Three types of wood-boring beetles commonly attack furniture, flooring and other indoor structures. Powderpost beetles, false powderpost beetles and deathwatch beetles are all between 0.125 and 0.25 inches long, with reddish-brown or dark-colored bodies.
Powderpost larvae feed on hardwood species and pupate inside the wood. They exit the wood as adult beetles, creating 0.03- to 0.06-inch holes in the surface of the wood. Most varieties of false powderpost beetles prefer hardwood, but some species will also feed on soft wood. They create 0.09- to 0.28-inch holes in wooden surfaces, while deathwatch beetles infest both hard and soft wood and create 0.06- to 0.125-inch exit holes.
Homeowners may have to remove, replace and destroy infested wood to control wood-boring beetle populations. Apply insecticides to untreated wood to kill the beetle larvae, and heat or freeze small wooden items. Severe infestations often require the services of a trained pesticide technician who can fumigate the whole house.