Common furniture beetles are capable of damaging the wood inside and around a house or other building.

Otherwise known as wood boring beetles, the holes and cracks in wood are used by adult beetles to deposit their eggs.

Over the next few years, the woodworms or larvae continue eating through the wood until they are ready to emerge.

Their chewing results in tunnels and holes throughout outdoor decks, wood structures, furniture, support beams, and hardwood flooring.

These wood-boring beetles are beneficial in forests because they like eating weak trees. They only become pests once they form an infestation that damage houses and other buildings.

What are Wood Boring Beetles?

Common furniture beetle on the bark of a tree


There are a number of arthropods called wood-boring beetles; all are known to harm structures made of wood.

From larvae to adults, anthropods are a group of insects with a variety of features, different throughout each life cycle.

One thing is common; all wood boring insects attack trees in rural and urban areas.

What are these Common Furniture Beetles?

The scientific term for the common furniture beetle is Anobium punctatum. Also known as a woodboring beetle or common house borer.

This insect originates from Europe. However, it is now found all over the world.

The common furniture beetle bore through the wood during its larval stage to feed. As an adult, the common furniture beetle is about 2.7 to 4.5 mm or 0.11 to 0.18 inches long.

Their bodies are ellipsoidal and brown and have a prothorax that looks like a monk's cowl.

Signs of an Infestation of Wood-Boring Beetles

An infestation of wood boring beetles normally poses an issue with homes built using untreated wood.

It is against certain building regulations to use wood that has sapwood in excess of twenty-five percent. Doing so prevents wood borers from weakening the integrity of a wooden structure.

Some signs of infestations include one-eighth-inch holes in pieces of wood. Another sign is piles of sawdust, also called frass.

Wood borers form piles of sawdust-like frass as they continue eating their way through the wood.

Characteristics of Wood Boring Beetles

Wood boring beetle on the bark of the tree

Some basic characteristic of a wood-boring beetle is they only target dying or dead trees. These beetles live for about one to three years and mature beneath the tree's bark.

The larvae are located in the primary root system, branches, and stems, while adults our outside the bark.

How to Recognize Wood Borers

A clue you have wood borers is seeing the sawdust-like frass, resin, or sap coming from tiny holes in a tree's branches or trunk.

Another sign is the trunk looks callused, knotty, and swollen. These are all the first signs your tree(s) are being infested by wood-boring beetles. Eventually, these areas will crack and start to break off in small places.

How does a Common Furniture Beetle Look?

Another name for a wood-boring beetle is a longhorn or old house borer. These pests are from less than one-half to almost an inch in length as adults.

They bore tiny holes into wood (less than 1/2 an inch wide) as an exit. A wood-boring beetle looks grey in color, yet it is normally brown or black. The antennae and legs of this insect usually appear a reddish color.

How to Get Rid of Wood-Boring Beetles

A white powder without clumps near the wood created by common furniture beetle


To determine effective ways of treating to get rid of wood-boring beetles, you must verify there is a live infestation, just like what we do to get rid of boxelder bugs.

One sure sign of wood boring beetles is finding a white powder without clumps near the wood. Seeing this powder is a guarantee an active infestation is nearby.

Another hint wood boring insects leave is a yellow-colored powder with clumps. You will also see holes in the wood called "emergence holes."

However, by the time you discover these holes, the insects have most likely matured and already made their exit.

If you can verify the beetles and woodworms have gone, treating the area with a sealant such as caulk will seal the holes.

Using a product that is borate-based is the best treatment for killing larvae and getting rid of adult furniture beetles.

Treat or Replace Damaged Wood

One of the most efficient methods for killing furniture beetles is to treat the wood you believe is infested.

The tunnels and exit holes created by an earlier infestation of furniture beetles might have compromised the wood's structure.

If possible, you should replace wood that has been infested by wood-boring beetles or woodworms.

Reasons for an Infestation by the Common Furniture Beetle

Prevention is the best way to avert an infestation of the common furniture beetle. Yet, sometimes it's not easy to maintain the structural stability of a home and its wooden flooring.

Any areas that might have damp wood should be inspected. The common furniture beetle may be hiding in crawl spaces, windowsills, wooden siding, and anywhere moisture collects.

If your home is older, where you store firewood could be where common furniture beetles like to infest.

Ways to Prevent an Invasion of Furniture Beetles

One way to prevent a furniture beetle infestation is to check out any timber or furniture before purchasing it. After buying wooden items, put some polyurethane, paint, or varnish on them. Also, when buying firewood, remove the bark and store it outdoors whenever possible. Ensure crawl spaces and attics are well-ventilated.

Applying polyurethane paint to protect the wood from furniture beetles

The larvae of furniture beetles begin to eat all the wood surrounding them as soon as the eggs hatch. Larvae continue to form inside the wood prior to coming out as a fully-mature beetle.

Furniture beetles make wood dust as they drill holes into the timber. These become their exit when the insect is ready to emerge. All of this is damaging to wood flooring, door and window frames, and furniture.

How to Get Rid of Common Furniture Beetles

In order to control a home or office against furniture beetles, you should know the proper techniques to identify them. The Anobuim punctatum insects have oval-shaped bodies and are one-quarter of an inch long. They are reddish-brown or dark brown in color.

Prevention is the best way to avert wood-boring insects from invading your furniture. However, the issue is the various types of infestation there are which are uncontrollable.

Why do I Have Furniture Beetles?

Despite their name, furniture beetles don't consume wood. However, the woodworms or larvae eat softwoods and seasoned hardwoods that have been raging for decades.

Typically, previously infested furniture inadvertently brings these pests, larvae, and eggs indoors.

In addition, wood stored in and around a building or home may be damaged by these wood-boring beetles. As an adult, the furniture beetle will lay their eggs in crevices and cracks in the wood. Allowing the woodworms or larvae to chew their way through the wood over the course of many years.

When larvae chew on wood, it results in tunneling that damage outdoor decks, furniture, hardwood flooring, support beams, and wood structures.

On the one hand, these beetles are good for the forests due to they consume trees that have become weak. However, on the other hand, they are pests when they create infestations that damage buildings and homes.

What Attracts the Common Furniture Beetle?

Getting rid of furniture beetle in a wood


The primary areas to infest are places that are damp and filled with moisture. They might hitch a free ride in as you unwittingly carry firewood or other untreated wood products.

More commonly, the eggs and larvae are brought indoors on furniture that has been previously infested. The damp structural beams in crawl spaces are other areas these beetles like to infest.

In addition, some species chose to infest our food sources--packaged food, grains, and garden plants.

Female furniture beetles look for cracks in wood as a place to lay eggs, another way an invasion begins. The larvae then come out as those eggs hatch, and they spend the next few years eating through the wood.

Steps to Determining an Active Common Furniture Beetle Invasion

First, you need to decide on the right treatment to rule out an active invasion of furniture beetles. One clue that there are wood-boring beetles is the wood powder you will discover.

Noticing a non-clumpy and white substance close by or on the wood warns of active furniture beetle invasion. There might still be larvae or woodworms inside the wood.

Another clue is when you recognize a substance that is yellow and clumpy. The sign of adult furniture beetle invasion and the openings for emergence in wood.

When you finally recognize these openings, they have likely matured into an adult common furniture beetle and exited the wood.

The next step is to seal off the emergency exits or put in new wood as a replacement. You will need a borate-based product to use as a treatment for active adult furniture beetles.

Finally, to get rid of wood-boring insects, you must get rid of the young furniture beetles before they become adults.

The Life Cycle of the Common Furniture Beetle

When the adult female lays her eggs, they develop into a woodworm. Once completely developed, a woodworm can fly; it is how they get from one object to the next.

Although the furniture beetle causes great damage to wood products, they pose no significant threat to humans.

The woodworm forms an opening approximately one to one and a half millimeters (less than 1/2 inch). They bore deep down until it becomes visible damage. These openings are the first visible clue that looks like a furniture beetle invasion.

Openings formed by the woodworm expose their burrows within the wooden structural floorboard.

Prevention is the first step when attempting pest control of the woodworm. Keeping all wood dry, with less than 16% moisture content, is also imperative.

What Sort of Pest is a Common Furniture Beetle?

An indication of furniture beetle infestation

Anobium punctatum, also known as a common furniture beetle, is a pest that infests wood. Common furniture beetles are popular in all parts of the planet except South America and Asia.

The common furniture beetle is an insect that derives from a family of beetles, also called woodworm beetles. However, this is not a proper moniker because there are two species of this type of pest.

  • Bark beetle infestations are the first pest that preys on wooden objects like shrubs and trees. However, they are also found in home yards.
  • The next pests are the common furniture beetle infestations. These infestations prey on furniture parts and other dust from dead wood.

Both of these pest species--the common furniture beetle and the bark beetle create infestations that are extremely dangerous. These pests wreak a lot of damage and reproduce rapidly. Using the right pest control to get rid of furniture beetles is imperative. This is also an important consideration when you want to know how to get rid of boxelder bugs permanently.

When It's Time to Call a Professional Pest Control Company

You need professional pest control when you need to get rid of common furniture beetles. The professionals at A.N.T. Pest Control know what application to use that will eliminate these pests.

We have professional ways of treating pests using chemicals and sprays that will kill them. Call us today and protect and save your wooden possessions!

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New Lenox, IL 60451


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