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Signs of woodworm infestations

You may not realize that you have a woodworm problem until the resulting damage becomes visible, so early identification is key to avoiding serious property damage. 

What does a woodworm look like?

There are four stages of woodworm development

  • Egg
  • Larva
  • Pupa
  • Adult beetle

Adult woodworm feature front wings that typically cover the insect’s entire abdomen while larvae are yellowish white with dark-colored jaws.

Adult woodworm will lay their eggs in cracks in wooden objects, floorboards and wooden wall frames.  

When larvae hatch they immediately burrow through the wood, making it very unlikely they would be seen. They’ll be hungry and your woodwork will be their only food source. Safely inside the wood they continue to tunnel and feed for several years.

As the larvae mature and increase in size, they bore towards the wood surface to pupate and emerge as adult beetles.

Fact: Different insects prefer different woods, which will help you to identify what sort is causing your problems. Some prefer softwoods like pine, spruce and cedar while others like hardwoods such as eucalypt, oak, ash, and mahogany. Whatever the species, all of them will leave some signs, if you have an active woodworm infestation. Find out more about the different species.

What are the signs of woodworm?

  • Fresh exit holes in wood - round or oval shaped with sharp edges, the holes will appear clean and fresh.

  • Bore dust - (also known as frass) caused by emerging adult beetles, usually visible below the infested wood.

  • Adult beetles - emerge from wood at specific times in the year depending on the biology of the species.

  • Weak and damaged floorboards - in extreme cases, a foot or chair leg going through the floor can indicate a more serious problem.

  • Tunnels in the wood - also known as 'galleries' which are often hard to see.

  • Crumbling wood - around corners or edges to roof joists or floorboards.

  • Dead beetles - usually found near the infested wood or around nearby window sills.

  • Eggs - these vary in size depending on the beetle, but all are difficult to spot with the naked eye. woodworm larvae - usually a creamy-white color and curved in shape.

  • Woodworm larvae - usually a creamy-white colour and curved in shape.

Dealing with a woodworm infestation

If left untreated, woodworm can seriously weaken wood - this may lead to structural failure of the property.

Our professional, experienced Technicians will carry out a thorough woodworm inspection to assess the extent of any problem and the type of woodworm involved. They will also determine if the infestation is active, check for associated problems such as wood rot or damp and if any wood need replacing. Based on this detailed evaluation, your Technician will then recommend any appropriate woodworm treatment.

Next steps

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