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How to get rid of woodworm

Information, facts and resources to help you deal with an infestation of woodworm and, if the worst happens, how to destroy the woodworm and prevent this household pests return.


What do Woodworm look like?

woodworm damage

Woodworm damage to floorboards

Woodworm Description

  • Woodworm is most often spotted by its effects. Small, regular round holes in wood.
  • Woodworm larva or grubs are typically 1 mm long, creamy white, C-shaped larva.

Where do Woodworm live?

  • Woodworm are the larval stage of wood-boring insects and are found in hard and softwoods.
  • Woodworm in homes are often the larva of the common furniture beetle.
  • Woodworm thrive by eating all types of wood.

What are the signs of woodworm infestation?

  • Small, very regular round exit holes in wood may be seen.
  • Small piles of wood-dust are often left once the larva bore to the surface of wood and migrate as a flying beetle.

What do woodworm eat?

  • Woodworm eat wood, specifically seasoned sapwood.
  • Woodworm spend their lives boring through timber, following and eating the starchy part of the wood grain.

Why must woodworm be controlled?

  • Woodworm can cause serious structural damage to timber buildings over time, if left untreated.
  • Woodworm damage to furniture is unsightly.

How can I get rid of woodworm?

  • Woodworm infestations can be controlled by the professional application of poison, for example, a residual insecticide (such as permethrin) to infected areas,.
  • Aerosol insecticide sprays are available from DIY stores for spraying directly onto woodworm infested wood but will only kill the adult borer on the wing and not the burrowing larvae, which remain protected inside woodworm infected timbers.

How can I prevent Booklice from returning?

  • Woodworm only eat sapwood and not heartwood of timber. As a result, prevention of woodworm attack can be achieved by judicious selection of timber at an early stage in wood-building projects.
  • Professional treatment of timber prior to use is possible to make the wood impermeable or poisonous to woodworm.

Woodworm Poisons and Woodworm Pesticides

  • Suitable products can be purchased from hardware shops and garden centres to extermine woodworm.
  • It is essential to purchase the correct product as treatment for woodworm is likely to take place in areas where food is stored.
  • Remember pesticides can be poisonous to children and pets. After use store container and contents away from children, or dispose of empty containers safely.

The "Green Option" - Environmentally friendly control of Woodworm

  • Prevention will be the best method. Choose heartwood in building projects and avoid the "vulnerable to woodworm attack" sapwood.
  • Paint or otherwise protect bare wood to make it unattractive to woodworm.

Woodworm : Household Pests

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