Woodworm Infestation

How to Get Rid of Wood Borer – Step-by-Step Guide

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Wood-boring insects or woodworms are a menace to all kinds of wooden things in and around the house. Starting from hardwood to bamboo, wood-boring insects can damage all kinds of wood if not treated at the earliest. Are looking for ways of how to get rid of wood borer from your roof, wooden furniture, fence, or barn wood? You first need to know the types, signs, and some basic facts about these insects that make their home and breed inside wood.

How to Recognize the Signs of Woodworm Infestation?

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Once wood borers make nest inside a particular wooden plank or a piece, they act fast and so should you! With all kinds of woodworms it is vital to act as quickly as possible. For that, you should know what kind of insects have made their way into the timber. Recognizing the woodworm correctly helps greatly in eliminating them with the right treatment and choosing methods of how to get rid of wood borer permanently.

Wood-boring beetles are one of the most common woodworms that damage wood. Woodworm is the common term used for referring to the larvae of any kind of wood-boring beetle. Most of the damage to wood is caused by the larvae or the offspring of these beetles.

The Tell-Tale Signs

  • Tiny round exit holes (Boreholes)
  • Powdery dust (Bore dust)
  • Crumbly and weak edges on floorboards and joists
  • Narrow tunnels inside the timber
  • Weak and crumbly wood prone to breaking
  • Beetles surfacing from wood or dead beetles on the floor

What do wood borers look like?

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Wood damaging insects or wood boring beetles are of several kinds. However, the larvae of these insects look quite similar. They are creamy white, wriggly, soft-bodied insects with curved bodies. It is quite unlikely you will spot these larvae as they remain inside and do not crawl out from the wood. The adult wood boring beetles look different and most species are usually three to four millimeters in length. The larvae munch away on the wood. Most wood-boring insects nest inside wood with fairly high moisture content. Most frequently spotted in homes are the brown winged beetles. The adult version of these common furniture beetles invades and damages furniture and wooden pillars and structural supports.

Some of the most common wood boring beetles are

  • Common Furniture Beetles
  • Deathwatch Beetles
  • House Longhorn Beetles
  • Powder Post Beetles

Ways of treating wood affected by wood borers

There are several answers to the question of how to get rid of wood borer. Wood-boring insects are attracted to wood that has a higher moisture content. One of the ways of deterring woodworms is to keep the wood dry. Other ways include sealing the cracks and crevices on furniture and the boreholes created by the worms. This will stop them from entering and nesting. Another way of prevention is to keep wood borer infested wood away from the house.

Wood that’s unprotected, lacks lacquer, varnish, or any kind of protective finish is more prone to be infested by wood-boring insects. Unfinished, raw wood has more moisture content and is usually rough and kinked. This makes it easy to penetrate, nest, and lay eggs for the insects. Without a sealant, the newly hatched larvae may also find it easier to bore through the wood grain.

Here are the steps to follow when trying to get rid of wood borer infestation.

As said earlier, it is important to act fast when you suspect or notice any signs of wood borer infestation. If you wait for too long, the damage may be beyond repair and the wood not salvageable. If the woodworms have only affected the upper layer of the wood and have not yet penetrated to the heart and the surroundings it’s good news. The wood may still be salvageable. Get ready to treat the wood and get rid of the wood-boring worms.

Method 1 – Heat Treatment

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This is a simple way of applying heat to the wood or furniture to dry it and drive out or kill the woodworms. For smaller furniture, decorative items, you can use the oven. For larger pieces of wood use a space heater to apply heat. Set the heat at around 140℉ and keep it for about 24 hours to kill the eggs and the larvae. However, be extremely careful not to burn the wood or the upholstery. Check from time to time and act as suitable for the particular piece of furniture. Once the moisture is gone from the wood and the eggs are dead, the woodworm infestation problem will be solved automatically.

Method 2 – Chemical Treatment

Things you will need

  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Face mask
  • Spray bottle/garden sprayer

Step – 1

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Since this method involves chemicals, take complete precautions before starting the process. Wear protective gloves, a mask or a respirator, and cover your eyes with goggles so that you do not inhale or directly touch the chemicals. The best place to treat infested wood with chemicals is outdoors or in a well-ventilated place. Cover the ground underneath the wood as well.

Step – 2


Use boron based borax powder or mix concentrated boron powder with water following instructions from the manufacturer. Keep the ratio as directed to get the best results. This treatment works best on bare wood. Keep the chemical away from the reach of pets and children. Make a solution depending on the size of the wood item to be treated. The powder readily mixes with water.

Step – 3

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Spray the solution with a garden sprayer, spray bottle, or apply two coats with a paintbrush, or dip the wood. Make sure to cover the entire furniture with an even coat. Apply the solution with a paintbrush on the joints and difficult-to-reach areas. Let it dry.

Method – 3 Take the help of specialists


Knowing how to get rid of wood borer and actually doing it are two different things. It is not always possible to take up a DIY method of getting rid of wood-damaging insects. In that case research and contact a reliable exterminator. Professional, certified, exterminators have the knowledge and proper equipment to deal with various kinds of situations. They may fumigate, apply strong pesticides, freeze the furniture for weeks in walk-in freezers as required.

Now that you are aware of the different choices of how to get rid of wood borer, access the level of infestation. Consider the size of the furniture or wood, and take appropriate steps to get rid of the wood-boring insects.

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