9 Signs of Woodworm

9 Signs of Woodworm




For this reason you may need to book a woodworm survey, although the first point of call is to call the office for a free, no obligation consultation.

Different types of woodworm require different treatment approaches.  In certain circumstances and insecticidal or fumigation treatment alone may not be sufficient, and some drying may also be required. Also a historic issue will usually need a precautionary protective treatment for woodworm only, whereas if it’s active, a more intense woodworm treatment will be advisable.

Nine Tips For Spotting Signs of woodworm

1. Holes In The Wood

Small round holes typically 1-2mm in diameter caused by the adult beetles boring out and emerging is the classic sign of a woodworm infestation that we all know. In active infestations you should be able to see light coloured wood in the holes, and sharp edges. Historic activity will be dirtier, and less defined.

Woodworm Treatment Options


2. Dusting Next To The Holes

Powder or ‘frass’ dusting underneath or next to the exit holes is a clear sign of an active infestation. Very hard to locate in lofts but often visible on darker floors, cars etc. In the absence of insects, different types of frass help out experts discover which species of wood boring beetle is responsible.

Woodworm Treatment Options


3. Live Insects

These are usually seen in the summer months. There are five common types of woodworm in the UK ranging from just a few millimetres long to around an inch in length – see our comprehensive Types Of Wood Boring Beetle section. The adults are most likely to be seen between May and October. They rarely live more than a few weeks and look to breed and lay new eggs quickly.

Woodworm Treatment Options


4. Weak Timber and Floorboards

Clearly if you put a chair leg or foot through floorboards, they have been severely weakened and wood boring beetle damage could well be responsible. But so could dry rot, so we will need to know more and you may need a woodworm survey.

Woodworm Treatment Options


5. Look At The Edges

You can often find the surfaces and edges of joists and rafters crumbling away. Easy to check, and if this is present and is revealing lighter wood underneath, then the woodworm infestation is active. If it’s there but the wood is darker and duller where it’s crumbling, the infestation may be historic.

Woodworm Treatment Options


6. Tracks Inside The Wood

As the wood comes away you can sometimes see the paths followed by the woodworm grubs and adult beetles. Occasionally you can see these under the surface of the wood, known as ‘woodworm galleries’.

Woodworm Treatment Options


7. Woodworm Grubs

You won’t often see the grubs, as they spend their lives actually inside the wood and then pupate into adult wood boring beetles before emerging, and drilling out those nice round holes. However, sometimes when wood comes aware, the grubs will appear. Woodworm larvae are usually white or creamy, around 0.5-2cm long, can be C shaped and often have a darker head.

Woodworm Treatment Options


8. Woodworm Eggs

At only around 0.5mm x 0.3mm in size, wood boring beetle eggs are difficult to spot with the naked eye. They are shaped like a lemon and laid in the cracks of timber or old bore holes by the adult females in the summer months, often not far from the hole where the adult has emerged. Usually laid in batches of 30-60 eggs, they take around 10-30 days to hatch into larvae, depending on the species and environment.

Woodworm Treatment Options


9. Dead Insects

Wood boring beetles can fly, and frequently do so to find new areas to breed and lay eggs. The emerge in the summer and only live from a few days to a few weeks, so they need to get on with the process of breeding quickly. Some will usually look to go somewhere new, and in an active infestation you often find clusters of dead insects on the window sill. At Heritage Timber Care we offer a free woodworm Identification service; or refer to the Types Of Wood Boring Beetle

Woodworm Treatment Options


For a free, no-obligation consultation, please call 0800 524 4291 or email  including your name, phone number and post code