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Most families yearn for extra space as an inbuilt requirement in today’s modern world, a lot of homeowners are utilising the space they already have, by converting dingy cellars and basements into bright and cosy additional rooms instead.



Rising damp is an issue that can sometimes affect all buildings. It is a problem more often in older houses where the original damp proof course has become damaged.

Guide To Woodworm Treatment

Woodworm is a common term used to describe the wood boring beetle known as larvae. Although there are several species of larvae present in homes around the UK, most damage comes from the common furniture beetle and its offspring.

You should never underestimate woodworm as it can be a big problem. They can cause significant damage to a building and its structure. If not treated properly, your structure could be significantly harmed.

Making sure you are familiar with the woodworm problem is important. Below is a handy guide to follow about woodworm, what they are, and how to treat them.

Species of Woodworm

The normal bodies of woodworm larvae are curved and a creamy white colour. These can often be quite hard to see on wood unless they are fully grown. The most common species is the furniture beetle and it is normally 3-4mm in size with small wings. As a woodworm infestation starts when the beetle tunnels into any timber material, you need to be on alert for small holes.

The beetles tunnel down these holes to lay their eggs during mating season. Mating sessions vary in time and period from species to species, but the same process happens. The small hole acts as a nest for the eggs. It can be highly damaging to the wood itself, especially when the holes are created close together.

There are various woodworm species to identify, but the main four include:

  • Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium punctatum)
  • House Longhorn Beetle (Hylotrupes bajulas)
  • Powerpost Beetle (Lyctus brunneus)
  • Dethwatch Beetle (Xestobium rufuvillosum)

Average Life Cycle

The life cycle of a woodworm is amazing considering they only live for around three years. When they start to enter the wood and lay their eggs, their cycle has begun. They can often go undetected by the homeowners until they have entered the wood fully. Woodworm follow an average life cycle consisting of the eggs, larva, pupa and then adult life.

The female prefers to lay her eggs under the surface of the wood, in cracks and also in pores. They feel safer in the timber as the larvae can continue feeding on the wood for several years to come.

When they finally reach their full maturity, the older beetles will leave the wood. The female beetles then find a safe place to lay their eggs and encourage the life cycle to continue.

Check all wood pieces in your home for signs of the woodworm beetle and its eggs, including:

  • Furniture
  • Beams/Joists
  • Floorboards
  • Roof Timber
  • Structural Timber
  • Decorative Woodwork
  • Painted Wooden Surfaces
  • Window Frames

Identifying Your Problem

At first it can be difficult to spot a woodworm problem because the damage is often inside the timber itself. However, there are some tell-tale signs that can indicate a possible infestation. When you find woodworm active at your property it can often be quite stressful. Using a professional to assess your situation ensures that there is no major damage and that the infestation is treated appropriately.

If your property is severely damaged, it may not be possible for the structure to be saved. As woodworm can be very damaging, you need to look out for it as soon as possible.

Some of the tell-tale signs include:

  • Small holes in the wood materials that look like dart board holes
  • Powdery dust substances around the holes also known as frass
  • Clearly visible tunnels in the wood
  • Crumbled edges on joists and boards
  • Damaged and weak floorboards
  • Visibly emerging adult beetles from the holes

Do I Have Woodworm?

It is important to be looking for adult wood boring beetles all year round. You need to check for dead and alive beetles, in case there are still eggs within the timber ready to hatch. Check all of your wood materials, including your windowsills. It is important to make sure that there is no food source for them nearby in case they start to move.

In most cases, the exit holes are clearly visible. However these only occur once the adult beetle is ready to leave and it can often take several years to do so.

The best areas to check are old pieces of timber and the underside of furniture as these are often left untouched. If there are holes in your floors and skirting boards, this could be from previous woodworm infestations, so please be aware of what is current and new.

The following tips help you to assess whether your woodworm is a present or past issue.

  • Some woodworms are not harmful and a professional will need to be consulted before you identify them as a problem.
  • The highest season for woodworms is between May and September, so make sure to cover all holes with either paint or tape.
  • In Spring check to see if there are any emerging adult beetles and this will indicate whether you have an active woodworm infestation or not.
  • Test the humidity of your wood and use a moisture meter. Insert the probe into the wood to get a result. If this is any higher than 20% you should be concerned.
  • Beetles prefer wood with a moisture over 18%. You need to make sure that your wood doesn’t go above that figure because you could be encouraging an infestation.

Treating an Infestation

Before you start treating woodworm yourself, you need to identify the problem properly. This stops you from wasting time and costs on treatments that may not work. Each woodworm problem needs to be treated with a specific treatment. Diagnosing the problem wrongly will only lead to further damage and a stronger infestation.

The following woodworm treatments will stop the damage and hopefully save your structure before it is too late:

  • Make sure all wood is dry and free from moisture as woodworm love moist areas to lay their eggs and breed.
  • Be patient when trying to find holes and bores in your wood materials and ensure everything in your home is dry at all times to avoid an infestation.
  • Always keep your home well ventilated and maintain the heat at a good temperature. High humidity means that the woodworm cannot survive.
  • Remove any infested wood you may have in your property to avoid a spread of infestation and it should prevent further problems and damage. Removing the root of the damage will stop infestations in their path.
  • Before you replace infected timber, check all of your existing timber materials because there is no use in adding more fresh timber to your home if you still have an infestation.
  • Once you are sure there is no more woodworm present in your home, you can confidently add fresh timber to your home and new furniture.
  • Use furniture and wood pieces made from high-quality hardwood so that you won’t attract woodworm beetles in the future.
  • Seal all wood with a varnish to make it harder for woodworm to bore holes into it and to also discourage any woodworm to return.
  • Add flytraps around your home so that you can catch the beetles before they get chance to mate in your home and lay eggs.
  • Use insecticides to prevent a woodworm infestation. Consult with a specialist team before applying anything to your home to ensure that you are getting the right one and using the right poisons.

You need to act quickly when it comes to woodworm treatments to avoid infestation issues and further damage. By treating the woodworm as soon as possible, you can stop the life cycle of the woodworm and the beetle before they take over timber materials in your property.

Contact Aquafoss Today

To find out more about woodworm and how we can treat this, give us a call today on 01525 374406.


Aquafoss is a family run business that has built up a reputation over the last 40 years that is second to none for our dedication to detail and highest quality workmanship.

Our team are here to make sure you get the best possible service in Leighton Buzzard and the surrounding areas for woodworm treatment. Follow our handy contact us page for further contact details.