Woodworm lifecycle

From Larvae to Beetle to eating your wood

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The lifecycle of woodworm explained

Within the woodworm lifecycle, there are 4 main stages woodworm beetles go through:

   1.  Woodworm begins breeding
   2.  Woodworm larvae hatch  
   3.  Woodworm larvae start to eat
   4.  Larvae turn into woodworm beetle – starting the whole process again

To help explain what is woodworm and the woodworm lifecycle, we have detailed a typical woodworm lifecycle of a pregnant female landing on timber below:

woodworm lifecycle

Lifecycle stage 1:  Woodworm begins breeding


The female woodworm beetle starts the lifecycle process by laying her eggs directly into the timber through cracks, crevices and existing flight holes. To protect the eggs they are not left on the surface of the timber.

LIFECYCLE STAGE 2: Woodworm larvae hatch

After a few weeks the eggs hatch downwards into the timber and produce larvae - this is the worm stage of the infestation.

LIFECYCLE STAGE 3: Woodworm larvae start to eat

The woodworm larvae carries on for anywhere between 2 and 5 years. In that time the larvae eats its way up and down the timbers and causes structural damage to the timber. It is at this stage in the lifecycle that the frass, or dust, that is often associated with identifying woodworm is produced.

LIFECYCLE STAGE 4: Larvae turn into woodworm beetles

Towards the end of the woodworm lifecycle, larvae form a pupal chamber where it enlarges the tunneling towards the surface of the timber and pupates from the larval stage into an adult woodworm beetle. The adult beetle then eats its way through the last thin veneer of timber producing the round exit holes that you normally see.

From this point, the woodworm beetle causes very little damage to the timber. It is the round exit holes that normally identify timber that has been subjected to woodworm beetle infestation. The females live for between 10 and 14 days where as their male counterparts only live between 3 and 4 days. Once the adult male beetles have emerged from the chamber their sole purpose is to mate with as many female partners in their short lifespan and the lifecycle continues.

Types of Woodworm beetles

Learn more about the different types of woodworm beetle that live in the UK and their typical prefered habitat

Woodworm beetles

More about woodworm

To learn more about woodworm, visit our woodworm homepage where you will find a handy video and additional information

woodworm homepage

Contact Wise Property Care for Woodworm Advice

If you want to speak to someone regarding a woodworm issue, contact Wise Property Care today on 0800 65 22 678 for click to find your local branch

Alternatively, click or scroll down to complete our online contact form and we will organise a one of our woodworm experts to call and speak to you at a time convienant for yourself.

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