A woodworm infestation isn’t something you want to deal with inside your home, but it’s vital that you act fast with an appropriate woodworm treatment.

Woodworms love to infest timber and they can quickly cause structural damage if left to burrow around through your walls and supports. But it’s not always easy to know when you have an active woodworm infestation in your home.

Luckily, there are several tell-tale woodworm signs that anyone can look out for. If you think you have seen any of these woodworm calling cards, then the best course of action is to call in the woodworm treatment professionals!

The Five Signs of Woodworm Infestation

There are a variety of different species of insect that we collectively call woodworm. While they all look slightly different, have a range of sizes and slightly different habitat preferences, they all affect timbers in the same way.

Woodworm larvae, regardless of their exact species, love to burrow through the wood in search of cellulose, their source of nourishment. As they grow into full-sized beetles, they burrow their way back out of the wood and make their exit.

This burrowing is not good for wood. Over time, increased woodworm activity can lead to structural damage. However, woodworm leaves a trail behind them, and with a keen eye and some investigation, you can pick up on woodworm signs and establish whether you have an active woodworm infestation and if you need woodworm treatment.

These are the five major woodworm signs you may notice in your property.

1. Exit Holes

One of the easiest ways to identify a potential woodworm infestation is through the presence of exit holes in your timber. As they burrow through timbers, woodworm will eventually break out of the wood, leaving behind a small exit hole.

Exit holes can be as small as 2mm in width (depending on the species) but are often no larger than 5mm. You might find only one or two holes, or you might notice hundreds covering a beam or plank of wood. The extent of the holes depends on the extent of the woodworm infestation.

While exit holes are one of the easiest woodworm signs to notice, they might not indicate the presence of an active infestation if they aren’t fresh. Either way, it’s good practice to get a professional to have a closer inspection.

2. Frass

Another of the more visible woodworm signs you could find is frass. When woodworms burrow through timbers they leave behind a thin layer of powdery dust that often lines exit holes or drops through cracks onto the floor.

Knowing that this dust could be frass can help you identify an infestation early on. Frass also contains woodworm waste (delightful!), but this waste can help a professional identify which species they are dealing with – and that can help them to implement a more effective woodworm treatment.

3. Tunnels

If woodworms have been burrowing away inside timbers, they will leave behind long tunnels within the wood. Unfortunately, if there are no exit holes yet you might not be able to readily spot these.

However, these tunnels are the real danger behind a woodworm infestation. Tunnels weaken timber and can eventually cause it to collapse. If you notice any other woodworm signs, it’s important to get a professional in quickly to check for a more complex system of tunnels within your wood.

4. Damaged Wood

If you find damaged or crumbling wood, this can be a serious sign that you have a woodworm problem in an advanced stage.

You might see cracks, weakened supports or frayed edges on skirting boards. If these look like they could be woodworm related, then you’ll need to think about a woodworm treatment ASAP.

However, damaged wood might also be a sign that you have dry rot or wet rot within your home, so contact a professional for further advice.

5. Beetles: Dead or Alive

If you see beetles in your home, that’s it’s a big giveaway that you have a woodworm infestation. Woodworm larvae grow into full-sized beetles so if you have large numbers of beetles within your home, you could have had a problem for a while already.

Beetles often remain hidden out of sight but will be drawn towards windows and light sources. They are at their most active in mating season, between May and October when you can often spot them flying around. For most people, beetle activity is the first sign they might notice of a woodworm infestation, especially if there’s no visible damage to timbers.

While the other signs are incredibly important, exit holes and frass can often be difficult to spot in comparison to a large beetle flying through your house!

Read this article on how to prevent and treat woodworm.

Why Is It Important to Identify Woodworm Infestation Early?

If you notice any of the five major signs above, you should first check to see if there are any other major warnings you might have missed. Check your timbers and supports, particularly in areas such as the attic where you might not often visit.

If you’re worried that you have signs of a woodworm infestation, then call in a professional to conduct a survey.

In some cases, woodworm infestations might have died out before you even noticed, but often, you will need an effective woodworm treatment to avoid any further damage. A professional will be able to tell quickly if you need to take further action. Leaving a woodworm infestation can eventually lead to major structural damage, which is why it’s important to act on the warning signs.

Danford Brewer & Ives has been providing woodworm treatment services for decades to homeowners in Yorkshire, Teesside and North East England. We’re happy to discuss your issues and provide the best treatment to resolve your woodworm infestation.

Please contact our friendly team on 01765 804050 or fill in our online contact form. Our technical team will be on hand with expert advice tailored to resolve your problem.