Property Preservation Specialists with over 20 years experience

How do you know if woodworm is active ?

Often following a building survey 'woodworm' is reported to be present particularly in roof or floor timbers and the possibility of catastrophic structural failure is indicated. In truth such destruction is rarely seen however it is always a possibility and as such every indication of an infestation should be inspected and remedial work taken as necessary.

The hardest part of the process is to correctly diagnose if activity is present or historical so to start with there are some easy indicators:

  • New exit holes in timbers, the size and shape will also determine the type of wood boring beetle. The most common, which is normally refered to as 'woodworm', is the common furniture beetle (Anobium punctatum) and this leaves a round hole 1-2mm in diameter. It does depend on the type of timber but a new hole is often 'bright' with a typical new wood colour where as an older hole may become dark and less smooth.
  • Dust, visible bore dust known as 'Frass' below the holes is often the easiest indicator of activity as aged dust will blow away over time. Again the shape of the dust can also help identify the type of beetle, Deathe watch beetle dust has small 'bun' shaped pellets visible to the naked eye.
  • Actual Beetles, on occasion you will find dead beeltes particularly on window sills as most emerge from spring to the end of summer though its the Larva that cause the most damage with some types living and feeding for years within the timber.
  • Crumbling timbers, this will most commonly occur on floorboards as they tend to be thinner than roofing timbers or joists and will break away to the touch.


These are the easiest indicators of activity though there are specialist tests that can be completed most are not cost effective, the moisture content of the timbers can also be an indicator as to whether infestation could occur as relatively dry timber will not be susceptible (this would require a deep probe test).

Just because there are holes dont assume its woodworm we have visited a property where the plasterboard ceiling had been removed and the client thought the holes left from the ceiling board nails where woodworm!

We have a comprehensive selection of treatments and preventative measures for all types of rot and wood boring beetle so if you're worried then call us today or complete the survey request form.

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