Fighting Furniture Beetles

In Latvia, the most common and well-known pests of dead wood are the common furniture beetle (Anobium punctatum) and, to a lesser extent, the house longhorn beetle (Xestobium rufovillosum).


Characteristics of the Common Furniture Beetle:

Small, brown, cylindrical beetle, 2.5 - 4.5 mm long.

When ready to mate, the beetle taps its head rhythmically on the tunnel wall. This ticking sound is audible inside the room and is nicknamed the "death watch".


Preferred Wood and Habitat:

Prefers birch wood, but will also attack other types of wood.

Avoids hard woods with high tannin content (oak, beech, mahogany) and strongly resinous wood (pine, spruce).


Prefers higher humidity levels.

Often seen in furniture that has been in contact with a damp wall.

Attics with good ventilation are not attractive to woodworms.

Determining the Presence of Active Woodworm:

Visible holes in the furniture do not necessarily mean that the woodworm is still present.

Check for fresh wood dust piles near the holes in spring.

If there is no dust, the insects may have already left.


Fighting Woodworm:

Consult a specialist: If the damage is extensive, it is best to consult a professional restorer.


Traditional methods:

Expose the furniture to cold temperatures in a dry, unheated location for several months during the winter.

Fumigate the furniture with a volatile insecticide.

Inject insecticide into the beetle holes.

Saturate the furniture with turpentine. This method is relatively safe and effective, but it may damage the finish.