What is Woodworm?
Woodworm is the collective name for a number of species of wood boring insects that attack wood. The term “woodworm” refers to the larval or “worm” stage of the insects’ life when they bore and eat wood.
Woodworm are seasonal pests and from May to October each year, they can be seen exiting from flooring and roof timbers in properties all across the UK. Once they have emerged, they can often be found near windows, windowsills or around loft hatches, as they are attracted to light.
Common species of woodworm include:
- Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium punctatum)
- Deathwatch Beetle (Xestobium rufovillosum)
Woodworm can cause serious damage to both internal & external timber as well as your home furnishings. If left untreated, they can seriously weaken timber leading to the eventual failure of the structure of a building. Warmwall offer the following advice on identifying the pests and how to treatment options.
Where Does Woodworm Come From?
The natural habitat for woodworm & wood boring insects are trees.
Although the adult beetles do not fly very far, they can get into houses through open windows, brought in on washing that has been drying outside or old furniture that has been infested in a previous house.
Sometimes infested wicker fishing baskets stored in roof spaces have caused the infestation.
What Does Woodworm Look Like?
The eggs which are laid in the crevices of timber cannot be seen by the naked eye.
As the larvae hatches out from egg and develops within the timber it is unlikely this will be seen unless the timber is broken and the larvae may be visible in the galleries underneath the surface of the timber.
As the life cycle comes to an end the larvae pupates and evolves into a beetle, which bites through the surface of the timber creating the small round holes associated with woodworm.
Adult beetles emerging from the wood can be easily seen by the naked eye.
How To Identify Woodworm Damage
Wood boring insects use wood as a food source or as a home and they often leave signs of their presence. It will normally infest the sapwood of softwoods, like pine and cedar.
If you spot any of the signs below, you may have an active woodworm infestation:
- Fresh exit holes in timber – these will be round with sharp edges and the walls of the holes will appear clean & fresh
- Tunnels within the timber – sometimes look like galleries in the timber
- Bore dust (termed as frass) – caused by emerging adult beetles, usually visible below the infested timber
- Weak and damaged flooring – in extreme cases a foot or chair leg going through the floor can indicate a more serious problem
- Dead beetles – usually found near the timber
Contact us if you would like to know treatment options.