Wood-damaging insects can be a real problem, and if you’ve made it this far, you may be suffering from them.
This article will help you identify if the insects in your home that feed on the wood are woodworms. If it is, you will also find the main recommendations and treatments for killing woodworms.
In this article, you’ll know about:
- What Woodworm is
- How to Identify Them
- How to Get Rid of Woodworm Naturally
- And more
After reading, you’ll learn about the natural ways to prevent and get rid of woodworm in your house.
What is Woodworm?
Woodworm is not a specific insect species, and it is a generic name for the larvae of some insects (basically, beetles). These larvae feed on wood (xylophagy), creating galleries and tunnels that the adults then leave.
This adult, a beetle, does not feed on wood. However, when the time is right, it seeks a crack in the wood where it deposits its eggs, thus starting a new cycle.
This larval stage, in which the Woodworm feeds on wood, can last for several years. This means that these little bugs can spend anywhere from 2 to 5 years weakening the wood before we are even aware of their presence.
Many people use the term “woodworm” to refer to woodworms. This is a bit of a misnomer. The wood borer moth is a type of wood borer, which we’ll talk about later, but it’s not the only one.
Types of Woodworm
We are dealing with several types of insects or rather several types of insect larvae. The most common are.
Common Woodworm or wood beetle (Anobids)
The larvae of the common Woodworm are white, curved, and have very fine hairs. They are very small, between 0.6 and 1.2 cm.
The adults or wood beetles are very dark (brownish-black) and measure between 3 and 5 mm.
The residue is granular, elongated, and submerged in the inner gallery. The diameter of the exit hole is about 1.5 mm.
This is one type of Woodworm we usually find in furniture, parquet, and small wooden elements, although this type of Woodworm can also be found in structural elements such as beams and window and door frames.
Also known as the parquet woodworm, this type is larger than the previous type, with a white body, brown mandibles, and three pairs of small legs.
The debris is granular, round, and very fine, similar to flour or talcum powder. The diameter of the exit hole is about 3 mm.
This type of Woodworm competes for the same wood as the common Woodworm. They are also very common.
Large Woodworm, Woodworm or drill worm (Cerambycids)
As the name implies, this Woodworm is much larger than the previous Woodworm. Its body is pale white and yellowish, and it has a clear ring pattern and elongated antennae. The large Woodworm is also known as the wood borer or wood borer.
The hybrids are significantly larger and cylindrical. The exit hole is usually slightly oval and between 6 and 10 mm in diameter.
The adult is a large beetle, about 12-25 mm in size, with dark coloration and long, thin antennae.
The wood borer usually attacks dry coniferous woods, although it can also attack hardwood species (oak, ash, beech). They cause much more damage than other types of Woodworm.
Prevention is better than treatment.
While there is obviously no perfect solution, there are a few tips or practices that can reduce the likelihood of our furniture or wood structures being affected.
- Avoid excess moisture in the house. Ventilate your home frequently and deal with moisture problems as soon as they occur. Woodworm is an insect that prefers wood with high moisture content.
- Apply woodworm prevention products. It is now easy to find products that offer protection against insects, not just woodworms. A few extra euros can mean incredible savings.
- When you buy a piece of furniture or any other wooden item, check it for signs of Woodworm. If you find these signs, don’t buy wood, and you may be the one who brings the problem to your house.
How to identify Woodworm
Here are some characteristics or habits that distinguish wood-boring insects from others. These can help us know if our problem is related to woodlice or other wood-gnawing insects.
There are holes or holes in the wood. When the Woodworm becomes an adult, it goes through the wood to the outside, leaving exit holes, usually small, about 2-3 mm. Depending on the species, they can even reach 8-10 mm.
Precious. These are the remains, debris, or sawdust left behind by the Woodworm as it perforates the wood.
Hear the sound coming from inside the woods. This sound is much fainter than the sound made by termites.
Identify the insect. If it is a larva, it does not leave the inside of the wood until it is an adult. Sometimes you can identify the adult insect.
What is the difference between wood-boring beetles and termites?
Due to a lack of knowledge, people often confuse these insects. However, there are important differences between termites and wood-boring beetles.
- There are important physical differences. Termites have six legs, have a well-defined, non-white head, and usually have wings.
- Termites are social insects, meaning you will not find one termite but thousands of termites acting in an organized manner. This is a far cry from the behavior of woodworms; in fact, we could say they are solitary individuals.
- Termites make holes in the wood, but they cover them up and leave no trace.
- Both woodworm and termite infestations are undesirable and can cause serious damage to the wood. However, termites are more venomous and can cause more damage.
Also Read: Bugs On Patio Furniture
How to get rid of Woodworm Naturally
It turns out that we have the misfortune to find a woodworm in the house. How should we do?
If the problem is bigger, we have found the typical signs of Woodworm’s presence throughout the house (holes and debris). Our advice is that you don’t use your own solutions and home remedies to kill Woodworm. Go directly to a pest management company and apply a professional and more effective solution.
If, on the other hand, we see that it is something punctual, we can try to solve the problem by ourselves.
Steps to remove Woodworm from the furniture
We will use some products to kill woodworm. There are many Woodworm control treatments on the market, such as liquid, gel, or spray.
Keep in mind that they are potentially toxic products, so before apply them, you need to tak all the necessary precautions: ventilated areas, eye, and skin protection.
Steps are usually as follows:
- If furniture or wooden utensils have been coated with some lacquer, forming a layer, usually paint or varnish, then it is necessary to peel to remove these finishes.
- With the wood cleaning treatment, matacarcoma is applied. Depending on the product, it can be applied by brush, spray, or even by immersion. Be careful not to leave any nooks and crannies without the product. If there are holes that you think may have Woodworm, stick to those areas.
- Allow the product to penetrate the wood and adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended drying time.
There are also treatments that can be applied directly to the holes in the wood without stripping, usually with a sleeve. Some use a fungicide, and some even use a cold one, draining a liquid at a low temperature to freeze it if there are woodworms in the hole. This treatment may not be effective if there are woodworms inside the wood.
Often, a product is needed to fill and harden the affected wood.
Home remedies for Woodworm
Use acorns as bait.
This method is to use fresh acorns wrapped in cloth as bait. During the breeding season, they are placed during the warmer months of the year, where its aroma will attract beetles to lay their eggs, not in the wood of your furniture or woodwork. Once this period is over, we must kill any woodworm that may be in there. You can either soak them in water and leave them there for at least a day or just burn them. This natural way is not 100% effective, but it is a great addition to any treatment, especially in areas where woodworms are very abundant.
Unfavorable temperatures for wood-boring insects.
Virtually all woodworms live in warm climates, and cold does not agree with them. For example, if we have an industrial refrigerator, we can eliminate the Woodworm by storing the affected furniture or wood for at least 48 hours at temperatures not exceeding 5 degrees. This is a simple and very effective solution. However, not all woods are likely to be affected by these temperatures.
Apply products that kill wood-boring insects.
On the market, you can find recommendations for various homemade products or combinations of products that promise to kill woodworms. This may or may not be the case, be damaging to the wood, or simply no more effective than the Woodworm control products already on the market, which are very easy to find and inexpensive. Some of these proposed woodworm control products are impregnation of wood with diesel or industrial oil, combinations of copper and iron sulfate, turpentine dissolved in some liquid, etc.
Professional Methods to eliminate wood-boring insects.
If it is not necessary to call professionals, these have more effective ways at their disposal and the reviews now.
Controlled atmosphere techniques
The goal is to create an environment or physical environment that is harmful to wood-boring beetles. For example, indoors, you can create environments where the temperature is high enough to dry out the wood, reduce the humidity needed for the Woodworm to live, or even deprive them of oxygen.
This is a woodworm treatment method applied to structures where the pieces of wood are of a certain size. It consists of drilling the wood to insert a valve that will be used to inject the treatment under pressure.
This product penetrates into the wood and kills all kinds of wood-boring insects, not only wood-boring insects. It is recommended to be used only by professionals because in addition to being toxic, it requires knowledge of compatibility with wood finishes and thorough cleaning after the solvent has evaporated.