The Myth of Woodworm Debunked – A Timberwise Investigation

30 September 2014

Some experts have claimed that woodworm cannot be present within a domestic building because of the existence of central heating, along with another claim that woodworm can only exist in very old buildings.

We’re here to explain why woodworm can still occur in modern housing & buildings, answer your most common questions about woodworm, and offer you some advice on how to deal with the problem.

1.    ‘Woodworm’ is a broad term

It can encompass a range of wood-boring insects, as it is not an individual species.

One of the most common wood-boring insects, the Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium Punctatum), actually infests around 75% of properties within the UK, making it a particular problem within domestic households.

Other species include Ambrosia, Bark Borer, Death Watch, House Longhorn, Powder Post, Weevils, and Wharf Borer.

2.    The holes in your wood are not made by the beetle

They are actually produced by the larvae, which then grows into the insect. If you discover live beetles, this could be a sign that you have an infestation, but then you could just have a few roam beetles that are not part of the woodworm family. Our surveyors can identify the type of insect and whether or not it is a risk to your home or property.

It’s important to check around the edge of the holes in the wood; if there is a powdery substance (which is actually the larvae’s faeces) then this is an indication that the woodworm infestation is recent and should be dealt with immediately. Download our free Woodworm information pack to help you decide what action to take next if you notice this particular sign.

3.    Central heating cannot be used to deter woodworm

This is a popular notion amongst many people that regular use of central heating in modern houses means that woodworm is non-existent. Other than the fact that there is no evidence of this, central heating is not an effective method of the extermination of woodworm. We rarely use central heating throughout the year and we’re more likely to use it during the damper, colder months.

There is some discrepancy as to whether central heating can actually increase levels of moisture within timber, which completely discredits the idea that this is a method of effectively deterring the presence of woodworm.

Correct identification of the beetle infestation is needed to ensure that the correct remedial treatments can be recommended. To arrange for one of our experts to survey the beetle damage call 0800 288 8660 or complete our on-line survey request form.