4 Common Misconceptions About Woodworm Infestations

4 Common Misconceptions About Woodworm Infestations

- in Home

Not so. Woodworm is an umbrella term for wood boring beetles. They hatch from eggs, live as larvae and pupa in timber and when they reach maturity they exit the timber as beetles.

The most common species in the UK are:

  • The Common Furniture Beetle – Anobium punctatum – This wood boring species prefers soft woods. Damp floorboards and old moist furniture are ideal.
  • The Deathwatch Beetle – Xestobium rufovillosum – These are likely to be found in wet or damaged hardwoods. Research places greater numbers in the south of England.
  • The House Longhorn Beetle – Hylotrupes bajulu – Far rarer in the UK than the other two species, they prefer soft woods. Damp roof timbers offer perfect surroundings.

Woodworm infestations die in winter

This is a common misconception.

Woodworm larvae and pupa can live in timber for 2-5 years as they progress towards maturity as beetles. They live as beetles for less than 2 weeks.

Whilst other pests disappear in winter, woodworm will continue to tunnel and consume the cellulose content in the timber unaffected.

Woodworm infestations dislike summer because it is too dry for their tastes, but it doesn’t kill them. Woodworm thrive in the varying temperatures and moisture levels which spring and autumn presents with condensation, heating being switched on and off and closed off areas. Winter poses little threat to them.

Be watchful for woodworm and look for new clues. At the first suspicion, call in timber specialists.

Clues look new, so they must be from a new woodworm infestation

Not necessarily. Holes may appear to be freshly bored, with sharp lines, but they could be from an historic woodworm infestation. You can’t necessarily trust this clue as a defining one.

Other clues tend to be more accurate including frass, this is the dust beneath tunnels (galleries) and holes.

Beetles trundling around, concentrated around a timber area.

Dead beetles, again in a cluster beneath timber.

Weak, easy to damage timber.

Wood that cannot bear weight.


You may find when you speak to timber specialists that your problem is wet rot or dry rot, both require an increase in moisture levels to take hold, 50% and 20% respectively. The spores are present in the air, embed and fruit in timber when the conditions are right.

Over the counter treatments kill woodworm 100%

That’s the hope.

If these non-licenced treatments were guaranteed, comprehensive and lasting why would professional timber specialists like Thames Valley Timber Treatment’s team be in constant demand and have over 25 years of trading experience?

Timber treatments carried out by professionals carry guarantees of 20-30 years and many mortgage lenders and insurance companies insist on professional treatments to kill woodworm effectively.

Remember too that timber specialists are knowledgeable about the risks attached to using the chemical treatments, have the training and experience and PPE to secure their own and their client’s safety.

Timber specialists also comprehend via a thorough survey how extensive treatment needs to be.

Trust timber specialists to resolve your woodworm infestation issues cost effectively.

About the author