First, we need to clear up a misconception here, woodworms are not a specific species. In fact, they aren’t worms at all. Instead, they are the larva of wood boring beetles. The term “woodworm” encompasses the following:
- Common Furniture Beetles (Anobium punctatum), most common type of furniture woodworm
- House Longhorn Beetles (Xestobium rufuvillosum), usually infests wood rafters and home structures
- Deathwatch Beetles (Hylotrupes bajulus), typically bores into decaying Ash, Chestnut, and Oak
Usually, a woodworm infestation occurs in wood items with a moisture content greater than 18%. Think really damp wood and a high humidity environment. Adult beetles lay their eggs on the surface of the wood or just below it, then their larvae, hence the term “woodworm” damages the wood by burrowing through the material layers which is their food source. The larva tunnel and feed for a couple of years before pupating and boring back to the surface and emerging as mature adult beetles. So, if you see holes, this means that there has been an infestation of woodworms at some point… but it does not mean there necessarily still is an active woodworm infestation.
If you want to see if your woodworms are dormant or still active, you need to check if you can see any of the following symptoms:
- Creamy white larvae, which is usually curved in shape, that emerges when you scratch away the surface of wood around any areas that is damaged and appears weakened.
- Small amounts of fresh bore dust around the holes or pyramid style piles of fresh bore dust on the floor or inside the furniture case.
- You can see adult beetles getting out of the holes, especially during the Spring and Summer season, from May to September, or present anywhere in your home.
If you notice any of the above symptoms, it’s time to call a professional for help. Left untreated, the woodworms can exit one piece of furniture and infect another piece that is in close proximity, or they can infect natural hardwood flooring. As a professional wood restorer, we will assess the infestation, report our findings directly to you, and then offer our suggestions on how to best treat the infestation. Treatment plans can be as simple as a boron chemical treatment or a full scale thermo heat treatment at our shop. Boron is an odorless, water-based substance that is brushed onto the furniture surface that will cause the woodworms to dry out and die from lack of moisture. A thermo treatment is when a piece of furniture is heated to an internal temperature high enough to dry out the moisture of the furniture and thus, dry out the woodworms causing them to die.
Pricing for pest remediation varies based on the type of infestation and the size of the furniture piece in question.