WOODWORM LIFE HISTORY

Here at Wessex Woodworm, we hold a great deal of industry knowledge and first-hand experience working with local customers and eradicating woodworm infestations. We thoroughly understand the life and behaviour of the woodworm, which enables us to provide effective and efficient services and solutions.

 

 

THE COMMON FURNITURE BEETLE

The common furniture beetle (Anobium Punctatum) is a wood-boring beetle. In the larval stage, it bores into wood and feeds upon it. Adult Anobium Punctatum measure between 2.7mm and 4.5mm in length. The have brown ellipsoidal bodies with a pronotum resembling a monk’s cowl.

 

THE LIFE CYCLE

Adults do not feed, they simply reproduce. The female lays her eggs into the 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 eatings the starchy part of the woodgrain, and can grow 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.

CONTROLLING THE INFESTATION

The first step in controlling the infestation, is prevention. 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 observed in infested structure, 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 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 1mm to 1.5mm diameter. Active infections feature the appearance of new exit holes and fine wood dust around the holes.