Woodworm are wood-eating larvae. There are many species of these beetles, but the common furniture beetle (Anobium punctatum) is the most widespread in the UK. These beetles bore holes in wood in the larval stage and feed on it. Despite what their name may suggest, the common furniture beetle is just as likely to tunnel through building timber like joists and floorboards.

There are various signs that you may have a woodworm infestation. The most telling sign of woodworm is the exit hole they leave behind from breaking through the surface. These holes are typically between 1mm to 1.5mm in diameter but can be larger for species like the House Longhorn beetle. Powdery dust around the exit holes is another visible sign of an infestation.

Woodworm can be a serious issue, especially when an infestation is active on the structural timbers of a property. Here we’ll look at how to prevent and treat woodworm before it can cause even more damage.

Woodworm Prevention

Even if there are none of the tell-tale signs of woodworm, taking preventative measures can safeguard your property against these invasive pests.

High humidity levels – above 60% – in a home are more likely to lead to an infestation. Keep your home well ventilated to prevent the timber from becoming moist. Consider investing in a timber moisture meter, a tool that allows you to measure moisture levels in wood. Basement waterproofing is a must, as these areas are prone to damp.

Another preventative measure to protect against woodworm infestations is to apply varnish to wood. Varnish is a clear protective finish that essentially acts as a seal, as it prevents water from penetrating through. You can buy wood varnish from any hardware store or online.

Woodworm Treatment

Woodworm treatment for common furniture beetles is fairly straightforward in most cases. If the infestation is minor, you can treat it yourself using treatment products. There are treatment fluids available that kill larvae and adult beetles. Simply spray or paint the treatment fluid on the affected wood. This helps to prevent any emerging woodworm beetles and prevents them from laying more eggs. Any structural timbers that have been weakened as a result of an infestation should also be removed and replaced with treated timber.

For more severe cases of woodworm, we strongly recommend professional treatments. The precise method of treatment can vary depending on the species that has infested your property. For example, treatment fluids can be used for common furniture beetle. But other species like the House Longhorn beetle cause more extensive damage, so the timber would need to be drilled to inject a gel or paste woodworm treatment.

In either case, getting a professional site survey is highly recommended to identify the extent of the infestation and the best treatment option.

Have you noticed any signs of woodworm in your property? Then contact Danford Brewer & Ives today on 01765 804050 or via our online form, and we can arrange a site survey for a small fee, which is refundable if you proceed with the full works.