True Powderpost Beetle

True Powderpost Beetle Control: Protect Your Home

Facts

Scientific Classification: Lyctid

Class Order Family
Insecta Coleoptera Lyctidae

Description

Thinking about investing in hardwood floors? Lyctids grow and feed on hardwoods. The beetles lay their eggs in the wood and the larvae feed and destroy it.

Appearance

What Do They Look Like?

Size: True powder post beetle (lyctid) adults are 1/32 to 1/4 in (1-7 mm) long depending on species. Larvae are up to 1/4 in (6 mm) long.

Color: The adult true powderpost beetle is reddish brown to black. Larva is nearly white.

Characteristics: Adult has a long, narrow and flat body with sides almost parallel; head and often jaws can be seen in top view; antennae with 2-segmented clubs; wing covers are often with rows of hairs. Larva is C-shaped, with enlarged thorax, short 4-segmented antennae and legs with long claw.

Geographic Range

Around the world; about 11 species in the United States.

Food

What Do They Eat?

True powderpost beetles are wood destroying insects and eat wood cell contents: mostly starch with some sugar and protein.

Biology

Adult powderpost beetles (lyctids) are active at night, fly well and are attracted to light. A typical female lays (15-50) eggs in exposed wood pores, cracks and crevices but never on wood that is painted, polished or waxed. The larvae tunnel in sapwood along the grain packing their tunnels loosely with very fine, powdery flour-like dust. After several molts (2-9 months), the mature larva bores back near the surface to build a chamber and pupate. The adult bores out to the surface to exit and mates, doing very little feeding. Development time from egg to adult is 9-12 months, but can be as little as 3-4 months, or as long as a few years.

Detection

  • Round exit holes, diameter 1/32-1/16 in (0.8-1.6 mm).
  • Piles of very fine powdery dust which falls easily from holes as it is not packed tightly in.
  • Presence of emerging adults during late winter/early spring after which eggs are laid, and larvae begin to bore through the wood.