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Woodworm refers to the larvae of wood boring beetles, that feed on wood and create a network of tunnels in structural and decorative timber. Woodworm attacks are varied, both in the type of timber which each species infest, and their life span in the larval stage. The larval stage can range from 10 months to 11 years.
Responsible for about 75% of all woodworm damage to property, attacking both soft and hard woods. The adult beetle is approx 3mm long and chocolate brown coloured. It is able to fly. Up to 80 eggs are laid and the life cycle averages 3 years.
The most damaging wood borer in old buildings, attacking hardwood and often found in timbers also suffering from fungal decay. Larger than the Common Furniture Beetle at 6 to 8mm long and greyish brown in colour. Its life cycle averages 5 to 6 years. The adult emerges from 4mm diameter round holes and is now known to be capable of flight. Eggs are laid in small clusters.
Established in post war Britain but already widespread and associated with wet rot decay. The adult is 3-5mm long, blackish brown and identifiable by its long ‘snout’. Normally associated with damp timber and appears to have two overlapping life cycles in the year. Flight holes are small 1mm diameter and ragged.
This large insect is found mainly in the southern Home Counties. It attacks only softwood but because of its size and ability to bore extensively through sapwood and into heartwood, the damage caused is rapid and severe. It is greyish brown to black, has a life cycle of 5-11 years and can reach 25mm long. Flight holes are oval up to 9mm by 6mm. Up to 200 eggs are laid.