Wise Expert - Beetles About

Your woodworm questions answered here


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Do you know the facts about woodworm? We have put some frequently asked questions to one of our surveyors to get the answers.

Woodworm FAQs

Q1: Our Surveyor has reported that there is woodworm in the loft area of the home we have just bought – is our roof unsafe and will it be expensive to cure?

A: With increasingly frequent changes of ownership, the instances of woodworm infestation sufficient to cause the loss of structural integrity of roof timbers is rare. An Active infestation can be effectively treated for £400-£600 in an average property with a guaranteed effectiveness of 20 years.

Q2: I have recently spotted several brown beetle-like inspects on the windowsill of our bathroom. Should I be concerned?

A: The holes you see in the wood are not, of course, made by a beetle, but by its larvae, the immature stage of the beetle’s life. Like caterpillars turning to butterflies, these ‘woodworms’ pupate and emerge as beetles. April through to August is the emergence season for the adult woodworm beetles and the appearance of these beetles can be first indication that you have an active infestation. What you have described could indicate an active infestation but it could equally be another harmless species of beetle. Either ask a specialist company to investigate or send a sample of the insects for identification. Alternatively, take a look at our guide to identify woodworm.

Q3: We live in the West End and are sanding our floors in preparation for varnish and encountered several floorboards with lots of little holes. Can I just paint over them?

A: The pattern of holes you described is indicative of woodworm. Woodworm larvae favour damp areas, so it is particularly likely if the floor is in the basement. Before varnishing it would be wise to have the area inspected to determine whether the infestation is active or inactive. Woodworm treatment of infected areas is not expensive.

Q4: I recently bought an old sideboard at an auction and found lots of little holes in the drawers and side panel. Can I keep the furniture or should I throw it out?

A: Infestations can be caused by woodworm infested furniture being brought into the house but only if the infestation is active. If the woodworm is not ‘live’, no further action need be taken. It would be prudent to have the furniture inspected. If the infestation is active, woodworm treatment can be carried out relatively inexpensively and you can keep your sideboard.