. The larvae produce a fine, powder-like frass made up of wood particles and fecal matter from their feeding, which is packed tightly within the tunnels they create. This can sometimes make the wood appear blistered or uneven.
This powder is one of the first telltale signs of an infestation of Pacific deathwatch beetles. This fine powder gets pushed out of the numerous small holes the larvae create when they begin boring into the wood, which can be seen as little piles on floors, furniture, or the ground. These larvae can bore extensively throughout wood as they are feeding, leading to the weakening, disintegration, and even collapse of the wooden structure as long as the infestation goes unnoticed. As these larvae will spend months and sometimes years tunneling through wood, infestations of the Pacific deathwatch beetle can be very serious, with extensive structural damage to the wood in and around the infested home.
Have you ever discovered an infestation of wood-boring beetles in your home?