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Moths

Moths belong to the coleoptera group of species, which are characterised for being larval-cycle insects. They share the common characteristic of feeding on wood during their larval period. The biological cycle of moths begins when the females lay their eggs in the cracks, grooves and holes of the wood's surface. From the eggs emerge small larvae that bore into the wood in order to feed themselves, in turn creating galleries that reduce the wood's resistance. The time during which the larvae remain in the wood depends in the species in question -ranging from several months to more than ten years. It is during this phase that the larvae damage the wood.

Towards the end of their life-cycle, the larvae position themselves close to the wood's surface and create an isolated chamber in which they transform themselves into pupae. The metamorphosis process continues until they become winged, adult insects. The adult then breaks the chamber and the fine layer of wood separating it from the surface and ventures out. The females then lay eggs within the wood. The exit holes in the wood's surface indicate that at least one generation of moths have inhabited the piece. Certain species feed off the wood of leafy trees, whilst others feed off conifers. There is a third group which indistinctly attack both type of tree.

The main coleopteran xylophagous present in Spain and responsible for attacking building wood are as follows: Anobiidae (commonly known as woodworm), Cerambycidae (longhorn beetles), Lyctidae (moths), Curculionidae (snout beetles) and Bostrichidae.

Lyctidae (moths)

Lyctidae are small insects (6 to 8 mm in length), commonly known as moths. They feed on the waney edge of certain types of leafy trees, such as oak, ash and elm. They prefer a level of humidity of around 16% and a temperature of 25ºC. The damage they cause is mainly centred on oak parquet flooring, affecting only those sections containing waney edge. Only two species have been detected in Spain: (Lyctus brunneus and Lyctus linearis).

They produce a fine, cream-coloured sawdust that is similar to flour or talc to the touch and which is usually compacted within the galleries by larvae. They produce circular exit holes of between 1 to 2 mm in diameter. Adult insects grow to between 2 to 7 mm in length. Their biological cycle usually lasts 1 year, although it may be shortened in the event of high temperatures. Such a short biological cycle facilitates successive infestations that can lead to a rapid destruction of the wood.

Damaged caused to wood by moths

The Definitive Solution for cases of moths in wood is: Red Demon Professional use, Red Demon Household UseRed Demon SRF



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