Woodworm Life History

Common Furniture Beetle

The common furniture beetle or common house borer (Anobium punctatum) is a woodboring beetle. In the larval stage it bores in wood and feeds upon it. Adult Anobium punctatum measure 2.7-4.5 mm in length. They have brown ellipsoidal bodies with a pronotum resembling a monk’s cowl. 

Life Cycle 

woodworm life historyAdults do not feed; they just reproduce. The female lays her eggs into cracks in wood or inside old exit holes, if available. The eggs hatch after some three weeks, each producing a 1mm long, creamy white, C-shaped larva. For three to four years the larvae bore semi-randomly through timber, following and eating the starchy part of the woodgrain, and grows up to 7mm. They come nearer to the wood surface when ready to pupate. They excavate small spaces just under the wood surface and take up to eight weeks to pupate. The adults then break through the surface, making a 1mm to 1.5mm exit hole and spilling dust, the first visible signs of an infestation.

Pest Control 

woodworm life cycleThe 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. Also, it usually does not attack heartwood timbers. This is readily observed from infested structures, where one piece of timber may be heavily attacked but an adjacent one left virtually untouched according to whether it is made from the heartwood or the sapwood part of a tree trunk. Infestations are usually a problem of old wooden houses built withuntreated 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 1.5mm diameter. Active infections feature the appearance of new exit holes and fine wood dust around the holes.

Call Martin Smith Woodworm Treatment

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