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Pest Control/wood boring beetle


infestation mounds
infestation mounds  

infestation holes
infestation holes  
I have a finished oak dresser that is 10 years old.  Over the past year, I have noticed mounds of "saw dust"  on the ledge of the dresser.  I dusted it away thinking nothing of it.  It continues to come back and is multiplying.  What was a year ago maybe 3 mounds, is now maybe 25 mounds, getting worse over the past 3-4 month.  When I wipe away the mound of saw dust, there is a small hole under it.  From the Internet searches I've done, it seems like it is something in the wood making its way out.  The saw dust is fine, maybe a little bit gritty, a ball point pen fits into the hole. It seems like it meets the criteria for being a powder post beetle with the exception of the furniture is 10 years old and it is finished...I am stumped on what to do.  I have never seen any bugs or anything in the room/house.

My questions are: WHAT can I do to save this expensive piece of furniture? WHO can I contact to make an appropriate diagnosis and treatment. Do YOU have any ideas what kind of critter is in my dresser? When I called the name brand exterminators that everyone know, they basically told me I am out of luck because they don't treat furniture, just rooms.  Luckily, out of the 6 pieces of furniture in this set, this dresser is the only one affected.  Since it is a matching piece, we would like to save it.  Any recommendations would be highly appreciated!


Excellent photos. These are almost certainly exit holes from powderpost beetles. Oak furniture is somewhat notorious for these infestations, and 10 years old is not that unusual. Most infestations "burn themselves out" a few years after manufacture but some do not. See for info and follow the links to control. Your options are (1) treat the furniture with heat (140 deg. F. and long enough so that all wood is heated to this temp), (2) do nothing and hope that the infestation is not severe enough to do structural damage (most are not). I would probably opt for (2) unless I could easily and SAFELY heat the piece. Post a follow up if you have questions.

Jack DeAngelis

Pest Control

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Jack DeAngelis


I can answer questions about the control of pest insects, spiders, mites and related arthropods. These household pests include termites, carpenter ants, powderpost beetles, nuisance ants, bed bugs, cockroaches, fleas, wasps, and many others. I can also answer questions about using pesticides and other pest control tools such as baits and traps.


I am a retired university extension entomologist. I've taught and conducted research in urban and agricultural entomology. I've published over 70 extension publications, 20 research publications and several books about insects.

Ph.D. in Entomology

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