False Powderpost Beetle (Bostrichids)
False powderpost beetles are named for being sometimes confused with true powderpost beetles. They can get to be quite large, but typically the ones that infest homes are between 1/8″ and 1/4″ long, usually bigger than true powderpost beetles. Coloration can range from reddish brown to brown to black. False powderpost beetles have been known to bore into soft metals on occasion. This beetle doesn’t just lay their eggs on the surface, they actually bore into the wood and lay the eggs inside. Both hardwoods and softwoods are infested, but preferred is wood less than 10 years old. Sapwood is more susceptible than heartwood. After the larva hatches they burrow into the wood, and frass gets packed into the tunnel behind them. Typically you won’t see the frass in piles, as it is stuck in the beetle holes. If you do see frass, it won’t be pelletized like the deathwatch beetle. But it will be similar to the true powderpost beetle, only more coarse. The holes left are between 1/8″-1/4″ in diameter. A quick test to identify a beetle hole is to insert a ball point pen. The entire tip and angled part and then some will fit into the hole with this beetle, whereas others it won’t.