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What Kind of Pest Makes Tiny Holes in a Wood Floor?

Wood-boring beetles lay their eggs on interior and exterior wooden structures, including wood floors. The eggs hatch into grub-like larvae that burrow below the surface of the wood to feed. The size of the holes that wood-boring beetles make in wood floors will vary depending on the species.


Types

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 0125 and 025 inches long, with reddish-brown or dark-colored bodies.


Effects

Powderpost larvae feed on hardwood species and pupate inside the wood.  They exit the wood as adult beetles, creating 003- to 006-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 009- to 028-inch holes in wooden surfaces, while deathwatch beetles infest both hard and soft wood and create 006- to 0125-inch exit holes.


Control

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.