Woodworm | Everything You Need to Know


What is Woodworm?

Woodworm is a wood eating larvae that come from many different types of beetles. The term woodworm is also used as a generic description given to a wooden item that’s been infested.

Where is it Most Common?

It is most common in wood products that are damp or have excessive moisture. Woodworm is most common in areas of a building with little ventilation, or in small, damp spaces. Some species of woodworm only appear in cases where damp or fungal rot had already occurred.

The Signs

  • Fresh exit holes
  • Tunnels in wood
  • Bore dust
  • Weak and damaged floorboards
  • Live adult beetles
  • Dead beetles
  • Eggs
  • Larvae


The Difference Between It and Termites

Woodworm and termites are both pests that eat wood. Each can cause equally devastating consequences, but identifying which one it is, is an important step in finding a solution.

However, termites do not make visual holes in wood, which can make them harder to detect them until there are more obvious signs.

How to Tell if It’s Active

There is a general assumption that when you see holes in the wood then it has grown up and left the nest. But what people don’t consider is that the same now grown up beetle may come back to lay eggs in the holes, which could happen at any time. The most effective way to look for woodworm is to spot and recognise their droppings, adult carcass, freshly ejected frass, and check the number and density of the holes.


How to Treat Woodworm

You can buy treatment or hire a professional. If you don’t know what you’re doing it’s recommended that you hire a professional, this way you can ensure that the job is done right first time. Treatment (or fluid) is a nerve poison, which could be harmful to humans if ingested, or even if too much was inhaled.

How to Prevent It

Identify if Woodworm is Still Active

Block holes during the winter (where there tends to be an excess of moisture) by painting on a coat of emulsion or applying masking tape. When summer comes you will be able to determine if beetles have broken through due to the holes.

Keep Humidity Low

Keep your home well heated and ventilated to help keep humidity levels low. Ensure wood is well ventilated and try to help prevent the problem from starting. To ventilate simply open the window for a bit. If you want to go one step further you can test the humidity in your property to ensure everything’s fine.

Remove Woodworm Infected Items

This includes wooden furniture and non-structural timber that has been infested by woodworm. This will help minimise and prevent further infestations –either through hatching eggs, or more beetles being drawn to the wood because it’s damp.

Install Electric Fly Traps

Installing electric fly traps in the loft and in under-ventilated areas in your home. This will help kill emerging woodworm beetles. This will help control the problem and prevent it from getting worse.