How to Treat Woodworm and Wood Boring Insects By Danny Neill

How to Treat Woodworm and Wood Boring Insects

How to Treat Woodworm and Wood Boring Insects

Our Guide to Treating and Eradicating Woodworm with our range of Woodworm Treatment Products.

Woodworm Treatments are used to eradicate Woodworm and other Wood Boring Insects that use wood as a food source and can cause serious damage to building timbers.

The 4 most commonly found Wood Boring Insects in the UK are:

  • Common Furniture Beetle

  • House Longhorn Beetle

  • Deathwatch Beetle

  • Wood Boring Weevil

Woodworm Identification & Treatment:

Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium Punctatum):

The most common type of woodworm, typical signs of Common Furniture Beetle consist of small holes with diameter of 1mm - 2mm. Live infestation of Common Furniture Beetle show a light cream bore hole dust (also known as frass) around the holes.

Adult Beetles do not feed on timbers. Typically, the adults lay eggs on or just under the surface of the timbers, which the resulting grubs feed on causing structural damage. This process occurs before the grub pupates and hatches as beetles, which also breed, lay eggs, and repeat the cycle to cause further damage.

Common Furniture Beetle come nearer to the wood surface when ready to pupate. They excavate small spaces just under the wood surface and take up to eight weeks to pupate.

Adult Beetles then break through the surface (exit holes), spilling bore hole dust, showing classic signs of Woodworm Infestation caused by Common Furniture Beetle.

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

Recommended Treatments:

House Longhorn Beetle (Hylotrupes Bajulus):

The House Longhorn Beetle can cause significant damage to timbers, particularly on freshly produced sapwood or softwood timber.

The life cycle typically takes two to ten years. This can vary depending on the type of wood and other factors such as moisture content, temperature, the age and the quality of the wood.

Only the larvae feed on the wood. Larvae usually pupate just beneath the wood surface and enclose in mid to late summer.

Typical signs of House Longhorn Beetle is the shape of the tunnels / emergence holes. These emergence holes are raggedly oval and irregular. Tunnels merge to form a powdery mass contained by sound surface skin of wood.

A Permethrin based Woodworm Treatment can be used to treat, and prevent, infestation of House Longhorn Beetle. This can be used as a surface treatment and also by injection into the emergence holes as this allows the treatment to migrate through the most susceptible areas of the timber.

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

Recommended Treatments:

Death Watch Beetle (Xestobium Rufovillosum):

An adult Death Watch Beetle is approximately 7mm long, while the larvae can be up to 11mm long.

Death Watch Beetle create a 'tapping' sound which can sometimes be heard on quiet summer nights.

Often found in historic buildings, Death Watch Beetle attack hard woods such as Elm and Oak. Dampness is essential for establishment and promotes rapid development. The larva is very soft, yet can bore its way through wood, provided that the wood has experienced prior fungal decay.

Typical signs of Death Watch Beetle are the 'tapping' sounds as mentioned above, but also the texture of the borehole dust can be gritty, disc shaped pellets.

The Larvae itself has a distinctive thin dark pigmented area above the mouth. Legs covered in fine gold hairs are also present. This is one of the ways to identify the larvae as being Death Watch Beetle, and not to be confused with Wood Boring Weevils.

Treatment of Death Watch Beetle is the same as House Longhorn Beetle (above).

All timbers should be inspected for their structural integrity.

Recommended Treatments:

Wood Boring Weevil (Euophryum Confine):

'Euophryum Confine' is a species of Wood Boring Weevil that is native to Europe.

The Wood Boring Weevil are known to attack damp and decaying softwoods and hardwoods, often when this infested with the fungus, although they will also continue to attack dried out timber previously attacked by rot. They can also attack plywood in these conditions.

Wood Boring Weevils are likely to be found in areas such as poorly ventilated ground floors, cellars, or wood in contact with damp solid floors or walls.

An Adult Weevil is around 3mm - 5mm long, brown-black in colour with a distinctive long snout. They can migrate in large numbers into rooms adjacent to damage, particularly during summer months or if drying takes place.

The Larva can be up to 4mm long, curved and pale cream in colour and has no legs. They can be found in infested wood all year long.

Typical signs of Wood Boring Weevil are numerous 'Tunnels', normally found in the direction of the grain, often breaking through to wood surface. Emergence holes are small, ragged and about 1mm in diameter.

The best way to treat Wood Boring Weevil is to remove the source of dampness and dry out timbers. Generally, no Woodworm Treatment is required for the eradication of Wood Boring Weevil.

Replace any decayed timbers. Infestation of sound dry wood is not possible with Wood Boring Weevil.


Image Credits: SigaUdo Schmidt (1), Udo Schmidt (2), Udo Schmidt (3)

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