The length of the life cycle in Britain is usually one a year, but in wood of low starch content this may be extended to two years. Under adverse conditions it may take up to four years.
The female lays her eggs by inserting her long egg-laying tube into the pores of the wood. Several eggs may be laid into the same pore.
The larva hatches in the wood. When fully grown, it reaches a maximum length of 5 mm. When it has finished feeding, it bores towards the outer surface of the wood and constructs a pupal chamber immediately beneath the surface.
Lyctus brunneus adults can fly well and are attracted to light. In a property containing Lyctus-infested wood, the beetles can often be seen congregating around windows at the time of emergence.
Lyctus brunneus is frequently imported in hardwood from the tropics but is also the commonest lyctid in the UK. It is regaurded as a cosmopolitan species, being found in all faunal regions of the world.
Powder post beetle are so called because their larvae burrow into sapwood and hardwoods and leave nothing but a fine powder.
Because it is a pest of hardwoods, it generally attacks furniture, hardwood floors and fittings.
Several generations of beetles may exsist until nothing but a thin veneer of the wood is left on the outside, unsupported on the inside, and collapse of the furniture or effected timber may result.
When an infestation occurs indoors, adult beetles are often seen crawling around windows.
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The adult is a long, cylindrical beetle and the length can be from 2-7 mm.
It is usually a rich red/brown colour but darker specimens can be found.
The pronotum is usually darker in colour than the elytra.
The antennae are clubbed and are made up of two antennal segments.