For technical advice and sales Call: 01403 210204

Woodworm Treatment & Identification

Woodworm holes found in timber are caused by the larvae of beetles that feed on the timber. Larger holes on the surface of the timber are formed when the adult beetle emerges from the timber to mate.

There are a number of species of woodworm, and the precise method of treatment will depend on which species is attacking the timber.

Common Furniture Beetle

By far the most common species of woodworm in the UK is the Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium punctatum). Despite its name, Common Furniture Beetle is just as likely to attack building timbers (joists, floorboards, etc...) as it is to attack furniture.

This species of woodworm can be identified by the small, round holes that are left on the surface of the timber (approx. 1.5 – 2mm diameter) and the bore-dust that it leaves behind – showing up as lemon-shaped pellets under magnification and feeling "gritty" when rubbed between the fingers.

The adult beetle (see below) is typically between 3 and 5mm long. A key identifying feature is the distinctly-shaped thorax – giving the appearance of a monk's hood over the beetle's head.

Adult woodworm beetle (anobium punctatum)

Various magnified views of adult Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium punctatum) ©Siga

In most cases treatment of Common Furniture Beetle is fairly straightforward. Any structurally-weakened timber should be removed and replaced with pre-treated timber. All surfaces of the affected timber should then be treated with Soluguard Woodworm Treatment applied by brush or spray.

Other Types of Woodworm

Other types of woodworm common to the UK include the Deathwatch Beetle (Xestobium rufuvillosum), the House Longhorn Beetle (Hylotrupes bajulus), and the Powderpost beetle (Lyctus brunneus). Whilst the Powderpost Beetle can be treated in much the same way as the Common Furniture Beetle, House Longhorn and Deathwatch beetle infestations require more extensive treatment – for details, please contact our technical department on 01403 210204.

The House Longhorn Beetle can cause particularly severe damage because its larvae are much larger than those of other wood-boring insects native to the UK – see picture on right.

The main problems encountered when treating woodworm are identifying the species involved, deciding whether the infestation is still active, and deciding which timbers have been structurally weakened and need replacing. All of these factors will influence the type of treatment carried out (if any). For this reason, we would recommend that a survey is carried out by an experienced timber treatment company whenever an active woodworm infestation is suspected. For details of such companies in your area, contact our technical department.

Free Woodworm Identification Guide

A guide to the identification of woodworm species common in the UK can be downloaded free of charge in PDF format by clicking on the image to the left.

Information given for each species includes: types of timbers attacked, types of damage, life cycle, and notes on identification.

Related Pages

Professional Contractors

For best results, the identification and treatment of woodworm should be carried out by experienced contractors – particularly in the case of widespread infestation, or where the more destructive species of woodworm are involved. If you would like details of experienced woodworm treatment companies in your area, please call our technical department on 01403 210204 or visit our technical support page.

Suggested NBS specification clause: PLACEHOLDER

Visit our NBS page for further information on specifying Safeguard products using NBS.

Visit our case studies page for a complete list of case studies available on this website.