What Kind of Wood Do Woodworm Prefer to Eat? {Wood Types and Conditions}

Are you noticing woodworms eating away at your timber? What kind of wood do woodworm prefer to eat?

Is there a certain kind of wood that they consider their favorite or is it what happens to the wood itself that makes it so inviting to woodworms?

What temperature would kill a woodworm and what do you do when you have a woodworm infestation?

In this article, we will approach the topic of what kind of wood do woodworm prefer to eat.

What Kind of Wood Do Woodworm Prefer to Eat?

Woodworms love to approach moist, damp or decaying timber. They would also be able to enjoy old log piles with high moisture content, but also dry wood if it has been softened.

If any type of wood is untreated, it is susceptible to the attack of woodworms. Woodworms also appreciate fungal decay inside wood.

They enjoy timber such as:

  • Oak
  • Beech
  • Ash
  • Willow
  • Elm

They will create holes that are anywhere between 2 to 5 mm in diameter leading to substantial damage and the overall weakening of the wood.

Will Woodworm Eat Dry Wood?

Woodworms do not prefer to eat dry wood. They would much rather be found eating wood that has been already exposed to moisture. They prefer damp or rotting wood.

If dry wood has become dry after a period of being wet or moist, there might be substantial softening of this wood which would invite woodworms in.

Even though the wood is now dry since it has been softened from previous weathering, woodworms would be able to eat through it.

Does Varnish Stop Woodworm?

Yes. Woodworms are not able to penetrate through any type of wood that has been varnished or painted. If you have treated any type of furniture with a Permethrin based solution, then woodworms would not be able to get through it either.

Woodworms prefer any type of wood that is untreated with a lack of chemicals. They prefer wood that is available in humid conditions and preferably softened to indicate moisture or dampness.

The lower the humidity level, the dryer the wood, the less likely that woodworms would invade. Varnish definitely stops woodworms and you would not be concerned about this pest if you treat your wood with it.

What Temperature Kills Woodworm?

Any temperature at or higher than 52 degrees Celsius would be able to kill all stages of woodworms including wood boring all beetles. The egg, larva, pupa or adults would not be able to survive.

Any temperature underneath -30 degrees Celsius would kill woodworms within two to three days. This is why some people take their infested furniture and freeze it in large freezers in order to kill woodworms.

In any domestic deep freezer, temperatures underneath -18 degrees Celsius would be able to kill woodworms in about 2 weeks.

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Which Types of Wood Are at Risk of Woodworms?

Any type of timber that is damp is a risk factor for woodworm infestations. Dry timber is least preferred by woodworms.

Any type of wood that is softened due to moisture exposure would invite woodworm,  beetles and their ability to lay eggs inside it.

If there is fungal decay or wood rot, it would be much easier for a wood-boring beetle to enter through it and find comfortable cracks or crevices where they can lay their eggs.

In time, they will develop into woodworms who will create long tunnels through the wood and damage it substantially.

How to Identify a Woodworm Infestation

If you are wondering that woodworms have attacked any type of timber or lumber in or around your home, look for the following signs:

  • new holes created by beetles or worms looking to find their way out
  • holes underneath the wood or anything the wood is contacting such as carpeting.
  • wood dust outside of the holes
  • woodworm droppings or woodworm frass
  • damp or rotting wood
  • fungal decay in wood

If you notice any of the signs above, you should inspect the wood carefully to find out if there are woodworms inside.

You can treat them with woodworm spray or you can also brush and dip the wood in a chemical solution that included Permethrin.

What Are the Stages in a Woodworm Life Cycle?

The woodworm is a particular stage in the life cycle of a wood-boring beetle. There are various species of these beetles, but generally they follow similar life cycles. There are four stages listed below:

  1. Adult wood boring beetles lay eggs inside the surface of lumber or timber.
  2. When the eggs hatch, woodworm larvae get to work right away boring holes and tunnels through the wood.
  3. The larvae eat the timber to get sugar starches and cellulose through the wood. They will begin to create structural damages to any of the wood for a period of several years.
  4. The larvae finally pupates and transforms into an adult woodworm who needs to bore its way out of the Timber to escape and never return.

Do Woodworms feed on deadwood?

Yes. What do worms definitely feast on deadwood. It can be from decaying, rotting furniture or lumber and trees. The wood-boring beetle is looking to lay eggs inside any type of wood that is moist or damp.

It will eat through the wood in their larval stage and create pores that reach the surface. It will take no time at all for woodworms to eat through deadwood. Naturally, woodworms are looking for deadwood to thrive.

Woodworms prefer wood that is high in moisture or experiencing any type of rotting including fungal decay.

Top 10 Wood Boring Beetles

These beetles will create significant damage in their woodworms stage during their life cycle. They are as follows:

  1.  Common Furniture Beetle
  2.  Death Watch Beetle
  3. Ambrosia Beetle
  4. Fan-Bearing Wood-Borer
  5. Powder Post Beetle
  6. Bark Borer
  7. Wood Boring Weevil
  8. House Longhorn
  9. Asian Long-Horned Beetle
  10. Wharf Borer

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