Written by

Danny Neill

How to Treat Woodworm: A Comprehensive Guide

Woodworm infestations can wreak havoc on wooden structures in residential and commercial properties. Although these pests are small, they can cause substantial damage by burrowing through the wood and weakening its structural integrity.

Identifying and treating a woodworm infestation promptly is critical in preventing further damage and maintaining the structural integrity of your property. In this blog, we will provide you with useful insights into different types of woodworms and practical steps to treat them effectively.

By following our expert advice, you can protect your property from further damage and keep your wooden structures in the best possible condition.


What are the Most Common Woodworm Species in the UK? 

Woodworm infestations in the UK can be caused by various types of beetles and insects that thrive in wooden structures.

There are five main types of woodworm that you should be aware of, namely:

  • Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium Punctatum): This is the most common type of woodworm found in the UK and is known to infest softwoods and hardwoods.

  • House Longhorn Beetle (Hylotrupes Bajulus): This type of woodworm prefers softwoods and commonly found in southern England.

  • Deathwatch Beetle (Xestobium Rufuvillosum): This type of woodworm prefers hardwoods, old or dead trees, and tends to feed for longer periods than other species.

  • Powder Post Beetle (Lyctus Brunneus): This type of woodworm is known for infesting hardwoods such as oak, mahogany, and ash.

  • Wood Boring Weevil (Euophryum Confine): This type of woodworm prefers softwoods and can be identified by its larger size and long snout.

Each type of woodworm can cause substantial damage to your property, so it's essential to identify them early and seek out effective treatments.

At Platinum Chemicals, we offer a range of high-quality products designed to effectively eliminate and prevent woodworm infestations. In the following sections of this blog, we will provide you with detailed insights into each type of woodworm, including how to identify them and the best treatment strategies to use.


Woodworm Identification & Treatments

Before we discuss the characteristics of adult Woodworm beetles, it is imperative to focus on the Woodworm larvae. This stage of the beetle's lifecycle is of utmost importance as it is responsible for causing the maximum damage to wood.


Woodworm Larvae

The larvae of a Woodworm refer to the immature stage of the Woodworm life cycle. They are white, worm-like creatures that live inside wood and feed on the wood fibres, creating tunnels that can weaken the integrity of the wood.

The eggs of a Woodworm are laid in small crevices on the surface of the wood, after which the larvae hatch and start feeding on the surface layer of the wood. Once they have eaten their way through this layer, the larvae burrow further into the wood, creating a network of tunnels as they go.

The larvae of a Woodworm are unique in the way that they can leave incredibly small tunnels, even when they are much larger in size. This is because they are incredibly flexible and can move through the narrowest of spaces, thanks to their worm-like shape.

Once inside the wood, the larvae of a Woodworm can be difficult to detect. They can stay inside the wood for several years, feeding away and creating tunnels, before finally emerging from the wood to turn into adults.

Prevention is key when it comes to dealing with Woodworm larvae. It is important to keep wood dry and well ventilated to prevent larvae from taking hold in the first place. Additionally, if you do suspect that your wood has been infested with Woodworm larvae, it is recommended that you seek professional help to ensure that the infestation is dealt with thoroughly.

Overall, the larvae of a Woodworm play an essential role in the Woodworm life cycle, and their presence can be incredibly damaging to the integrity of wood. Ensuring that you stay vigilant for signs of infestation and taking preventative steps is vital in keeping your wood products in good condition.

Larvae of a Common Furniture Beetle Feeding On Timbers


Different species of Wood-boring beetles have different-looking larvae.

The larvae of Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium Punctatum), which is the most common species of Wood-boring beetle in the UK, are creamy-white with a slightly curved body and a dark head capsule.

The larvae of the Deathwatch Beetle (Xestobium Rufovillosum) have a distinctively C-shaped body and a small head, which is almost hidden from view.

The larvae of Powder Post beetles (Lyctus Brunneus) are long, narrow and cylindrical with dark brown heads.

And the Larvae of Wood Boring Weevils (Euophryum Confine) have a grub-like appearance and a light cream color with a light brown head capsule. So, each species has its own distinctive characteristics in terms of the appearance of their larvae.


Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium Punctatum)

The Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium Punctatum) is the most prevalent wood-boring beetle in the UK, known to infest both hardwoods and softwoods. This species tends to target wooden structures, furniture, and fittings, making it one of the most significant pests affecting buildings.

Common Furniture Beetle infestations can typically be identified by the emergence of small holes in wooden structures, which can be up to 2mm in diameter with slightly frayed edges. Additionally, the presence of cream dust, known as frass, may be visible around these holes. The frass is a mixture of wood particles and waste material created by the larval stage of the beetle as they feed and grow within the wood.

Common Furniture Beetles, like most wood-boring beetles, do not feed on the wood. Instead, adult beetles lay their eggs on or under the surface of wooden structures, creating the ideal environment for the larvae to develop. It is these larvae that cause the majority of the damage to the timber as they feed and tunnel through the wood. The larval stage can last up to five years, depending on the wood type and conditions of humidity and temperature.

Common Furniture Beetles can be found in a variety of wooden structures, including timber-framed buildings, furniture, and flooring. The highest prevalence of Common Furniture Beetle infestations has been found in historical buildings, including old churches, cathedrals, and stately homes. Public buildings, such as libraries and museums, can also be common sites for infestations, as these often feature collections of antique furniture and artwork, which can provide a prime breeding ground for beetles.

A Permethrin based Woodworm Treatment is typically used for the treatment, and prevention, of Common Furniture Beetle.

Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium Punctatum) 


Recommended Treatments For Common Furniture Beetle:



House Longhorn Beetle (Hylotrupes Bajulus)

The House Longhorn Beetle (Hylotrupes bajulus) is a type of wood-boring beetle that can cause significant damage to timber structures, particularly those with high moisture content. This beetle is commonly found in the UK, although it is more prevalent in coastal regions and areas with higher humidity levels.

The House Longhorn Beetle's infestations can be identified by the presence of small exit holes, which are typically larger than those caused by the Common Furniture Beetle. These holes can be up to 10mm in diameter and are created by the adult beetles emerging from the infested wood after completing their development. Additionally, the sawdust, known as frass, that accumulates around the exit holes is usually coarser than that of the Common Furniture Beetle.

The larvae of the House Longhorn Beetle are responsible for the majority of the damage caused to timber structures. They hatch from the eggs laid by the adult beetles and begin to bore their way into the wood, creating tunneled galleries. These galleries can be up to 6mm wide, causing significant damage to the structural integrity of the wood.

The House Longhorn Beetle's life cycle can last up to ten years, depending on the wood type, climate, and level of humidity. Once fully developed, the larvae will pupate and emerge as adult beetles, beginning the cycle anew.

Infestations of the House Longhorn Beetle are commonly found in structures with high moisture content, such as timber-framed buildings, roof spaces, and flooring. The beetle can also be found in imported timber, as the larvae can hitch a ride in the wood. Therefore, it's important to take extra precautions when importing wood and to check for signs of infestation before installation.

Prevention and early detection are crucial in managing House Longhorn Beetles. Adequate ventilation and the use of Permethrin Based or Boron Based Insecticides can help prevent an infestation. Regular maintenance checks in high-risk areas, such as roof spaces and timber-framed buildings, can detect an infestation early, allowing a more targeted response.

Injection of a Timber Gel or Paste into pre-drilled holes can also be seen as an alternative way to treat House Longhorn Beetle.

House Longhorn Beetle (Hylotrupes Bajulus) 


Recommended Permethrin Based Treatments For House Longhorn Beetle:


Recommended Boron Based Treatments For House Longhorn Beetle



Death Watch Beetle (Xestobium Rufovillosum)

The Deathwatch Beetle (Xestobium rufovillosum) is a type of wood-boring beetle notorious for infesting old buildings and antique furniture, particularly in the UK. This beetle is named after the ticking sound it makes, which is believed to be a superstitious warning of an impending death.

The Deathwatch Beetle's infestations are identified by the distinctive ticking sound they make, caused by the adult beetles tapping their mandibles against the tunnel walls. The emergence holes of the Deathwatch Beetle are round and about 3mm in diameter, and the frass, or sawdust, they create is powdery and rust-colored.

The larvae of the Deathwatch Beetle are responsible for the damage caused to wooden structures. These larvae can grow up to 10mm long and bore extensive tunnel systems in the woodwork, weakening the structure and compromising its integrity.

Deathwatch Beetles typically prefer hardwood, such as oak, and are commonly found in timber-framed buildings and antique furniture. These beetles are particularly attracted to wood that's damp or has a high moisture content. The beetle's life cycle can last up to ten years, depending on the wood type and conditions.

Preventative measures and early detection are crucial in managing an infestation of Deathwatch Beetles. Maintaining low humidity levels in buildings and addressing any sources of moisture can help prevent an infestation. Regular inspections, especially in high-risk areas such as timber-framed buildings and antique furniture, can detect an infestation early and allow for targeted treatment.

Treatment for an infestation of Deathwatch Beetles typically involves the use of specialised 'deep penetrative' insecticides that can penetrate into the tunnels created by the larvae. In some cases, physical removal of the infested wood may be necessary to prevent the spread of the infestation.

Deathwatch Beetle (Xestobium Rufovillosum)


Recommended Treatments For Deathwatch Beetle:



Powder Post Beetle (Lyctus Brunneus)

The Powder Post Beetle (Lyctus Brunneus) is a wood-boring beetle that infests hardwoods, particularly oak and ash, and is commonly found in the UK. This beetle is aptly named because it reduces the infested wood to a fine powdery dust.

The infestations of Powder Post Beetles are identified by small, round emergence holes, about 1-2mm in diameter, and the fine, talcum-like powder that accumulates around these holes. The tunnels created by the larvae are generally very small, around 0.5mm wide, and extend throughout the wood, reducing it to a powdery state.

The larvae of Powder Post Beetles are responsible for the majority of the damage caused to woodwork. They hatch from the eggs laid by the adult beetles and begin to bore their way into the timber, creating tunnels and feeding on the starch found in the cellulose of the wood. The larvae can remain in the wood for up to three years, causing significant damage in that time.

Powder Post Beetles typically infest timber with higher moisture content but can also attack dried, stored timber. Infestations are commonly found in hardwood flooring and furniture, in addition to other hardwood products. The beetle's life cycle can last up to four years, depending on the conditions and species of the beetle.

To prevent infestations of Powder Post Beetles, it is vital to use treated timber and take measures to ensure low moisture levels. This can include proper ventilation and dehumidification to decrease the relative humidity. If an infestation is detected early, targeted treatment with a Boron Treatment has proven to be effective.

Powder Post Beetle (Lyctus Brunneus)


Recommended Treatments For Powder Post Beetle:



Wood Boring Weevil (Euophryum Confine):

The Wood Boring Weevil (Euophryum Confine) is a type of insect that infests hardwoods and softwoods. These weevils are small in size, ranging from 3-6mm in length, and are commonly found in the UK. They are a significant pest to the forestry industry, causing substantial damage to wood products.

Infestations of Wood Boring Weevils are identified by numerous tunnels, which are often found in the direction of the grain. These tunnels can cause significant damage to the wood, weakening its structural integrity. The weevils create these tunnels as they feed on the wood, leaving behind sawdust and frass.

The emergence holes of Wood Boring Weevils are small, ragged, and about 1mm in diameter. These holes are evidence of the adult weevils emerging from the wood after completing their life cycle. Emergence holes are commonly found in the bark or wood surface and may indicate the severity of the infestation.

The larvae of Wood Boring Weevils are responsible for the majority of the damage caused to woodwork. They hatch from the eggs laid by the adult weevils and begin to bore their way into the timber, feeding on the sapwood. Once inside the wood, the larvae create tunnels, weakening the structure of the wood.

Wood Boring Weevils infest a wide range of wood products, including structural wood, furniture, and ornamental woodwork. High humidity levels and moist environments are conducive for Wood Boring Weevils. The weevils' life cycle can be as long as four years, depending on environmental conditions.

To prevent infestations of Wood Boring Weevils, it is essential to take measures to ensure low moisture levels in wood products. Proper ventilation and dehumidification can decrease humidity levels in wood products and reduce the chances of an infestation.

That said however, insecticide treatments can effectively manage existing infestations.

Wood Boring Weevil (Euophryum Confine)


Recommended Treatments For Wood Boring Weevil:




As a leading supplier of Wood Treatments in the UK, we at Platinum Chemicals offer a vast range of products to help manage, control, and prevent infestations caused by various wood-destroying pests, including Woodworm, Powder Post Beetles, and Wood Boring Weevils.

Our Woodworm Treatments are designed to provide targeted and effective results, penetrating deep into the wood to kill off any existing infestations and providing long-lasting protection against future outbreaks. Our products are designed to be used by professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike, providing an easy and effective solution to manage infestations.

At Platinum Chemicals, we understand that each infestation is unique, and we work closely with our customers to tailor our products to meet their specific needs. Whether you are dealing with a severe infestation or seeking preventive measures to protect wood products, our team of experts can help you find the right products and provide the advice you need.


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