Woodworm beetles

The woodworm beetle is an invasive eater of wooden houses, rafters, beams, and furniture. It can even destroy wood in a heated house during winter. So don't hesitate to find out the infestation signs and a highly effective sterilisation method. Let's deliver a microwave strike on the pest.

Species of woodworms and lifestyle

While inside the log, the woodworm evolves and gnaws on the starch-containing part of the log. It is detected when mature imago beetles appear, leaving holes and wood powder piles. The woodworm hole diameters vary from 0.7 to 3.2 millimetres, depending on the species. Once the females lay the eggs, they re-infest the wood, proceeding with this cycle for several generations until they consume all the wood. However, trees can be naturally immune, which manifests in very low starch content.
types of woodworms
of woodworms (with descriptions)


Cerambycidae, also known as the Longhorn beetle, represents a very big family of beetles featuring extremely long whiskers that are longer than a maturing insect's body. There is also one curious fact: the scientific name is based on Greek mythology. After a dispute with the nymphs, the shepherd Kerambos was turned into a big bug with big horns and whiskers.

Xestobium rufovillosum

Xestobium rufovillosum - Deathwatch beetle. The adult insect is 7 millimetres long, and the larvae are up to 11 millimetres. They make poking sounds that come from rafters and beams in calm weather. These woodboring beetles are usually associated with a clock that's counting down to death. Indeed, the sound is very disturbing. They digest cellulose with their enzymes, assuming that preliminary fungal decomposition has already occurred.

Anobium punctatum

Anobium punctatum - Common Furniture beetle or Common House borer. During the larval stage, the beetle feeds on the xylem. The adult Anobium punctatum measures 2.7-4.5 millimetres. It has a brown ellipse-shaped body with a clump resembling a hood.

Recognising Wood Pests: A Comprehensive Guide to Identification and Control

Signs of a wood pest infestation
  • Wood flour or wood chips: Residue produced by wood pests when they eat wood.
  • Weakening of the wood: Signs of structural damage and decay of the wood.
  • Holes created by adult insects leave the wood.
  • Insect presence: Visible presence of insects or their larvae in the wood.
Timely detection and removing of woodworms are crucial to prevent structural damage to wood structures. Through regular inspections, prevention and, if necessary, pest control, wood pests can be effectively controlled and combated in the long term.
What's important to know!!!
Imago insects don't eat at all. They only reproduce.
The female lays eggs in log cracks or exit holes. They hatch after three weeks, and each egg releases a 1-millimetre creamy white C-shaped larva. They gnaw on the xylem for three to four years, growing to 0.7 cm. As they reach maturity, they move closer to the surface and turn into a pupa (up to 8 weeks). When they leave the dwelling, they form a one to 1.5 millimetre hole and spill wood dust, the first visible signs of infestation. They feed on the sapwood, and it is easy to see in structures where one part of the timber may be intensely attacked while a neighbouring part is left almost intact. It also depends on whether the wood is made of core or shell. Building standards say that wood with more than 25% of subdued wood cannot be used.
Woodworm larvae
Woodboring caterpillar

Removal of woodworms

Wood is the most popular material, and this is due not only to its practicality, durability, and aesthetics but also because of its sustainability. The woodworms also enjoy the taste of wooden log cabins.
To get rid of these pests, people try to use "folk remedies", starting with vinegar and ending up with formaldehyde. However, when doing so, there is a problem - the agents do not penetrate the wood as deeply as they should (only 1-2 millimetres). Some of these remedies will not harm humans; however, many methods will completely poison people's lives in an already infested house.
As a method of removing of woodworms, the old industry standards advised cutting out the damaged part and burning it! Even material with old worm holes was rejected and could not be used anymore.
Modern agents are different in their use, action, and toxicity, and they all have one thing in common - to prevent the egg-laying process! Still, there are a few pitfalls. The difficulty is that treatment is required every few years - nothing lasts forever. It is also worth mentioning the habituation of woodworms to drugs and the resistance of nature itself. But most importantly, woodboring beetles do not lay eggs on the surface but in cosy places such as cracks, corners, and wormholes. Apparently, it is physically impossible to treat in such places!
Aerosol insecticide sprays only kill pests on the surface but don't touch the gnawing woodworms inside the wood. However, sudden freezing of the infected wood or heating to 55-60°C can provide efficient results.
For low-temperature treatments, it is necessary to act quickly. Otherwise, the larvae will go into winter hibernation like flies, and they will continue with an infestation when it gets warmer. Even hard frosts do not harm them because the thermal conductivity and heat capacity of wood give the insects enough time to reproduce. Woodworms can also be killed by heating to critical temperatures. You can wrap the house in a dome on all sides and heat it for several days with special devices, but this method is very troublesome and expensive.
As a result, all the struggle against woodworms comes down to prevention, starting with wood control in order to minimise infestation, continuing with quality drying in heat chambers, and ending up with mandatory preventive insecticidal treatments.

What should I do in case of woodworm infestation?

Microwave equipment is the perfect choice for wooden houses, antique shops, and restoration studios. The killing is immediate, free of toxic residues, and safe for the operator. Microwave energy affects larvae immediately, containing up to 97% instant boiling moisture, plus there is steady heating of the surrounding material to a temperature above 55-60 degrees. This is enough to get rid of both eggs and adult insects. There should be a microwave Shashel in every log cabin. Without waiting for the whole structure to be infested, the entire population is zeroed out. The homeowner always knows the location and can treat the "infected" places first. It should be noted that the equipment perfectly controls the humidity of the wood and perfectly copes with mould, which often accompanies the pest.
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Irritating and playful, slowly devouring the furniture bequeathed by his grandfather, the woodworm gnawed, gnawed, continued gnawing, as if it were a clock devouring time... © Alves Redol
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