Ask the expert - munchies

The Rotter answers questions on woodworm


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This week “The Rotter” has his say on all things woodworm. Think you may have a woodworm infestation then read the blog to find out just what action to take.


Wood munching insects commonly known as woodworm (Common Furniture Beetle) can strike terror into the hearts of even the most hardened house owner or purchaser, yet this tiny insect can be quite easily identified and, most importantly, completely eradicated to such an extent that a 30-year guarantee can be issued against the insects' re-occurrence.

Most commonly found internally in roofs, floorboards and the treads and risers of the staircase (as seen from the under stair cupboard), it can often cause unprecedented anxiety to the homeowner or any prospective purchaser. This anxiety, however, is almost invariably misplaced. In most cases, woodworm treatment is very straightforward, can be carried out in a working day and can cause little interruption to the property's occupants.

Treatment usually consisting of coating the exposed surfaces of the timber with a proprietary insecticide (modern Boron based insecticides have a lower mammalian toxicity than common salt) offers a low cost, long term solution to these insects.

Whilst timbers that have been heavily infected by woodworm can lose their structural integrity and require to be renewed, these instances are generally in the minority. Outbreaks of this severity are often restricted, for example, to farm buildings that have been exposed to the open air over considerable periods of time and that have not regularly changed hands or been the subject of surveys.

Usually structural repairs, where required, are localised and can, again, be carried out with minimal disruption to the property and its occupants.

Occasionally clients will contact us with concerns about small holes visible in their furniture, be it perhaps a wardrobe or a sideboard, worried that the particular item will require to be removed from the house & destroyed. This is not normally the case, as we find in most instances that the infestation has already died out and all we are seeing is the resultant holes of the adult beetles as they have emerged from the timber long since past. In the few instances where active infestation is present, this can usually be eradicated either using fumigation techniques or by localised woodworm treatment with an insecticide.

Sometimes timber items stored in roof voids can suffer severely from an insect attack if it has been allowed to persist over many years and it is true that sometimes these items do have to be removed & disposed. In one instance we had a client who was so paranoid about the thought of "creepy crawly" insects in her house that she was suggesting selling a substantial property in the Bearsden area. We were, however, able to reassure this customer that the treatment would both be effective and long-term, putting her mind at rest and allowing her to enjoy her lovely property.

If you believe that you have a woodworm infestation then contact Wise Property Care via the online contact form or call 0800 65 22 678 to speak to a professionally trained woodworm expert.