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Topical Issues

Ants: flying ants are now causing many problems. Easy to control. Give us a call.

Wasps: Season now in full swing. The nests are about the size of a foot ball or more!

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Furniture Beetle (Woodworm) Furniture Beetles

Woodworm Holes

Size: 3-5mm overall body length.
Markings:  Adults mid-brown in colour, but not shiny. Larval stages are white/straw coloured.
Location: Timber, both in the wild and in construction/furniture etc.
Detection: Visual sightings of adults. 'Sawdust' on the floor under exit holes.
Use of pheromone 'Anobid' traps.

The furniture beetle, also known as wood worm or the woodworm beetle, is widespread throughout Europe, including the UK. Originally a 'wild' species found in dead and fallen timbers. It is widespread outside, attacking window and door frames and wooden posts. Like many insects it has adapted to the human environment, and has become a pest of timbers in houses, planes and boats.

It is typical to see the adult stages from Easter into early summer, when they emerge and take to the wing for mating. About 30 or so eggs are laid in cracks and crevices on the wood from which the female has emerged or onto the end grain of sawn timber. It has been known for the adult emergence holes to be re-used for egg laying. Depending on temperature, the eggs hatch in two to four weeks. The young larval stages burrow straight down into the wood for protection and food. If the tunnels are examined, they will be random in pattern, although they often follow the line of the grain. Furniture beetle will attack both soft and hardwoods, but it is mainly the 'sapwood' that is attacked.

Development to adult depends on timber type and temperature, but takes at least two years in buildings, and can often take much longer. The final stage (final instar) larvae burrow towards the surface, but do not emerge. Instead, they construct a pupation chamber just below the surface. After pupation, the new adult emerges by biting the cap off this chamber, leaving the typical 'woodworm hole' of about 2-3mm diameter.

The furniture beetle is an important and serious pest of timbers, both structural and decorative. In addition, it attacks furniture and other wooden goods. Varnished or polished woods are not usually attacked, but the infestation may have arisen before the item was made, and even the best furniture has joints and unfinished areas such as drawer backs and bases.

Obviously, the visible signs of woodworm activity can ruin wooden items (although some antiques are enhanced by signs of historical furniture beetle activity). Where structural timbers are affected, serious weakening can occur, resulting in expensive repair work or even demolition.


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