How to Deal with Wormwood Beetles

Woodworms or wood-boring beetles can cause damage to the wood in and around buildings and homes. There are several species of this beetle in the UK, but the most damaging one may be the common furniture beetle.

If you have a wormwood beetle problem, this is something you need to address before selling your property online. Keep reading to find out how to identify an infestation and what to do about it.


How can you tell if you have an active woodworm infestation? This can be tricky because most of the damage may be too deep to see. But here are some signs to watch for:

tunnels and burrows in the wood
small round holes in any of your woodwork, generally 1 – 2 mm in diameter
fine dust around the suspected holes
damaged or weakened timber

Wood surfaces that may attract wormwood beetles:

roof timbers
wooden tools
decorative woodwork

Different woodworms are attracted to different types of wood, but you should note that these pests also like painted wooden surfaces. Applying a fresh coat of paint won’t do anything to help.

Things You Can Do

Your treatment options really depend on how bad the infestation is and what type of beetle you’re dealing with. However, here are some possible treatment options if you have an active infestation:

1. Dry Out Wood and Limit Humidity

Wormwood larvae thrive in moisture. Damp conditions aren’t always necessary for an infestation, but many species like wet, decayed timber. Before throwing out the wood, try drying it out first.

2. Use a Chemical Treatment

Boron or boron-based chemical treatments may also help with wormwood beetles. You can visit your local hardware shop to purchase the powder. Keep in mind that these chemicals only penetrate a millimetre or two of the wood’s surface, so they aren’t always effective enough.

It’s still worthwhile to try this method, though. Adult beetles are affected by the insecticide as they emerge from the holes. Larvae may need to grow to an adult size before the boron can make a difference.

3. Hire a Professional

You may be able to handle an infestation on your own. But in many instances, hiring a professional is the better option. They can accurately pinpoint the beetle species and then treat your property accordingly.

Preventing Re-Infestations

If you’re getting ready to sell your home online, the last thing you need is another infestation. It’s very important to control the humidity inside your property. Keep it well-ventilated and test the humidity periodically. Most wormwood beetles like wood with high moisture levels, so this is one of the best ways to ensure they don’t come back.