How to get rid of a woodworm infestation

How to get rid of a woodworm infestation

Woodworm is a type of beetle that is attracted to the sap in your wood, especially oak. This can cause damage to your home, as they will eat away at your furniture or structural beams. If you see holes or thinning areas on your wood, it could be an indication that you have a woodworm infestation. Luckily there are steps you can take to get rid of them from your home and keep them from coming back.

What is woodworm?

get rid of a woodworm infestation

Woodworm, also known as boring beetles, is a term used to describe the larvae of various species of beetle. The damage caused by woodworm is often referred to as ‘borer damage’. There are many types of wood boring beetles that can cause borer damage and these include:

  • Common furniture beetle (Anobium punctatum)
  • Deathwatch beetle (Xestobium rufovillosum)
  • House Longhorn Beetle (Hylotrupes bajulus)

They can attack all kinds of wooden objects including furniture and floorboards in houses or other buildings. They can also cause structural damage if they become large enough to weaken timbers supporting roofs or walls which may collapse if too much stress is put on them by an infestation in a building’s structure.

Where does woodworm find?

You can find woodworm in cabinets, furniture, and cupboards. But they are most likely to be found in your garden shed. This is because they prefer damp areas that aren’t dried out or treated with chemicals. They are also attracted to the heat given off by electricity cables, making them a risk around sockets or light fittings.

How does it affect wood?

They can cause a number of structural problems for wood, including:

  • Structural damage from woodworm burrowing through timber to get to the other side. They can cause structural damage if left untreated, including weakening floors and walls, which could lead to collapse. This is especially likely in older buildings that have not been maintained over time.
  • Rotting is caused by larvae feeding on the wood.
  • Swelling of timber from moisture being drawn out of it by insect activity and then reabsorbed by the wood’s natural reaction to dryness again.
  • Cracking is a result of shrinking or expanding with temperature changes that occur when steam is generated during insect activity; also due to ground movement after construction work has finished but not yet been waterproofed or treated (this can be prevented).

What are the signs of woodworm?

  • Woodworm holes are the most obvious sign of woodworm. They can be found in roof timbers, floorboards, joists, and skirting boards.
  • Sawdust can be another indication that your home may have a problem with them. This is because they leave behind frass when they exit the timber to pupate and lay eggs.
  • Paint peeling off or flaking off in layers is another sign you could have an infestation of these dangerous pests in your home. If you notice this on your exterior doors, windows or walls it could mean that there are larvae inside the timber which need immediate treatment by a professional pest control company before they cause more damage to other parts of your property.
  • The final thing to look out for is evidence of woodpeckers at work as they’re known to attack infested trees and logs as part of their diet so if you see any signs they’ve been visiting regularly then get in touch with us right away.

How to get rid of woodworm infestations

Use vinegar

get rid of a woodworm infestation

Vinegar is a natural insecticide, so it’s safe to use on wood. It also kills bacteria and fungus that cause rot in your furniture—a benefit for wooden pieces that have been affected by them.

Use vinegar to clean and deodorize your furniture before you treat it with anything else. Vinegar will not damage the finish on your furniture, but it can make surfaces like varnished woods glossy if they aren’t dry after application.

Use boron solution

get rid of a woodworm infestation

Boron solution is a safe and effective way to get rid of woodworm. The boron treatment method works by combining a small amount of boric acid with water and spraying the solution on the affected piece of wood. It’s important not to use too much; you should only apply enough liquid to cover about one square inch per application.

The key here is that you need to make sure your mixture has an exact ratio of one part boric acid to five parts water (i.e., 1 tablespoonful). If your mixture doesn’t have this ratio, it won’t work effectively.

Diatomaceous earth

get rid of a woodworm

Diatomaceous earth is a powder made from the fossilized remains of tiny marine organisms. It’s a natural pesticide that kills insects by dehydrating them, so it can be used to kill them and other pests. The good news is that diatomaceous earth is completely safe for humans and pets when used as directed, so there’s no need to worry about it getting into your food or onto your skin — but you should still wear gloves when applying it around your home.


get rid of a woodworm

The acorn is a natural way to get rid of woodworm infestations. These small brown nuts have been used for centuries to deter pests from attacking wooden floors, furniture, and other objects. The reason that acorns work is simple: when crushed open, the shell releases an acrid odor that repels insects.

For this method you will need:

  • A bag of acorns (or some other source of oak bark – see below)
  • A bowl or jar for crushing the shells
  • A cloth for collecting your powder


get rid of a woodworm

Permethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide. It is used in agriculture, animal husbandry, and medical entomology. Permethrin is a colorless crystalline solid with a faint smell of garlic. The chemical structure of permethrin has two cyclopropane rings bonded together at their 1 and 2 positions; this creates a reactive delocalized pi system that causes the molecule to be highly toxic to insects but relatively nontoxic to mammals (including humans).


get rid of a woodworm

Beeswax is a natural insect repellent that can be used to treat woodworm. It is safe for humans and pets, as well as the environment. Beeswax can be applied directly to furniture and other wooden items that have been affected by them.


How to get rid of a woodworm infestation

Flytraps are carnivorous plants that trap and digest insects. They have a sticky trap that is activated by small hairs on the inside of their leaves, so when an insect lands on it, they can’t get off again. This means that flytraps can be great for getting rid of woodworm if you keep them in your home and let them grow. However, flytraps aren’t easy to take care of—you need to make sure they stay moist at all times because if you don’t, they’ll dry out and die.

Chemical Spray

How to get rid of a woodworm infestation

You can use a chemical spray to kill woodworm, prevent further infestation, and prevent the spread of them.

A chemical spray that kills woodworm is typically a pesticide that’s applied directly to the affected area of your home’s woodwork. The most common type of chemical used in these sprays comes in the form of an aerosol can or a pump bottle; it will usually have instructions on how much you should use per application—usually between 10 and 20 ml/cm2. You’ll need to make sure you aren’t breathing in any fumes while applying these chemicals as they are harmful if inhaled but otherwise safe for humans and pets if diluted according to directions before spraying them on yourself or other surfaces around your home. Once applied, don’t touch anything near where you’ve sprayed until it has dried completely (around 20 minutes).


How to get rid of a woodworm infestation

The second method of woodworm treatment is heat. This method should be used if you have one or two infested pieces of furniture, as it can be dangerous to use on larger pieces of furniture. To kill the them, you will need to heat your piece of furniture to a temperature of 40 degrees Celsius for at least 24 hours. Once it cools down, the furniture gets harder to penetrate.

The reason why this method works is because they cannot survive above 50 degrees Celsius, and so when you heat your item above this point it kills off any remaining larvae as well as their eggs. Be careful though; do not exceed 50 degrees Celsius or else you risk damaging your piece of furniture.

Ammonia vapors


Woodworms are insects that can severely damage wooden furniture. They lay their eggs in the wood, and they hatch into larvae. You can treat woodworm with ammonia vapors, which will kill the wood-destroying larvae without damaging the furniture.

Ammonia is good for infestations but toxic to humans, so you should always handle it carefully and follow safety instructions when working with this substance. Ammonia vapors may cause respiratory problems (including difficulty breathing), skin irritation, and eye irritation if you breathe them in for long periods of time or get close to large concentrations of ammonia gas.


The best way to get rid of a woodworm infestation is by treating the infested area with an insecticide, preferably a contact spray. Spraying will kill off any present larvae and eggs but does not prevent new ones from appearing later. If you are sensitive to chemicals or have young children in the house then it is recommended that you use natural woodworm treatment products instead, such as those made from essential oils.

Also Read: How to get rid of earwigs in your house


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