Pest Problems

How to get rid of woodworm in furniture

The woodworm is a type of larva that feeds on wood. The term applies to the wood-boring insects in their larval stage. These beetles can completely destroy your favourite wooden fitments if left unchecked. They can chew and burrow into chairs, tables, cupboards, floorboards and more, and almost nothing can stop them. Keep reading to find out how to get rid of woodworm in your wooden furniture.

So if you:

  1. Have noticed any signs of active woodworms, like fresh frass around furniture, holes and tunnels in timber, crumbling or wood;
  2. Want to save your antique or valuable wood furniture from destruction;
  3. Would like to sell your furniture and want to get rid of the woodworms.

Then here you will find some useful advice on how to get rid of woodworm in furniture.

Table of Contents:

What causes woodworms?

There are many reasons for woodworms to attack your household appliances and furniture but here are the most likely causes of woodworm infestation:

  • Damp environments: this is the most common reason woodworms infest timber furniture. The pests prefer warm, damp and moist places to hide and live. Rotting timber is easier to drill through and offers favourable conditions to the woodworms which can cause damages for thousands of pounds.
  • Preferences for different types of wood: Some species of the beetles prefer softwoods such as eastern white pine and European spruce. Others would rather feed on hardwoods like oak, cedar, birch or mahogany. So, no matter what type of wood your furniture is made of, it can fall under woodworms infestation.
  • Fungal problems: mould and mildew are the worst nightmare of wooden furniture because they will destroy the integrity of the structure. By this, the timber will get softer and the woodworms can easily dig into it.
  • The wooden material at your property is not treated well: another premise to welcome the unwanted beetles. It’s very important to take care of the furniture like cleaning it regularly with non-abrasive products, especially when it’s timber.

Need a Pest Inspection?

Hire a professional to inspect and treat your home.

Add a valid postcode e.g. SE1 2TH
  • We're certified:

How to get rid of woodworm naturally

So, after you’ve identified the presence of the beetles, you’re ready to take further actions and get rid of them. We’ll cover some homebase non-toxic woodworm treatment methods that might work for your problem.  


Place the infested item in the freezer if possible. It’s effective for a furniture item that is small enough to be placed in your freezer. For example, if you have a small table that can be disassembled and fit inside, you can try this method:

  • Wrap it in plastic bags, so that the item is well covered.
  • Leave the infested items in the fridge for at least seven days.
  • Take them out and wait to revert back to room temperature, as watermarks can occur.

The risk this method hides is that your furniture might lose its structure and collapse after a while. So, we recommend trying this to a high-quality timber and make sure to cover it very well with plastic bags.


Another alternative for treatment without using any chemicals is to submit the affected furniture to heat. What you have to do is to:

  • Isolate all infested wooden items in a small room or a closet and heat the furniture up to 50°-60°C. You can use electric heater, electric radiator, convection heater, and any other appliance you own.
  • Leave the items heated for at least two hours, for complete eradication of the larvae and adult beetles.

Even if this approach is highly efficient, it hides some dangers, as well. We don’t recommend applying it on antiques and valuable items because you can damage them. Instead, leave this task to experienced specialists.

Keep humidity at low levels

As we’ve mentioned above, the beetles love highly moisturized timber. For that reason, keep the humidity at low levels, perfectly at 40-50% that you can measure with a hygrometer. What you can do is to:

  • Ventilate with the help of exhaust fans;
  • Open windows regularly;
  • Use а dehumidifier;
  • Keep plants that absorb humidity indoors;
  • Leave clothes outside to dry or use a dryer.
You may also like:
Home Improvement
Should I Use MDF or Plywood?
You may also like:
Insect Infestations
How to Get Rid of Bugs in the House

How to get rid of woodworm with insecticides

Boron woodworm treatment

The boron solution is a widely known way to get rid of woodworms in furniture. Unlike many other insecticides, this one is great as it’s a water-based product. Doesn’t leave unpleasant odours and dries quickly into the wood.

Depending on how many infested items you have, the solution will include different amounts of boron and water. In case you get powder, you will need around 5% of it relevant to the quantity of water in order to apply two layers. Leave the first coat to dry well before applying the next one. For example, for 10 sq m you will need 200grams of the Boron mixed into 5L of water. You can spray the affected surface or apply the solution with a sponge.

Protect yourself with gloves, goggles and а mask and keep your skin away from as you can irritate it.

Permethrin woodworm treatment

This is another popular chemical solution for treating woodworms usually used by professionals. It smells unpleasant. It’s hazardous to pets and can kill beneficial insects. You may find a concentrated product in stores so before applying, make sure you carefully diluted the insecticide with water. Once again use safety gloves, mask and goggles while applying the chemical.

Use Borax woodworm treatment

Less popular but efficient to some extent is the Borax. Usually, it’s available as a powder. You need to dilute it with water. It’s up to you how you can use it as a sprayer or a paste

The worst part of the Borax is that it can cause the development of fungus on the timber.

Block Woodworm Holes

To cover all holes, you can apply glazing shellac.  This will hinder the growth of larvae and make their emergence a lot harder.

Hire professional woodworm treatment specialist

In conclusion, woodworms are amongst the worst and hardest to treat pests. So, if you are not able to deal with the situation on your own because your furniture is too valuable, you can always contact Fantastic Services and book an inspection. We can help you in no time with the right equipment and the right specialists.

Visit the main website for more information about our professional woodworm treatment service!


  • Woodworms are not worms but wood-boring beetles
  • They can cause huge irreversible damage to wooden fitments
  • Their presence can be a sign of other problems like high levels of humidity, possible mildew and mould that should be controlled
  • Not all woodworm treatments work well, especially the freezing method which cannot be applied to furniture that can’t fit in the freezer.
  • The most reliable way to get rid of woodworms is to hire professional experts, as they know exactly how to deal with the problem without damaging any of your furniture.


Did you find our article on how to rid of woodworm helpful? Why not share your thoughts or personal experience with us in the comments below?

Image source: Perutskyi Petro/

5 2 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x