Occasional Invaders

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False Powderpost Beetle


Adults are reddish-brown to black. Larvae are nearly white.


Most species are long and cylinder-shaped, with rasp-like teeth, and heads pointed downward; so not easy to see from above. (Under the microscope it looks like the beetle is protecting its head with armor.)

Where Found

Around the world; about 60 species in the United States.


Sapwood of both hardwood and softwood lumber, and products that are less than 10 years old, with a moisture content of 6-30% or more.


Bostrichid larvae feed on wood cell contents, which is mainly starch, with some protein and sugar.


Female bostrichids bore into wood, making tunnels across the grain of the wood before laying eggs in wood pores. After molting several times, a mature larva bores closer to the surface, makes a chamber, and pupates. The emerging adult bores to the surface and exits. Development from egg to adult usually takes 1 year. For some species that breed in partially-seasoned wood, it may take up to 5+ years in fast drying wood.


Lots. Structural damage to lumber and manufactured products.


Does this tree make my frass look big? Adults are usually seen outside of wood from spring to autumn. Look for round exit holes with piles of powdery frass without pellets.

Good Riddance

Have a professional inspection to determine activity. If infestation is active, a licensed technician can control by:

  • Localized pesticide application, surface or injection.
  • Replacement of wood.
  • Fumigation.