Woodworm flight holes in just purchased antique furniture

Asked October 29, 2020, 5:45 AM EDT

The antique dresser I just purchased has a lot of flight path holes. The owner advised the dresser came from her grandmother and she has not seen any activity in two years. Is it likely the beetles have left without laying additional eggs? My home is kept at 70 degrees or higher. Will that inhibit future development of larvae?

Lane County Oregon

6 Responses

Without seeing a photo of the holes, or having an opportunity to examine the dresser, it is impossible for me to confirm what might have caused the holes. UC IPM recommends two diagnostic tests ~ checking the size of the hole with a ballpoint pen, and looking for signs of insect frass (or excrement) that can help you determine if you have wood boring beetles. See Table 2 of http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7418.html for more information.

A house at 70 degrees F would be within the range when most insects would be able to continue development.

If you do have a dresser with live and active wood -boring beetles, it could pose a threat to other wood products and structures that are in or part of your house. A licensed pest control applicators could apply pesticides to control the beetles, if you do not want to dispose of or destroy the dresser.


I’m having a had time posting. I filmed a larvae pushing out frass, then stabbed it with a needle and pulled it out. From what I’m reading, it would cost a lot to treat the dresser. Should I accept the loss and move on? $300. The owner told me there had been no activity for a year. Obviously there has.

I'm really sorry. That dresser has so many holes, and obviously, many viable larvae. To me, it would be too risky to bring it into the house, or to even keep it near the the house. The risk of transferring the infestation to your home and its belongings is too great. If it were me, I would accept the loss, and move on (or perhaps work with the vendor to see if they will return your money).

I appreciate your help so much! My daughter had permethrin powder. I dusted inside the plastic I have the base and top in and resealed. I dusted a moving blanket, wrapped the top in that over the plastic and taped down. I’ll wrap the base in a moving blanket tomorrow when my neighbor is home and the tarp them until I can get them on a truck. The seller apologized and said she would be available when I can get back to Salem and would refund. Again, thank you for your expertise and your help. I’ll be looking for baby beetles for awhile. Deb Sherman Murray

I’m Sorry Gail. I have one more question. Do you know of any pest company in Springfield you would recommend? I killed 4 small beetles today, trapped one for pictures, and caught two full grown beetles. One appeared to be a longhorn beetle. The other I’ve seen babies and the one adult pictured below. Am I right in believing these are woodworms?

Thank you for your patience with my slow reply. It's been a really busy week.

Unfortunately, we're not able to suggest specific companies or products. But, we do provide guidance on how to choose a pest management company. You can find that advice, here: http://npic.orst.edu/pest/selectpco.html