Powder-Post Beetles


Powder Post beetles of the family Lyctidae are several species of small wood-boring insects which damage wood creating a fine, flour-like powder. The sapwood of Oak, Ash and Hickory/Pecan generally constitutes suitable food value for these Beetles. Infestations are usually discovered after noticing small, round holes in the wood surface, and the powder-like dust coming from these holes. These are exit holes where adult beetles have chewed out of the wood after completing their development. Most damage is done by the larvae as they create narrow tunnels in the wood while they feed. Adults mate and lay eggs on or below the surface of bare wood. The eggs hatch into tiny larvae which bore into the wood, emerging as adults 1-5 years later, usually during April – July. Homeowners are more likely to see damage than the beetles themselves, because the adults are short-lived and are active mainly at night. The key to avoiding serious problems from Powder Post beetles is early detection.