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Home > Bugs > Bugs of Homes and Structures > Powderpost Beetles

Powderpost Beetles

The term powderpost beetle refers to several species of wood-destroying beetles that belong to three different families of beetles (Lyctidae, Bostrichidae and Anobiidae). They re-infest dry, seasoned wood year after year and the wood becomes completely riddled with holes and galleries packed with powdery frass. Powderpost beetles can infest any untreated or non-sealed wood article. Some species only attack hardwoods, while others feed only on softwoods, and some species will feed on both. 


Southern lyctus beetle wood damage caused by powderpost beetles  
Southern lyctus beetle (Lyctus planicollis) are 1/8 to 1/4 inch long. Fine “face powder” boring dust produced from tunneling ash log. Larvae tunnel inside the wood; adults emerge from round exit holes, each less than 1/16 inch in diameter.  

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[Photos, left to right: Jim Baker, North Carolina State University,; Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University,]

It is the policy of the State of Maine to minimize reliance on pesticides. The Maine Department of Agriculture and the Maine IPM Council encourage everyone to practice integrated pest management and to use pesticides only as a last resort. The mention of pesticides in the fact sheets linked to these pages does not imply an endorsement of any product. Be sure that any product used is currently registered and follow all label directions.