Common Furniture Beetle
- Latin Name: Anobuim punctatum
- Size: About 2-5mm in length
- Color: Anywhere from reddish-brown to a darker brown color
- Shape: They are ovular but their heads cannot be seen when viewed from above
- Found in: Just about every state in the U.S. They can live in cold climates such as New Jersey, dry climates like Arizona, and hot, humid climates like Florida.
- Overview: Furniture beetles go through the entire metamorphosis cycle, from larvae to adult. Adults don’t actually feed, they just reproduce. In many parts of the U.S. and South America these beetles are commonly known as “woodworms.”
About the Common Furniture Beetle
Furniture beetles aren’t particular when it comes to what kind of wood to nest in. They live in both hard and softwoods but do prefer woods that are 10+ years old. Adult females first bore small holes into the exterior of the wood where they lay their tiny, worm-like larvae. Over the course of the next 1-3 years the larvae bore seemingly-random holes through the wood where they feed on the soft, sugary nutrients. This process obviously causes irreparable damage to the furniture itself.
Once the larvae mature into adults they find their way out of the furniture and mate (usually in Spring) and the process begins again. Adults do not feed and die soon after reproduction. Because the beetles are not particular about their wood source they can also be found in wooden crawlspaces, decks, and even in the siding on homes. In some cases the small holes they bore into the wood can be mistaken for termite activity.
Facts About Common Furniture Beetles
Unfortunately, resolving a wood-damaging insect problem can be quite a challenge. It can be difficult to remove all the pests from the wood without completely destroying the furniture or wooden object. The good news is, preventing furniture beetles from invading is easier than you might think. The pests never invade fresh or live wood and properly sealing all your wooden furniture is a good place to start to keep bugs at bay.
Older homes made of timberwood and sapwood are more at risk than new construction homes, particularly since some areas have actually enacted legislation to prevent builders from using pest-susceptible materials. As with any pest prevention, keeping refuse and stacks of firewood away from the outside of your home and carefully monitoring your doors, windows, and roofline for signs of entry are a great way to stay ahead of pests. Since furniture beetles are so difficult to properly identify and to treat it’s always advisable to contact a pest professional rather than employ self-help treatments, particularly if the furniture in question is of any value.