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Bugs in the Furniture: The Signs of Woodworm

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Bugs in the Furniture: The Signs of Woodworm

Woodworm is the common name given to wood-boring insects that can be found in properties, attacking our timber and furniture. The key to treating a woodworm affliction in your property is to catch it early before extensive damage is caused to structures, as this can cause weakness and lead to potential collapse.

As a homeowner, you may be wondering how it’s possible to catch woodworm early, considering the fact that they are tiny little beetles. At London damp proofing company, Avant Garde, we have put together this handy guide of what signs you should keep an eye out for if you are worried that your property has been invaded by woodworm.

Here are the main signs of woodworm:

Small Exit Holes in the Wood

The most common sign of a woodworm infestation is small holes in the surface of the wood which are often round or oval-shaped. These holes might be tiny and numerous or slightly wider and spread out, depending on the occupying beetle, but always tend to have clean edges. A small number of holes is a good sign, meaning you have caught the infestation early, however, the more numerous the holes become, the larger the infestation is likely to be.

Exit holes are the last stage in the woodworm cycle so it’s important to get timber treated as soon as possible after noticing. However, if you are buying old or antique furniture, you should keep in mind that any visible exit holes could be the result of a prior infestation.

Powdery Dust on Timber Surface

If you notice a sawdust-like substance (known as frass) around and amongst the tiny exit holes, this is an excellent indication of a current infestation. Frass is the waste produced by feasting woodworm beetles and, depending on the beetle, it can take a slightly different appearance or texture. If beetles are tunnelling out the bottom of a piece of furniture, you may notice the fine dust on the floor beneath the affected piece.

Wood Tunnels

Although not visible from the surface of the wood, if you are able to cut the timber for a closer inspection, you’ll notice some obvious tunnels throughout the wood. The tunnels are caused by the wood-boring beetles and their larvae burrowing their way through the timber.

Crumbly, Weak Wood

Another external visual sign, if your timber or furniture is affected by a woodworm infestation, you’ll soon notice the edges of your timber starting to look frayed and crumbly. This is caused by the increased boring activity near the edges of the wood causing it to weaken. While this is unsightly, it can also be dangerous, leading to structural defaults that could lead to collapse.

Visible Beetles

Finally, the last visual indication of a woodworm infestation is the presence of wood-boring beetles. They are tiny insects, ranging from 3mm to 20mm in length. This means that they may not always be obvious but homeowners should keep an eye out for a higher number of dead insects on or around timber and furniture – and even live beetles exiting affected wood.

If you suspect that your property may be suffering from a woodworm infestation, get in contact with Avant Garde, your London damp proofing company for woodworm treatment services.


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