The adult beetles are uniformly brown in colour and are between 4 and 6 mm in length. The antennae of the adult beetles are distinctly clubbed, the club being made up of the three final antennal segments.
The adult female beetles, which have emerged from the characteristic round emergence holes in timber, after mating produce the small white lemon-shaped eggs (less than 1 mm long). Each female produces approximately 20 eggs which are deposited on rough edges of timber, frequently the cut edges of finished timber.
While feeding the larvae, or “woodworm” produce a fine “sawdust” of a characteristic shape, the particles being egg-shaped or oval in shape. Just prior to pupation the larvae make their way near to the surface of the timber. Pupation takes 10 to 14 days and from the pupa emerge the adult beetles which gnaw through the thin layer of wood leaving the round emergence holes which are 1.5 mm in diameter.The larvae that emerge from the eggs after 3 to 4 weeks burrow into the timber and spend many months feeding on the wood, in fact, in many old, dry timbers the life of the larvae may be many years.
The beetles attack both hardwoods and softwoods with a preference for the sapwood, the larval stage doing the most damage to the wood. Adult beetles emerge from mid March onwards.
The damage caused to wood by the boring activity of the larval form of the furniture beetle is significant. It can cause substantial structural damage leading to great financial loss.
Treatment consists of applying a proprietary woodworm fluid to infested timbers.
The use of public hygiene type insecticides is unlikely to give effective control.