Powderpost Beetles

Family Lyctidae



The Powder Post Beetle is the most common wood-boring beetle found in the United States. The Powder Post will seek out the starch, sugar and protein found in the sap of hardwoods such as hickory, oak and ash, creating small, round entry holes. These pinholes are a sure sign of an infestation. They also search for moist habitats, preferring a moisture content between 10 and percent.

Powder Post Beetles typically live about one year, with most of their time spent as destructive larvae. Female Powder Post Beetles will lay between 20 to 50 eggs. Powder Post larvae are usually smaller than 1/4 inch, are cream colored and c-shaped. Adult Powder Post Beetles have short antennae, small, sleek bodies measuring from 1/8 to 1/4 inch long and range in color from red-brown to black.


Two Powderpost (or Lyctid) species that are common in the Pacific Northwest are Lyctus planicollis LeConte and Lyctus brunneus (Stephens). The latter is frequently found in furniture made from bamboo. (Factoid Source: J. DeAngelis, Extension Entomologist, Oregon State University)