It’s not actually a worm but the wood-eating larvae of many different species of beetle. The term ‘woodworm’ also refers to the infestation of wood. Woodworm can infest any wooden item but we commonly deal with wood furniture and wooden structures within a building.
Is woodworm a problem?
The danger level to human health from woodworm is low. They don’t carry or spread disease. But like most insect and bug infestations, you probably don’t fancy sharing your home with them.
In the UK, the most common woodworm infestation is by the Common Furniture beetle but the Death Watch beetle, the House Longhorn beetle and the Powder Post beetle can also lay their eggs in wood.
Left unchecked, the wood-eating larvae can cause significant damage to a wooden item. Where the infestation is seriously problematic – that is, there are many larvae in many wooden items and have been there for some time – the wood can become unsafe. This is noticeable in empty property that has been untouched and unheated for some time.
Is it a growing problem?
Woodworm is one of those pests that have been around for centuries. Beetles like damp wood and so in homes that were not well heated, such as those before central heating was invented, woodworm could be a regular occurrence.
It still happens today but we have noticed that woodworm tends to be a problem in attics and roof spaces where wood is damp. The wood eating larvae prefer damp wood but can be dormant in dry wood for many years. When the conditions are right, the larvae ‘wake up’ and continue their life cycle.
There is also a suggestion that the current trend for buying recycled, upcycled and second-hand furniture could also be helping the wood eating larvae on its travels. If you buy furniture this way, inspect every part of the item for the tell-tale pin prick holes left when the larvae emerge.
How are woodworm infestations treated?
Through the use of chemicals and treatments, in small infestations, woodworm can be quickly and easily eradicated.
In large-scale infestations, it may require a combination of solutions including chemical treatment of wood, as well as sections being replaced and so on.
Many people who find woodworm in furniture will get rid of the item but you will still need to check that all your other items are unaffected.
Woodworm can be a sign of dampness too as the beetle only boars into damp wood. Ensuring the right level of humidity can help.
At The Pest Technician, we deal with woodworm infestation quickly and effectively. Call our team on 077 11 99 22 16 to find out more about affordable woodworm treatment options.