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Woodworm Treatment Costs & Free Quotes

Last Updated on By Jon

Read our updated 2021 guide to treating woodworm in your home or workplace for in-depth information and how to save on prices by comparing free quotes online.

average woodworm treatment costs

Woodworm Treatment Costs

If you've noticed the tell-tale signs of wood-boring larva these average costs should help you:

Location Average Price
Professional woodworm survey £156.75
Loft treatment (average house) £617.50
Fumigation treatment £712.50
Fogging treatment £712.50
Boron treatment (25m2) £28.50

(Prices taken from multiple sources and averaged)

Prices Checked 09/05/2021

Woodworm Treatment Cost Calculator

Total Removal Cost: £

(Live prices updated weekly)

A Woodworm is a wood-boring larva of the Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium punctatum). Other common beetles include the Deathwatch beetle, Wood boring weevil and House Longhorn Beetle. Woodworm infestation is a common problem and a menace in many homes in the UK.

If woodworm infestation is left untreated, it may worsen and not only damage your furniture but also the timber structure of your house. Reversing the immense damage is never a cheap venture.

How do you get a woodworm infestation?

Wood-boring beetles are attracted to damp conditions (wood with a moisture content of more than 20%). The damp conditions encourage the Common Furniture Beetles to lay eggs. The real problem arises when the eggs hatch to form larvae (woodworm)-the woodworm like to burrow and eat their way through the wood causing significant damage.

When the larvae burrow into wood, they pupate, hatch out and eventually leave the timber structures through holes. If the holes are all over, the timber structure may weaken. The effect can be more detrimental if the infested timber is structural and bearing and other building components.

Identifying woodworm

If you are reading this, high chances are that you already know how woodworm holes look like. However, you should note that not all woodworm holes have active insects. Some may be remnants of past treatment, while others may be deserted.

One common sign of an active woodworm infestation is fresh fine wood dust below where there is burrowing. Here is a breakdown of these and other common signs of active woodworm infestation.

  • Dust - In the process of burrowing, woodworm beetles will produce fine dust that will fall underneath. Note that only FRESH dust is a sign of active infestation.
  • Live or dead beetles - If there is an active infestation, you will see the beetles coming out of the timber via the holes, especially between May and September. The good thing with woodworm is that they are big enough to be easily spotted. If a beetle dies in the timber interiors, it will fall out on the surface underneath.
  • Weakened timber - Continued burrowing by the woodworm eventually causes crumbling and weakening of timber. This extent of damage occurs mostly on joists, floorboards and window sills.
  • Visible holes - This is the most straightforward indicator of woodworm infestation. The fresh exit holes are around 1-2mm in diameter. Please note that holes that look dry and old are not a sign of current infestation.

Treating woodworm

The treatment approach you will use, depends on the woodworm type you are dealing with. Some woodworm treatments can be done as a DIY, while others will require professionals intervention.

Here are three Common beetles with an explanation of the best strategies to treat them:

House Longhorn Beetles

An infestation of wood building components by this beetle can be tricky to treat on your own and you should always engage a professional.

Deathwatch Beetle

Since this beetle is capable of burrowing deep into the wood, it can cause structural damage. In this regard, the surface treatment may never work for this beetle as it will spend most of its time deep in the wood. For this beetle, it would be best to reach out to a professional to evaluate the infestation and suggest an appropriate treatment strategy. The most common treatment strategy for this beetle is injecting boron into the affected timber.

Wood boring weevils

This is also a notorious wood burrowing pest often attracted by damp conditions of wooden floors or walls. They are known to burrow wood along the grain and their exit holes are rugged and relatively smaller (1mm in diameter). The perfect treatment solution for the wood boring weevil is getting rid of the damp wood, allowing the timber to dry out then replacing it with new wood.

Common Furniture Beetles

This is the most popular woodworm but is luckily not known to cause any form of structural damage. The treatment of this woodworm is done by an odorless, vapourless and water-agent called boron. This treatment agent should be applied to the infested wood in at least two coats, either by spraying or painting.

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The cost of treating woodworm

If you’ve been wondering what you will spend in a typical wood treatment strategy, this is the segment that you should pay much attention reading. The total cost will, of course, depend on the strategy you will use and these are the main options:

Fumigation

This is a highly disruptive woodworm treatment method (it will take more than one day for the area to be declared safe to reoccupy). The reason for this is that the chemicals used (fumigants) are usually harmful to health.

Fogging treatment

This is the least disruptive method (the treatment area can be inhabited within 2 hours) to eliminate woodworm effectively. Here, you will put the treatment agent beneath the infested floorboards and let the fog it produces, seep into the timber.

Water-based treatment

This is easy and come be done as a DIY following manufactures’ guidelines.

To be used as a guide, you’ll generally spend £500 - £1000 to treat your home with pesticides to eliminate woodworm. This is just a generalization and the overall price you pay will depend on the following factors:

  • Operator’s skills level - The specialist you engage in the treatment process should understand even the finest details of dealing with woodworm. Experienced specialists will do the treatment in an accelerated fashion, reducing the overall costs incurred.
  • Building size - The money you’ll spend on woodworm treatment is directly proportional to the property's size.
  • Building age - Old buildings are often more prone to widespread woodworm infestation, meaning that the cost incurred to deal with it is higher than that of newer buildings.
  • Building’s occupation state - Treating woodworm often involves lifting of floorboards and this can be difficult if the house is occupied.
  • Additionally, some of the chemicals used in the treatment process are harmful to human beings and pets and hence should stay out of the building for several days.
  • Damp condition - If your building is infested by woodworm, there is a likelihood that damp is an existing problem. To alleviate this, the specialist should insert boron rods into the wood and leave it to dissolve slowly. For 10 boron rods, expect to pay around £40. Definitely, this can get expensive if you have a vast section of damp, but if it is financially sound, in the long run, considering the damage that the woodworm and damp can cause to your property.

How much do specialist woodworm surveys cost?

It is somehow uncomfortable for a homeowner to diagnose a destructive woodworm infestation and it would be best if professionals are left to handle this work. A highly experienced specialist will evaluate the beetles' problem and come up with an effective treatment strategy. Expect to pay £90-£250 for this. The specialist will also do the following tasks:

  1. Inspect the roof and basement for signs of infestation.
  2. Inspect the floorboards and any timber flooring for signs of infestation.
  3. Do a woodworm survey and compile all the findings in a report.
  4. Determine the beetle damaging your property.

Boron surface treatment

The suitability of a Boron surface treatment depends on the beetle you want to eliminate. Generally, Boron surface treatments are either water-based or in form of gels. For a 25 square meters section, expect to pay around £30. A cheaper fumigation chemical called Permethrin can also be used mainly for DIY treatments, but safety precautionary measures must be followed strictly. Care should be taken for the chemical not to come into contact with children and pets such as fish.

Permethrin treatment defined

Permethrin is a Borax compound and a cheap fumigation agent commonly used due to its relatively lower cost. The chemical is specifically designed for DIYs and hence should be used following manufacturers' guidelines.

Treating woodworm infested floorboards in your home

The perfect solution for floorboards is first removing all of them, thoroughly inspecting if they are damaged and repairing/ replacing those you find damaged. Before reinstalling, treat them by spraying the underside, the corners and the upper side and also soak the joints even if there is no sign of infestation.

Furniture woodworm infestations

If you have old furniture in your house, they are also prone to woodworm infestation. The most commonly used woodworm treatment for furniture is surface treatment. This can be done whether the furniture surface is polished or not. However, you should note that some furniture preservatives will not work on painted or varnished furniture. During treatment, you should coat the entire surface with the agent and also inject it into areas with surface holes.

For woodworm infestation, we can conclude that identifying the exact problem is the only way you will resolve it effectively. Although you can still handle this as a DIY, it is better to contact a specialist who will not only identify the problem but also come up with an effective way of resolving it. Keep in mind that how you deal with your home’s woodworm infestation today will have an implication on its future selling price. So, do it the right way!