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table with woodworm

5 Signs And Symptoms Of Woodworm

Woodworm can have an utterly devastating effect on your home if left unchecked. These pests go through wood like a hot knife through butter. This means they can destroy wooden furniture, floorboards, and also structural beams and timbers. The best way to prevent this is by keeping an eye out for the signs and symptoms of woodworm. This way you can get help when it’s needed and nip this problem in the bud.

Do you have symptoms of woodworm in your home?

Woodworm basically refers to a type of larvae that eats wood. These larvae are the offspring of pests such as Woodboring Weevils or the Bark Borer Beetle. Some of the symptoms of woodworm include the following.

1. Exit holes in wood

If you carefully examine things like floorboards and roof beams, you may see small round holes. These are usually 1-3mm in diameter, although they may be larger.

woodworm beetle in london home
Photo copyright Kai-Martin Knaak (CC BY-SA 3.0)

These holes are caused by wood-eating larvae. What happens is that these beetles lay their eggs on the surface of wood. These eggs then hatch, and the larvae begin to eat into the wood. At a certain depth they pupate and transform into beetles and exit from the holes, at which point the cycle begins all over again.

2. Frass

Frass is basically another word for woodworm droppings. This manifests itself as a powdery dust (usually coloured brown) found near to exit holes. The various signs of woodworm usually come in combination. For example, if you see exit holes it does not necessarily mean you have a current infestation of woodworm. On the other hand, if you see exist holes along with frass, then you clearly have these pests.

3. Weakened timbers

As woodworm dig tunnels through wood, they slowly weaken the entire structure. This can make them significant roof pests, which you might not even know about unless you go into the attic or loft.

symptoms of woodworm

You may notice that wood structures will  have a tendency to crumble, or that floorboards will seem to become more springy. These signs, plus exit holes, are probably a sign of woodworm.

4. Tunnels on the surface

One of the reasons why woodworm are so hard to spot is because they tunnel into wood. This means you will not always spot them. That being said, they do occasionally tunnel along the surface of wood. Just note that this is one of the rarer symptoms of woodworm, so don’t rely on it for diagnosis.

5. Dead beetles

Along withal of the above signs, you may also spot dead beetles. In some cases you may even see living ones exiting from the wood. Any of these symptoms of woodworm should prompt you to contact a reputable pest management service in London at the earliest opportunity.

Something else to keep in mind is moisture. These beetles evolved in the wild and prefer to eat decaying wood in forests. This wood is usually moist. What this means is that moisture in your home can greatly increase the chances of getting woodworm.


Sally has been writing on the subject of pest control for 4 years. She always carries out extensive and in depth research and always tries to bring you the most up to date, interesting topics.

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