Wood Borer Infestations – What You Need to Know

Wood borers, or “woodworm,” as they are more commonly known, can cause extensive damage to your home’s furniture and other wooden items.

If you’ve noticed signs of wood borer infestation in your home, it’s essential to take quick action to prevent the problem from worsening. This blog post will provide an overview of wood borer infestations, including what causes them and how to treat them.

What are Wood Borers?

Wood borers are insects that excavate galleries into the wood and feed on its cellulose content; they cause serious damage to trees, furniture, and other wooden objects.

Wood boring beetles typically attack unhealthy or weak trees, but they can also wreak havoc in homes by attacking structural timber or softwood furniture. What’s more, their presence indicates the likely presence of moisture problems, which could contribute to further damage down the line.

As a result, it is critical to identify wood borers early and take the necessary precautions to prevent further deterioration of affected areas. Wood borers are usually about 1/4 to 3/8 inch in length, and many species can fly.

They can cause immense damage over time if left unchecked. Wood borers typically make their entrances into the wood by creating several small holes with sawdust-like material emanating from them.

They are often found where there has been some form of water damage or prior insect infestations. Wood borers can be treated through the use of chemical methods such as insecticides or by removing affected pieces of wood, heating them to a certain temperature, and cooling them in order to kill most existing infestations.

What Do Wood Borers Look Like?

Wood borers come in various shapes and sizes; in the most common varieties, they are generally white, yellow, or black with elongated, cylindrical bodies that can range from 1/16 to 1/4 of an inch in length.

They often have four wings that are longer than their bodies and feature horizontal lines of different colour patterns. Their heads can be seen widening at the base and typically consist of a pair of horns; additionally, their antennae can either be short or long depending on the species.

What all wood borers have in common is their ability to be destructive to the components of buildings and furniture that contain wood. Fortunately, with careful monitoring, it is possible to detect them early on and take corrective action before significant damage occurs.

Wood borers can easily be spotted due to their distinct characteristics. These beetles have elongated, cylindrical bodies, and on the other end of the spectrum, the undersides of their bodies are typically red or yellow in colour.

What’s more, these insects have short antennae and mandible-like mouthparts, which they use to chew through wood. Furthermore, depending on the species, they can range from two to 35 millimetres in length.

This variance makes it essential for homeowners to recognise what a wood borer looks like in order to limit structural damage caused by them.

How Do Wood Borers Infest Structures?

Wood borers, also known as woodworms, are small insects that feed on the wood in buildings and homes, causing significant structural damage in the process.

Wood borers typically enter structures through exposed areas of unfinished wood, such as eaves and trim. The female adult lays her eggs in crevices or directly into the wood surface, and soon after they hatch, the larvae create feeding tunnels, leaving behind visible but small holes in their wake.

Then, over time, the larvae mature into adult beetles, who continue to cause serious damage by tunnelling out more wood than is necessary for their basic survival. To avoid further infestation, it is important to identify signs of wood borer activity before it becomes a larger problem.

Others can enter through firewood that has been brought indoors or even through wooden furniture or flooring that is already inside the structure. Once they are in the structure, wood borers feed on its wooden components and tunnelling galleries as the population increases.

This weakening of support structures can quickly make a house unstable and dangerous to inhabit. As such, it is important to identify and eradicate wood borer infestations immediately for safety and sanity’s sake.

Taking preventive measures is also key; before bringing any wood into your home, inspect its surfaces for signs of physical damage from these pests.

The Damage Caused by Wood Borers

The damage caused by wood borers can be extensive, ranging from superficial marks on the surface of wood all the way to structural weakening that could cause some wood items to collapse.

The larvae of wood borers can consume wood and weaken it with their tunnels, which then turn into holes when they reach adulthood and exit; this is why some borer damage can be seen on the outside of an object. The impact that these pests may have will also depend on what type of material the item being affected is made out of—softer woods can often be significantly weakened by these insects, as opposed to harder woods, which are less likely to show any noticeable signs.

If left untreated, the effects of wood borers can quickly become more serious, so regular inspection and maintenance should always be done in vulnerable areas. Wood borers cause a hefty amount of damage to wood structures.

The larvae of these species feed on moist and decaying wood, compromising the structural integrity of lumber used to construct buildings, furniture, and other wooden items. The most common type of damage caused is cosmetic—small holes in the surface of the wood.

They also spread diseases such as white knots, which can put significant stress on our vulnerable forests. The damage caused by wood borers has proven to be costly for many homes and businesses; however, with the implementation of proper insecticides or heat treatments, you may be able to protect your property from infestations of these destructive pests.

Signs of a Wood Borer Infestation

Signs of a wood borer infestation can be difficult to detect as the damage they cause often lies below the surface.

Signs of an infestation may include wood dust or frass near holes in the wood, hollowed-out or weakened wood, long, narrow galleries in the wood, and occasional sightings of larvae or adult beetles. Additionally, one may also notice exit holes where emergent adults have left the structure.

As soon as one notices any of these signs, it is important to take action immediately and contact an experienced pest control specialist to identify and eliminate the issue. Ignoring signs of an infestation can lead to more serious damage and costly repairs down the line.

Signs of a wood borer infestation can be difficult to detect without the proper training or experience. These destructive pests typically stay hidden inside the wood, eating away at its structural integrity.

Signs may include sawdust or frass on the floors near infested wood, holes in the wood with a similar diameter between 1/8 and 3/8 inches, and small piles of dirt or dust around crevices that have been bored into the wood. If your property is exhibiting any of these signs or you suspect wood borers are present, contact a pest control professional as soon as possible to investigate further and determine if an infestation exists.

Treating a Wood Borer Infestation

Treating a wood borer infestation can be a difficult and time-consuming task; however, it is essential to protect your furniture and other possessions from these destructive pests.

Treatment of an infestation typically involves identifying the species of wood borers present in order to determine the best course of action for removal. This may involve mechanical removal methods as well as chemical spraying with insecticides that are specifically formulated to target these specific insects.

Treatments should also include preventive measures designed to discourage future live invasions and the setting up of traps to help locate any additional activity that occurs. With proper preparation, knowledge, and effort, treating a wood borer infestation can be successfully completed.

Treating a wood borer infestation can be a tedious process, but it is necessary to prevent the infestation from getting worse and causing more damage to your home. Unfortunately, the beetles have laid their eggs inside the wood, meaning that in order to get rid of the problem, you will have to treat both the exterior and interior of each affected piece of wood.

Treatment of an infestation may involve using insecticides, or even heat treatment or fumigation for severe cases. Prevention methods such as sealing up cracks, dips, and splinters in wood can help reduce infestations.

Treating an infestation can take some time and effort, but with an effective plan in place, it is possible to keep your home safe from these destructive pests.


Wood borer infestations can cause severe damage if left untreated.

If you suspect you have an infestation in your home, it’s essential to take action quickly before it worsens. Professional pest control services can help diagnose and treat any active infestations, preventing further damage and safely restoring your wooden furniture or other items to their original condition.

Contact us today if you have any questions about treating an existing or potential wood borer infestation in your home! We’re here to help!