Can Woodworm Harm your Pets?

12 March 2024

Woodworm are a common household pest in the UK, and for many a problem that will be contained solely to their timber.

However, there will be some who might be concerned how the presence of these tiny insects will affect the health of others in the property – and that might not be limited to people. If you own a pet and are concerned about how the presence of woodworm in a property could potentially impact your pets health, you can find out more here.

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Concerned About Woodworm in Your Home?

Does Woodworm Pose a Direct Threat to My Pets?

Directly, no, woodworm pose no threat to your pets as they are incapable of biting, and are not venomous in any way. Nor are they poisonous, and you can expect no negative reaction should your pet eat a woodworm beetle that has emerged from an untreated section of timber.

However, woodworm do in fact pose an indirect threat to your pets thanks to the environment they create, the ecosystem they inhabit, and of course, the treatments designed to extinguish them in a property.

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Can Woodworm Bite My Pet?

As we said before, woodworm beetles are incapable of delivering a bite that would cause any significant injury, irritation, or sickness to many of the common household pets in the UK, but that does not account for the wider ecosystem that a woodworm infestation encourages.

For example, one of the natural predators of woodworm is Sclerodermus domesticus, a type of cuckoo wasp commonly known as the ‘antiquarian’s friend’ because of its diet of woodworm. The female cuckoo wasps possess a stinger which, if used on a human, can potentially cause a rash, fever, or general discomfort.

Again, this is nothing too serious, but it’s not uncommon to see these same symptoms present in animals like cats and dogs if they are stung – especially if the animal is allergic to the specific venom that the cuckoo wasp produces.

Usually, the cuckoo wasp will only resort to stinging if you, your cat, or your dog get too close to their food source or become an irritation to them, and normally the sting produces a stronger reaction in those allergic to them than in others.

If you are concerned about the effect that these wasps might have on your pets, or even on you, then you will need to consider eliminating the woodworm altogether. The cuckoo wasps lay their eggs within the corpses of the woodworm larvae, which in turn act as the food source for the wasp’s larvae when they hatch.

Making sure that the woodworm in the timber have been eliminated is a good way to discourage new cuckoo wasp growth, as well as safeguarding your timber against further degradation.

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Want to Book a Woodworm Survey?

Is Woodworm Treatment Potentially Harmful to My Pet?

Treating woodworm can be a tricky process, and ensuring that the correct treatment has been applied to the situation in hand can take a seasoned professional, but the fact remains that it can be worrying when chemicals are introduced into an environment which are designed to kill insects.

So, when it comes to woodworm treatment and your pets, you will need to be extra careful.

Here at Timberwise, we make use of a water-based woodworm treatment spray, designed to kill the woodworm beetles on contact when they emerge from the timber at maturity. The fact that it is a water based solution means that the risk to individuals, pets, and the environment is lessened, but we will stop short of saying that it’s removed completely.

So, if you are undergoing treatment for woodworm and you own a pet that has free reign of your home, or is allowed in the space that the timber is being treated, it’s drastically important that you understand precisely where the treatment has been applied.

This is because you can then stop the likes of your dog or cat (for example) from being unsupervised or capable of getting near the timber which has been treated, and reduce the chance of your pet ingesting any of the applied treatment.

If your pet does in fact consume any of the treatment, lick the affected timber, or even eat any of the killed woodworm which have died after emerging, then it’s important to consult with a vet as soon as possible just in case a reaction does occur.

If you are using another form of woodworm treatment, then there is every possibility it can be more toxic than a water based solution, and therefore pose a higher risk to pets if eaten. However, we are sure that as responsible pet owners, those reading this article will understand the importance of keeping their pet away from affected woodworm.

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Need Professional Help with Woodworm?

How Can I Restore My Timber and Keep My Pets Safe?

Making sure that your timber is restored to a safe, load bearing and fit for purpose capacity is always going to be important, not just for the structural integrity of the property, but also for the safety of all those within it – pets included.

If you suspect that your property is displaying signs of a woodworm infestation, then it may well be time to call our team of experts for a proper inspection so you can truly understand the extent of the problem.

Just call 0800 288 8660, or fill in one of our contact forms, and a member of our team will be able to arrange a suitable time for us to visit and carry out a survey.