FURNITURE BEETLE (Anobium punctatum)

  • The common furniture beetle is a woodboring beetle. In the larval stage it bores in wood and feeds upon it. This beetle looks like a small grub.
  • The larvae feeding on the interior of the wood create the frass; the holes are caused by the adults chewing through the wood’s surface to emerge from inside the wood and mate. 
  • Adult Furniture Beetles measure 2.7–4.5 millimetres (0.11–0.18 in) in length and darker in colour.
  • They have brown ellipsodial bodies with a prothorax resembling a monk's cowl .
  • The common furniture beetle goes through complete metamorphosis, meaning this insect has an egg, larval (worm-like) pupal and adult stage. Its life cycle is completed in about one to three years, depending on environmental conditions.
  • The furniture beetle’s head is not visible when viewed from above, and adults do not consume wood. 
  • The furniture beetle infests both seasoned hardwoods and softwoods that are generally 10 years or older. The presence of the common furniture beetle is recognized by small, 2mm diameter holes that are surrounded by fine powder-like “sawdust” called frass.
  • While the common furniture beetle frequently infests wood furniture, it may also infest damp wood in crawl spaces, flooring, wood siding and other moist areas of the home.
  • Infestations are also usually a problem of old wooden houses built with untreated timbers.
  • Some building regulations state that timbers with more than 25% sapwood may not be used, so that wood borer infections can not substantially weaken structures.
  • Infection, past or present, is diagnosed by small round exit holes of 1 to 1.5 mm diameter. Active infections feature the appearance of new exit holes and fine wood dust around the holes.
  • Because of the 3–4 year life cycle of Anobium punctatum, timber or timber products bought containing an A. punctatum infection may not manifest holes until years after the timber has been acquired.

Prevention

  • The first step in pest control is prevention, and for this it is helpful to understand that Anobium punctatum only attacks seasoned sapwood timber, not live or fresh wood.
  • In moderate infestations the application of a registered insecticide to the underside of the flooring on an annual basis over thge 3 year period of the life cycle of the Anobium borer.
  • In severe cases the removal and replacement of all damaged and infested timber with highly resistant or chemically treated timbers or particle board - can be a very expensive - also may need improvements in ventilation and moisture control in subfloor areas.
  • Permethrin insecticide for timber borer control due to its low toxicity profile and it's ability to penetrate into the timber grain - Permethrin is a based on the natural of the pyrethrum plant - used to eradicate the adult beetle as it emerges from inside the timber.
  • Infestation can be controlled by application of a residual insecticide (such as permethrin) to infected areas, by professional fumigation, or by replacing infected timber .
  • Simple aerosol insecticide sprays will only kill the adult borer on the wing but not the burrowing larvae, which remain relatively protected inside infected timbers.
  • Only a licensed professional can identify and treat the problem we will help you save your timber!