Old House Borers

Hylotrupes bajulus
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What do old house borers look like?

old house borer eating wood from new jersey homes wall

Old house borers are wood-boring beetle that have slightly long antennae and flattened bodies black or blackish-brown in color. Adults range in size from 5/8 to 1 ¼ inches.

The larvae of the old house borers have cream-colored bodies that taper on one end. On each side of their head, they have three dark eyes arranged vertically. Larvae grow to 1 ¼ inches.

What are the signs of an old house borer infestation?

  • Ragged exit holes created by adult old house borers when they emerge through a wood surface.
  • Tunnels and galleries created by the larvae as they move through and eat the wood.
  • When larvae chew with their strong jaws, they make a rasping or clicking sound that can be heard.

Are old house borers dangerous?

While these longhorned beetles are not dangerous to people or pets, they are considered a serious threat to structures. Old house borers primarily feed on softwood timber such as pine and attack both structural timbers and lumber.

Why do I have a problem with old house borers?

Old house borers may have arrived at the time of construction. Larvae usually require a couple of years to develop in wood that has moisture while it can take several years in very dry wood.

Old house borer infestations are typically localized and slow to spread but action should be taken at the first sign of a problem.

Can I control old house borers?

Accurate identification is essential as New Jersey is home to several wood-destroying insects including termites, carpenter ants, and powder post beetles and each one requires its own treatment method.

The best way to get rid of old house borers is to contact a local pest control company that has the knowledge and experience to identify and eliminate these beetles. At Arrow Pest Control, we’ve been helping property owners resolve pest problems throughout New Jersey since 1973. Simply contact us today to schedule your FREE evaluation!

How do I make my property less attractive to old house borers?

  • Before bringing wood items into your home, inspect it for signs of old house borers (small holes in the surface of the wood).
  • Make sure that the wood you are purchasing has been properly stored and dried.
  • Eliminate potential egg laying spots by painting or staining exposed bare wood (including small cracks and crevices) in your home.
  • Make sure your home is properly ventilated and reduce moisture levels throughout the home. 
Jeff K.


‟My family has used Arrow since the early 80's. In our new home we use them as well. Jason came yesterday and did a great job. Thanks again for your great service to our community!”
Jeff K.
Farmingdale, NJ
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