What is Woodworm?

Woodworm Expert Advice Forum

Woodworm Expert Advice Forum

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Q. What is Woodworm?

A. If you see round holes that look as if you have been playing Darts, then you are probably looking at the UK's favourite wood boring insect, which is known as the Common Furniture Beetle. This does not mean that it is restricted to eating furniture. It is to be found in softwoods like Pine and hardwoods, such as Oak.

Q. Does a woodworm just eat Furniture?

A. No. The name comes from its preference for old furniture, where it loves to eat timbers glued with animal bone glue - drawer bottoms, rear plywood panels. It can be found in most building timbers in most parts of a house.

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Q. If the woodworm holes are a little bigger what insect could it be?

A. If the wood is possibly Oak or Elm it may be Death Watch Beetle. However, this insect mainly lives deep inside the wood and unlike Common Furniture Beetle it does not need to visit the surface to breed.

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Where can I buy Boron based Woodworm Treatment?

Q. If the woodworm holes are massively bigger and oval in shape what insect could it be?

A. If the wood is a softwood, like Pine of some sort, it may be House Longhorn Beetle. Listen to the wood for munching sounds, This is a serious and rare pest in the UK, but common in Europe. Call us for specialist advice or go to our Longhorn page - click here.




Hole size - 1mm to 2mm in diameter.

Common Furniture Beetle - 2.5 to 5mm long

Common furniture beetle, Anobium Punctatum, has a 5 year life cycle, but the adult only lives for a few weeks and cuts the hole you see in order to exit and find a mate. Eggs are laid onto the timber surface or in old holes. The baby grubs bore back in and the cycle repeats.



Hole size - 3mm in diameter.

Death Watch Beetle - 6 to 9mm long

Death Watch beetle, Xestobium rufovillosum, has an 8 to 10 year life cycle, but the adult rarely visits the surface. Eggs are laid inside the timber or in old tunnels.


Q. I treated my floor 3 months ago, but fresh holes are still appearing. Why?

A. Because of the life cycle of the common furniture beetle the surface treatment can only kill the new eggs that are laid - the wood worm grubs live deep in the wood and cannot be reached with a normal surface treatment.

Q. How long does a Woodworm live?

A. Up to 5 years, before changing into a beetle and emerging to mate.

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Q. How long does the Beetle live? Does it eat the wood?

A. Up to 3 weeks and no, it does not eat.

Q. Do Woodworm have teeth?

A. Yes, the Adult Beetle cuts an exit hole with its teeth. Using a x 8 Magnifier you can see the bite marks and from these guess whether the emergence is recent or old from the sharpness of the edges and the bright or dull colour of the cuts.

Q. I have woodworm in some old furniture. Is it likely to infest my flooring?

A. Not very likely - the eggs cannot burrow in through paint, varnish, wax or other finishes.

Where can I buy Boron based Woodworm Treatment?

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Woodworm Expert Forum,

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Site written by: David Moore

David Moore, B.A. (Hons.), C.T.I.S., C.R.D.S. Technical Author


Other Property Repair Systems Sites:

www.boron.org.uk - how to use Boron based insecticides/fungicides to treat timber rots and insect attack

www.dampness-info.co.uk - how to treat penetrating dampness in walls and plaster

www.deck-treatment.co.uk - how to treat patio decks and yacht decks

www.dryrot.biz - how to kill Dry Rot in buildings

www.drywallandfloor.co.uk - membranes for lining damp walls, floors, basements and cellars

www.epoxy-info.co.uk - epoxy resins for repairing wood, concrete, brick and stone

www.fire-door-paint.co.uk - upgrade doors to 30 minutes fire resistance

www.joist-repair.co.uk - how to quickly repair joists and beams of any size

www.steel-fire-paint.co.uk - treat steel with Intumescent Paint to provide fire protection

www.timber.org.uk - systems of repair, with step by step methods

www.timber-repair.co.uk - how to repair timber beams

www.woodworm-info.co.uk - how to kill and prevent woodworm and death watch beetle