Round-Headed Borers (Old House Borers; Family Cerambycidae)

Round-headed borers are the larvae of beetles in the family Cerambycidae, often known as the “Longhorn Beetles.” Identification of the species in the larval form can be challenging (see this beautiful photo from a recent study in Scientific Reports). While these species are typically not a problem in homes, there is potential for an infestation to occur with unfinished wood at the right level of moisture, especially in log cabins and vacation homes.


Larva have slightly flattened elongate bodies, with hardened mouthparts, with very small legs (called prolegs). This factsheet by University of Missouri extension provides an excellent family-level identification guide to common wood-boring beetles that can be found in wood used for construction. More detailed click-through keys can be found on this webpage.

Roundheaded Borer

Huge larva of a round-headed borer species
Huge larva of a round-headed borer species.

pupal chambers in windthrown longleaf
Pupal chambers in windthrown longleaf.

Click on image to view full-size

Control Information


Dig Deeper – Scientific Studies

[Photo Credit: William M. Ciesla, Forest Health Management International,; Eugene E. Nelson,; Timothy Haley, USDA Forest Service,]