Woodworm Species

Wood damaging pests can attack expensive antiques and even a building’s structural components. Wood pests have managed to develop an astonishing variety of life forms, and can even live comfortably in totally dry wood.

Common Furniture Beetle

(Anobium punctatum)

Much damage caused by wood boring beetles in wood can be attributed to the Common Furniture beetle. Its natural habitat is the broken branches of trees and areas where the tree bark has been removed.

Common Furniture Beetle

Appearance

Adult beetle is 3 – 4mm in length.

Life Cycle

Larva will live for 3 - 5 years boring through wood before emerging to breed.

Habits

  • They actively fly in warm sunny weather.
  • Within homes and other buildings the furniture beetle is an exceedingly common pest.
  • Despite its name this beetle can invade more than just furniture.
  • Infestations can damage decorative woodwork, musical instruments, wooden tools and on a more serious scale wood flooring, joinery and structural woods.
  • These wood boring beetles consume hardwoods and softwoods.

Old House Borer

(Hylotrupes bajulus)

Although the old house borer is not native to the U.S., it now has a worldwide distribution. The old house borer is found in many U.S. states and as far north as Maine. Despite its name, the wood-boring beetle typically attacks wood less than 10 years old.

House Longhorn Beetle

Appearance

  • Adult beetle is 8 – 25mm in length.
  • Black/brown color with greyish hairs and 2 black spots on thorax which resemble eyes.

Life Cycle

  • Larvae tunnel between 3 to 11 years before emerging.

Habits

  • Flight holes between 3mm and 7mm.
  • Infests seasoned and partly seasoned softwoods; pine, spruce and fir most susceptible.
  • It is frequently wood used in the roof space that are infested.
  • Damage can often be severe in wood around the chimney area. The larvae produce large amounts of bore-dust (or frass) containing cylindrical pellets. Sometimes this is visible in the 'blistered' appearance of the surface wood.  
  • Longhorn beetles will fly freely in hot, sunny weather which enables them to spread an infestation from one building to the next.

Powder Post Beetle

(Lyctus brunneus)

One species of Powder Post Beetle is commonly found in the U.S. This beetle infests hardwood timber in service such as Eucalyptus, Oak, Ash, Elm, Walnut, Sycamore, Sweet Chestnut and African Mahogany. It attacks these wide-pored hardwoods because the female beetle is able to fit her eggs into these pores.

Powder Post Beetle

Appearance

  • Adult beetle 4 – 7mm in length.
  • Red/brown in color.

Life Cycle

  • Adult beetles usually appear in the summer months, but in heated premises they can be found throughout the year.
  • The larvae gradually reduce the infested timber, just leaving a thin veneer of wood on the surface.

Habits

  • Emerging adults make pin-hole sized openings 1 to 2 mm in size, often called 'shot holes’.
  • Whole lifecycle is completed in about one year.
  • Primary pest of wood yards.
  • Given enough time, wood will be reduced to a mass of fine powder that crumble to the touch, hence the name 'powder post'.