Identifying a Woodworm Infestation

Identifying a Woodworm Infestation

Posted By: Steve Published: 01/07/2022 Times Read: 677 Comments: 0

A lot of the time, woodworm isn’t harmful and most people don’t even realise their house has woodworm until years after an infestation takes hold. Over time, woodworm can cause serious damage to furniture, floorboards, and even structural beams in the home that can be costly to repair. It’s important that you seek professional woodworm treatment at the first sign of an infestation, but many people don’t know what they should be looking for. Not to worry! Our team at Advanced Chemical Specialties Limited are experts in dealing with woodworm infestations in homes and businesses in Yeovil and across the UK. 

There are some common signs to look out for when it comes to identifying a woodworm infestation and we’ve put together this guide to help you! Keep reading to find out what exactly woodworm is and how to spot an infestation.

What is Woodworm?

Though the name may suggest it, woodworm isn’t actually a worm - but rather a type of wood boring beetle which includes several different varieties. The name woodworm comes from the larva that hatches from beetle eggs laid in the wood. An adult beetle will crawl into cracks and crevices in wood, such as wooden furniture, floorboards, or even beams in your ceiling and wall, and lay eggs that hatch into the larva. 

Larva spend years chewing through the wood to feed on cellulose, with the unfortunate side effect of leaving the structure weakened in the process. It will then make a chamber within the wood so that they can pupate and transform into a beetle, where the process repeats once the beetle finds another wooden surface to lay eggs in. Wood boring beetles include: 

Common Furniture Beetle: 

Which feeds on both soft and hard wood and can lay anywhere between 30-40 eggs in each cluster. These beetles can fly and the larva lifespan is around 3 years.

Death Watch Beetle:

For older buildings, this beetle is the most damaging as they choose to consume hardwood. For an infestation to begin, the wood needs to also suffer from fungal decay. The overall life cycle of this beetle is between 5-6 years. 

Wood Boring Weevil: 

Associated with wet rot or decay, these are widespread across the UK and live off fungal decay within wood. These beetles aren’t typically treated with pesticides as fungal decay treatment is often enough to cause the infestation to die. 

House Longhorn Beetle: 

Attacking only softwood, these beetles have a lifespan of 5-11 years and can reach sizes of 25mm. They also lay up to 200 eggs with each cluster and can be identified by the oval shaped holes left by them in wood. 

Signs of a Woodworm Infestation

If you’re looking for signs of a woodworm infestation, chances are you have already seen something that has made you suspicious or you’ve just moved into a new home and want to make sure everything is in good working order. There are a few clues to look for:

The Beetles: No, we aren’t talking about the band. One of the sure signs of a woodworm infestation is that you will notice an increase in the number of beetles in your home, some flying, some crawling. If the wormwood is in your home you may find they are found more frequently in a specific area. 

Holes: Exit holes are left behind on the surface of wood so that the beetles can venture out. These holes are typically circular and only have a circumference of a few millimetres, or in the cases of some beetles they may be larger and more oval in shape. They can be identified as they tend to cluster together. 

Bore Dust: Beetles and larvae can be hard to spot, however they can also be messy. If you notice small piles of dust near holes or cracks in your furniture, it could be a good indicator of wood boring beetles and their larvae. This dust is shaving produced by the boring to eat or tunnel through wood. 

Brittle Timbers: If an area you believe to be affected by woodworm has timber or wood that has become brittle and easy to break - to the point where it may crumble to the touch or snap easily - it can be a sure sign of woodworm. However, there could be other causes so it’s important to properly diagnose the source before further damage can be done. 

If you believe your home has been infested with woodworm or you can see any of these identifiable signs, it’s time to seek help. You could do it yourself with a spray treatment or go to professionals to conduct a survey to find the best method of removing woodworm from your home. 

Have any questions? Advanced Chemical Specialties Limited can help!

For more information on woodworm and the treatment options available, get in touch with our team at Advanced Chemical Specialties Limited today! We provide a high quality woodworm treatment that’s guaranteed to rid your home or business of infestation and are here to provide advice and guidance for dealing with woodworm!

We also offer a range of wood preserve treatments, including Boracols, professional borates, water repellents for wood, and dry rot paint so you can keep wooden furniture, flooring, and supports in excellent condition once your woodworm infestation has vanished!


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