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Anobium punctatum (DeGeer)

[Coleoptera: Anobiidae]



Adult: Furniture beetles are 2.5-4.0 mm long. The body is cylindrical and dark brown with reddish-brown legs.


Head: Antennae have 11 segments with a 3-segmented club. Compound eyes are large and positioned at the apex of the head above the mouthparts. The mouthparts consist of mandibles for chewing with 3/4-segmented maxillary palps and 2-segmented labial palps.


Thorax: The pronotum covers the head and laterally appears as a hood. Two pairs of wings are present. The forewings are hardened into protective covers called elytra. The elytra are not used in flight. The elytra protect the hindwings and serve as a dorsal exoskeleton. The hindwings are membranous, fan-shaped and fold flat over the body when at rest. Body covered with fine yellowish setae and longitudinal rows of pits on the elytra. All legs are similar.


Abdomen: Cerci are absent.

Reproduction & Life-cycle:Adult females lay approximately 30-80 eggs singly or in rows of 2-4 in cracks, crevices and abraded areas of timber. Adults live for 4 weeks. Eggs hatch in approximately 2-5 weeks. The neonate larva bites part of the eggshell on which the adult female has deposited yeast cells. Symbiotic yeast enable the larva to convert cellulose to protein in the gut. The process is assisted by enzymes. Larvae have a gold-brown head, chestnut-brown mandibles and a greyish-white body covered in fine setae. Larvae are hook-shaped and curl into tight balls when removed from their tunnels. Larvae live 1-5 years in tunnels. The larvae tunnel into wood going both with and across the grain. The tunnels are loosely packed with frass (cigar-shaped pellets containing chewed wood). Mature larvae move near the surface of the wood to construct pupal chambers. The pupal stage lasts for 3-4 weeks. Adults emerge through round flight holes of approximately 2 mm diameter.

Distribution:The furniture beetle is a serious pest of timber and is endemic to Europe.

PestStatus:Females shelter in flight holes periodically after emergence with many opportunities for reinfesting attacked wood. The natural spread of infestation is slow. Infested timer which is removed from service should be burned. Fumigation of valuable antiques is effective but does not prevent reinfestation. Furniture beetle is not a major pest in warmer climates. The species is a pest of pine, willow, maple and beech used in cabinet woods, shelving, flooring, housing timbers and imported antique furniture. Baltic pine (Pinus sylvestris), New Zealand white pine (Podocarpus dacrydioides), rimu (Dacrydium cupressinum), hoop pine and kauri pines (Agathis species) are all affected in Australia. Furniture beetle also attacks hardwoods such as English oak (Quercus robur) and spotted gum. Infestation usually encountered in timbers in-service for at least 20 years.

No one likes seeing their wooden furniture get eaten away or watch in horror as timber flooring gets devoured. “Pest control is most effective when you act quickly instead of waiting for it to get out of control.” – Bruce Gow

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