Lyctid Powderpost Beetle

Beetles in the family Lyctidae are usually referred to as powderpost beetles, or "true powderpost beetles". They share the name powderpost beetle with the family Anobiidae. The larval stage of lyctid powderpost beetles limit their feeding to hardwoods. Infestations are commonly found in hardwood floors, furniture, and fixtures. Infestations of lyctids can be recognized by the small,round holes which appear in hardwood floors, furniture, molding and fixtures, as well as by the presence of fine dust (frass). The frass may fall from the emergence holes and accumulate in small piles. Lyctid frass is extremely fine, and does not feel gritty when rubbed between the fingers (unlike the frass of anobiids, which has a gritty texture).

These beetles attack the sapwood of hardwoods, such as oak, hickory, and ash. Lyctids prefer the seasoned sapwood portion of hardwoods and wood with a moisture content between eight and 32%, but the greatest activity occurs in wood with 10 to 20% wood moisture. Lyctid larvae utilize the starch, sugar and proteins in wood, they cannot digest the cellulose in the cell walls. Adult females will chew a small amount of the wood to determine its starch and moisture content, and do not lay eggs in wood that has a starch content less than 3%. The larval stage lasts from two to nine months, depending on environmental conditions and the wood infested. The pupal period lasts 12 days to three weeks; the adult beetle cuts its way to the surface, leaving a round emergence hole and a small amount of frass outside the hole. Adult beetles mate and begin egg laying soon after they emerge from the wood. The greatest period of activity is in late winter and early spring.

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