Common powder post beetle

(Lyctus brunneus)


The common powder post beetle has been introduced to Germany through imported tropical wood. The beetle is up to 7 mm long, slim and brown-red in colour. Its wings have parallel sides and its hind legs are very far apart from its middle legs. The beetles are crepuscular and are good flyers.

The larvae, which are up to 6 mm long, require woods which are rich in starch and have a high protein content (e.g. limba, abachi, oak, walnut) for their development. Woods like maple, copper beech and softwood (low in starch and protein), as well as heartwood in general (low starch content) are affected very little or not at all. The beetle's exit holes have a diameter of 0.8 to 1.5 mm. The true lyctus beetle (Lyctus linearis) and the southern lyctus beetle (Lyctus planicollis) are closely related to the common powder post beetle.



Common powder post beetles are dry-wood insects, which are distinguished by the ability of their larvae to develop even when the wood moisture content is between 7 and 16%.

The common powder post beetle can be found predominantly in imported wood (e.g. in souvenirs or furniture). The damage is caused by the larvae eating pathways on the inside of the wood and the exit holes bored by the beetles on the surface. The damage caused is similar to that caused by woodworms. However, these beetles destroy the wood much quicker and more thoroughly.