Old House Borer Beetle

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  • Colour gray to black
  • Size 20 – 25mm in length
  • Description have long antennae and visible grey hairs

How to identify Old House Borer Beetles

Adult old house borer beetles are gray to black in colour and about 20 – 25mm in length. They have long antennae and visible grey hairs. Their larvae are creamy white, about the same size as mature adults, and worm-like in appearance with the front part slightly wider than the end.

Signs of an infestation

Detecting old house borer beetles in lumber is difficult. At times, homeowners may see tunnels or hear chewing sounds. Exit holes in finished wood are sure signs of infestation.

Old House Borer Beetles Removal

Old house borer beetle control begins with keeping wood moisture-free. At the first sign of infestation, remove the wood in question, if possible. Adult old house borer beetles can re-infest wood and under the right conditions larvae can live inside wood for several years. Contact Orkin Canada to assess any old house borer beetle problems you might experience.

How to prevent Old House Borer Beetles from invading

To prevent optimal old house borer beetle conditions, keep wood dry by using vapour barriers and maintaining heating and ventilation. Remove recently cut or dying wood from the property, especially during the pests’ spring and summer mating season. Choosing kiln-dried and varnished wood is best to prevent infestations.

Habitat, Diet, and Life Cycle


Old house borer beetles live in many regions across North America. This includes British Columbia and much of the Yukon. They attack mainly softwood. Moisture is a main component of their ability to infest wood. In homes, they live within framing in damp crawl spaces, basements, and storage areas.


Larvae prefer to feed on sapwood, the relatively unseasoned softwood of trees. The older the timber attacked, the more damage there will be. Mature wood has less nutrients, so house borer beetles have to eat more in order to stay alive.

Life Cycle

Larvae wait out the winter inside wood and begin to feed more frequently as weather warms up. Since homes give off heat, old house borer beetles that overwinter in structural beams create more damage than they would naturally.

After eating their fill, larvae construct pupal cells and remain there for several weeks. Adults emerge to mate and then females deposit eggs in wood crevices.

Commonly Asked Questions

How worried should I be about Old House Borer Beetles?

Old house borer beetle larvae spoil the appearance of wood. Under the right conditions, they may seriously undermine structures, as well. Newly hatched larvae eat parallel to the grain, creating tunnels that compromise wood’s integrity. As the pests mature into adults and emerge, they leave behind unsightly holes.

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