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Woodworm: What Are The Warning Signs?

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Knowing the warning signs indicating the presence of woodworm could save you more than just money. Woodworm can be a plague for home owners and business owners alike, and an infestation can do significant structural damage to your timber. These pesky beetles (that’s right, not worms) destroy furniture, antiques and even roof beams and supports! Keep reading to discover what to look out for, and what to do if you are impacted.

woodworm in damaged timber

Sign 1. You Can See Active Woodworm

The woodworm themselves may not be the first thing you spot, but their presence is of course the #1 sign they are active. There are four lifecycle stages you may witness:

Woodworm Eggs

Tiny lemon-shaped eggs can on occasion be seen in the cracks and crevices of woodwork. Eggs indicate an active infestation, however, they are so small they are rarely detected by home and business owners.

Woodworm Larvae

Woodworm larvae (grubs) are less likely to be seen, as they spend most of their time within the timber. Should they make an appearance, you’ll see a small, white maggot-like grub, around 2mm in length. Unfortunately, this is when the majority of damage is caused, as the larvae bore through the wood.

Dead Beetles

Households are most likely to spot the carcasses of woodworm beetles. Clusters of dead bugs could indicate an issue, however, this doesn’t determine if infestations are active. Instead, look out for these other signs as well.

Live Beetles

There are a number of woodworm species. All of them are shades of brown, red or black and are typically between 3-10 mm in length. Contrary to what the name suggests, woodworm are in fact beetles. The most prevalent species in the UK is the common furniture beetle (anobium punctatum), a smaller variety that’s distinguishable by its reddish-brown hue and lines down its wings.

Woodworm larvae

Sign 2. Small Holes In Your Woodwork

If your wooden surface has clusters of small, 1-2mm wide holes, this is likely to indicate a woodworm infestation. This could be active, characterised by light-coloured wood visible inside sharp-edged holes, or inactive, where holes would be darker and smoother. If there is a powder (known as ‘frass’) around the holes, the larvae are likely to be active, though frass dusting can be hard to spot, particularly on light or hard-to-reach surfaces.

Sign 3. Weak Floorboards & Timber

Woodworm bore a network of tunnels through solid timber. The result, wood becomes weaker, softer, and more easily damaged. 

Examples include:

Think You’ve Got Woodworm? Time To Call Pest Control in Cornwall!

You’ve seen the signs, you have a woodworm infestation. The longer the problem goes untreated, the more your property or furniture is at risk. The impact these devastating pests can have can be significant; destroying antiques, chomping through furniture, and laying waste to your timber beams and joists. So, don’t delay, call Terminate Pest Control in Cornwall today on 01326 377470 before it’s too late.