Wood Boring Insects (woodworm)

Woodworm is a collective name for many different species of wood boring insects. The insects that we are concerned with are the ones that are able to use the wood in your property as a food source or as their home. These insects can cause serious damage to timber by boring into wet, decaying timber, in the garden or woodland, But worse than this, a small number of insects, are able to attack timber in the drier conditions found in our properties.

These insects are referred to as "woodworm" because it is during the larval or 'worm' stage that they bore and eat into the wood. Most insects are identified by the damage they have left behind, it is rare to see the insects themselves on the timber. Dead beetles (esp. common furniture beetle) are often found on window sills, this is because they are attracted to light. People often see holes in timber and assume that this is where the beetles have gone into the timber, however this is in fact the opposite, usually the holes in the timber of your property are flight holes where the insect has left the timber. There are many insects that bore into timber, Listed here are some of the categories that cause the more serious damage to our property. countries.

The Common Furniture Beetle Anobium Punctatum


The Common furniture beetle is the most commonly found woodworm in the UK. Damage can be identified from the tiny holes in the surface of the wood they have infested. These holes are emergence holes, this is where the adult beetle has emerged from the timber.

The Common furniture beetle lays its eggs on the timber, the eggs hatch into microscopic grubs and make their way into the timber through the many natural tunnels contained within the timber itself. These grubs burrow and tunnel about within the timber eventually creating their own enlarged tunnels as they grow. Active woodworm can often be identified by the appearance of the exit holes, sharp clean edges often (but not always) accompanied by a scattering of tiny dust piles known as ‘frass’ on the timber. Structural weakening often occurs in more advanced attacks, if find such an attack and are in any doubt you should contact us for an expert opinion. This beetle tends to prefer moist timbers, often found in older houses or terraces where the floor joists are near the subfloor oversite and ventilation may be inadequate or blocked.

Other types of woodworm

There are many other types of woodworm that attack our properties, whilst they do have different characteristics the main difference is in the identification. Shown below are pictures of some other types of beetles and the damage they cause.

House Longhorn Beetle Hylotrupes Bajulus

common furniture beetle
Woodworm holes CFB

Woodboring Weevil Pentarthrum Huttoni and Euophryum Confine

Euophryum Confine, woodboring Weevil
Weevil Damage to wood

Ptilinus Beetle Ptilinus Pectinicornis

Ptilinus Beetle
Ptilinus damage

Powderpost Beetle Lyctus Brunneus

Lyctus powderpost beetle
Powderpost beetle damage

The Deathwatch Beetle Xestobium Rufovillosum

Deathwatch Beetle
Deathwatch Beetle Damage

DIY treatments

DIY treatments can be bought from most Diy stores in the form of a spray or liquid preservative, however you should bear in mind that the beetle has exited via the holes so treating the holes it is a bit like bolting the stable door after the horse has ran. It should be remembered that these treatments are chemicals that can be hazardous to health and so, strict adherence to the health and safety instructions, protective clothing requirements and coshh regulations should be maintained at all times

Also to be considered is the fact that if you treat an attack yourself you will not have a written guarantee, which is usually a requirement for a house sale. Building Societies and their surveyors will generally insist on another opinion from a specialist company such as ourselves and if a guarantee is not present or any structural timber has been affected we will have no choice to recommend professional treatment which often means you will have to pay for it prior to the sale going through or in the form of a price reduction anyway. Why not get a professional inspection and report in the first place and save yourself a lot of trouble.

Call and book your free visit for help and advice

If you think you have a problem and would like some expert advice why not talk to a fully vetted and accredited Which? magazine TRUSTED TRADER where you know you will receive an honest and fair appraisal of your problem and a highly competitive price if any work is needed!

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Whatever your thoughts, questions or concerns may be, everything starts from a first step, the first step in this case is to get in touch, we will send a friendly helpful surveyor to you. You are then free to run your thoughts and ideas past him, he will sit down, chat with you and tell you whether what you want to do is practical and possible, if there are any more practical or cost effective alternatives you may not have thought of and give you an approximate cost for your project. We realise you may need a little help to decide what is possible, so we provide this service free of charge and with no obligation - except perhaps a coffee while we chat!

What areas do we cover?

We have teams covering the north-east however we can also assist nationwide. The areas we cover are shown below:

Northumberland 01670 707228

Covering but not limited to: Bedlington, Cramlington, Hexham, Morpeth, Northumberland, Tynedale.

Newcastle / Tyneside 0191 4066488

Covering but not limited to: Gateshead, Gosforth, Heaton, Jesmond, Low Fell, Newcastle Upon Tyne, North Shields, North Tyneside South Shields, South Tyneside, Team Valley, Tynemouth, Whickham, Whitley Bay.

Sunderland 0191 5947946

Covering but not limited to: Boldon, Sunderland, Washington.

County Durham and surrounding areas 0191 3385384

Covering but not limited to: Barnard Castle, Bishop Aukland, Chester-le-street, Consett, Crook, Durham, Sedgefield, Stanley, Wear Valley.

Nationwide 0800 0502400

We offer a nationwide service in other areas through our network of manufacturer vetted and approved contractors - just contact us for any UK area and we will do the rest.

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