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Wood-boring beetles

Wood-boring beetles covers many types of beetles, some with wonderful names like Auger, Jewel, Stag and Pinhole Borers. But whatever they are called, you’ll want to say goodbye to them.

Wood-boring insects infest structural and furniture wood based on the type, age, moisture content and availability of wood. All homes or businesses constructed of natural wood are at risk to infestations.

If you don’t have wood-boring beetle control, the larvae, also known as woodworm, can seriously weaken the wood in a building. If left untreated, this may lead to structural failures.

If you think you might need professional pest control, call Ehrlich free at 800-837-5520 to arrange an appointment.

Contact your local woodworm control expert

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What are wood-boring beetles?

Wood-boring beetles aren’t a single species of beetle. Instead, the category is made up of many species that possess a common characteristic. All wood-boring beetles lay eggs in tiny cracks in the surface of the wood.

What does a woodworm look like?

There are four stages of woodworm development

  • Egg
  • Larva
  • Pupa
  • Adult beetle

Adult woodworm feature front wings that typically cover the insect’s entire abdomen while larvae are yellowish white with dark-colored jaws.

Adult woodworm will lay their eggs in cracks in wooden objects, floorboards and wooden wall frames.  

When larvae hatch they immediately burrow through the wood, making it very unlikely they would be seen. They’ll be hungry and your woodwork will be their only food source. Safely inside the wood they continue to tunnel and feed for several years.

As the larvae mature and increase in size, they bore towards the wood surface to pupate and emerge as adult beetles.

Fact: Different insects prefer different woods, which will help you to identify what sort is causing your problems. Some prefer softwoods like pine, spruce and cedar while others like hardwoods such as eucalypt, oak, ash, and mahogany. Whatever the species, all of them will leave some signs, if you have an active woodworm infestation. Find out more about the different species.

Woodworm species

Some of the most common species of wood-boring beetles in buildings and structures are the powderpost beetle, the false powderpost beetle, and the old house borer beetle. Powderpost beetles prefer hardwoods that are extremely low in moisture content, such as oak, walnut, and mahogany. False powderpost beetles aren’t nearly as selective, as they’ll dine on both hardwoods and softwoods, such as pine. Old house borer beetles prefer softer, high-moisture coniferous wood.

Signs of woodworm infestations

You may not realize that you have a woodworm problem until the resulting damage becomes visible, so early identification is key to avoiding serious property damage.

What are the signs of woodworm?

  • Fresh exit holes in wood - round or oval shaped with sharp edges, the holes will appear clean and fresh.

  • Bore dust - (also known as frass) caused by emerging adult beetles, usually visible below the infested wood.

  • Adult beetles - emerge from wood at specific times in the year depending on the biology of the species.

  • Weak and damaged floorboards - in extreme cases, a foot or chair leg going through the floor can indicate a more serious problem.

  • Tunnels in the wood - also known as 'galleries' which are often hard to see.

  • Crumbling wood - around corners or edges to roof joists or floorboards.

  • Dead beetles - usually found near the infested wood or around nearby window sills.

  • Eggs - these vary in size depending on the beetle, but all are difficult to spot with the naked eye. woodworm larvae - usually a creamy-white color and curved in shape.

Wood-boring beetle damage

When the wood-boring beetle eggs hatch, the resulting woodworms bore down into the wood. As they grow, they consume the wood, carving out tunnels as they go. Over the course of several years, these networks of tunnels can severely undermine the structural stability of wood, leaving it prone to rot and breakage.

Powderpost beetles are more likely to damage dry wood inside and outside of the home, including structural supports, such as studs, wood flooring, soffits, and decking. In homes that include pine or cypress, these same locations may be targeted by false powderpost beetles. Because of their appreciation for moist wood, old house borer beetles may be more likely to strike areas outside of the home that isn’t climate-controlled, such as workshops, decks, and sheds.

Dealing with a woodworm infestation

If left untreated, woodworm can seriously weaken wood - this may lead to structural failure of the property.

Our professional, experienced technicians will carry out a thorough woodworm inspection to assess the extent of any problem and the type of woodworm involved. They will also determine if the infestation is active, check for associated problems such as wood rot or damp and if any wood need replacing. Based on this detailed evaluation, your technician will then recommend any appropriate woodworm treatment.

Woodworm treatment

After one of our experienced technicians has carried out a thorough inspection, assessing the extent of any problem, the type of woodworm involved and determined if the infestation is active, an appropriate woodworm treatment will be recommended.

We treat woodworm issues in properties of all ages and sizes.

All woodworm treatments are specially designed to disrupt at least one of the lifecycle stages of the beetles. Our treatment targets the young larvae buried in the wood.

Woodworm inspection

Left untreated, woodworm have the potential to develop into a serious issue, ruining floors and furniture. We strongly recommend that a professional woodworm inspection is carried out if you think you may have identified the signs of a woodworm problem.

Ehrlich's professional woodworm inspections

Our experienced technicians are based across the country and are ready to carry out a thorough inspection to assess the extent of any problem and the type of woodworm involved.

They will also determine if the infestation is active, check for associated problems such as wood rot or damp and if any wood needs replacing. Based on this detailed evaluation they will then recommend an appropriate wormwood treatment.

We follow key steps to make sure we find the best treatment to suit your property. Our professional, technicians will:

  • Carry out a thorough inspection to assess the extent of any problem and the species of woodworm involved.
  • Determine if the infestation is active, and if it actually requires treatment?
  • Confirm the extent of repair needed and/or wood replacement required and any incidental treatment required for the remaining infected areas.
  • Check for associated problems such as wood rot or damp and if any timbers needs replacing.

Based on this detailed evaluation they will then recommend any appropriate Wood Borer treatment. The only way an accurate price can be quoted is by a qualified surveyor carrying out a full Wood Borer survey.

Call Ehrlich free at 800-837-5520 to arrange a free inspection to get rid of your woodworm infestation.

How to get rid of woodworm

Getting rid of wood-boring beetles can be difficult, but with the help of a company that offers pest control services, it is a straightforward task.

First, check for infestations. Look for the telltale signs, such as the presence of exit holes in the external surfaces of wood or powdery sawdust-like frass left behind by the beetle larvae. If you see white powder clumped around wood, the infestation may still be active, and the wood must be removed or treated with a borate-based solution. If the powder is yellow and exit holes are present, the wood can remain but should be treated and sealed. Once the affected wood has been treated, the house should be treated with a pesticide to make sure no other adult beetles are lurking.

If you’re in need of woodworm treatment, please contact us at 800-837-5520 or contact us online to schedule a complimentary inspection of your property with a technician in your local area.

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