Furniture & Deathwatch Beetles

Adults:

  • 1/4 to 3/8 inch long
  • Gray-brown with patches of pale hairs on the back of the body.
  • They do not have rows of pits on the wing covers.
  • The body segment just behind the head is hood-like and completely covers the head when the insect is viewed from above.
  • Their 11-segmented antenna end in three elongated segments that are as long as the previous five segments.

Larvae:

  • Are grub-like, C-shaped, and are whitish with yellowish brown heads.
  • They may be up to 0.4 inches (10 mm) in length.
  • Anobiid larvae are rather hairy, with rows of small spines on their backs.
  • Have black mandibles.

Damage

  • The name given to the furniture beetle is somewhat misleading because they do not attack only furniture (which is more commonly attacked by Lyctid beetles). In fact, these beetles are common in wood framing and flooring.
  • Wood with a high moisture content (greater than 12%) is preferred by these beetles.
  • These beetles are most common in the coastal areas of the United States, where the water table and relative humidity are highest.
  • Most damage is in the sapwood of softwood, but sometimes furniture beetles will damage the heartwood.
  • Exit holes of furniture beetles are round and about 1/16 to 1/8 inch in diameter. There may be other very small holes (about 1/32) which are exit holes of parasitic wasps that commonly infect furniture beetles.
  • Exit holes of deathwatch beetles are round and about 1/6 inch in diameter.
  • Exit holes are usually larger than those of powderpost beetles, but the appearance is the same.
  • The tunnels are loosely packed with frass and it does not tend to fall out due to the normal high moisture content in the preferred wood.