Woodworm can affect untreated timbers irregardless of the location.


A far more common condition than is often realised, recent surveys have found woodworm infestations in over 70% of the locations surveyed. Often caused by Anobium Punctatum or the Common Furniture Beetle, infestations cost hundreds of thousands of Euro worth of damage each year. The long life cycle of Anobium Punctatum means that the infestation may not manifest holes until years after the timber has been acquired – therefore an effective prevention strategy is every bit as important as an effective treatment program.

The infestation begins when a female lays her eggs into cracks in the wood, or inside old woodworm exit holes. The eggs hatch after approximately three weeks, each producing a larva around 1 millimetre in length. For three to four years the larvae eat through the affected timber, and grow up to 7 millimetres long. They come nearer to the wood surface when ready to pupate, and excavate small spaces just under the wood surface. The adults then break through the surface, making a 1 mm to 1.5 millimetres exit hole and spilling dust, bearing the first visible signs of an infestation. Pupated adults do not feed; they only reproduce and thereby complete the life cycle. However, they are capable of flying a considerable distance and do not guarantee a localised infestation.

An Anobium Punctatum larva emerging from untreated timber.
Roof rafters that have been attacked by woodworm.
Roof rafters that have been attacked by woodworm.

A Woodworm infestation can affect both hard and soft woods. The moisture content in the timber is extremely important -a relative humidity above 60% may lead to an infestation, and timber moisture content below 12% is considered too dry for an infestation to occur. Anobium Punctatum normally only attacks seasoned sapwood timber, not live or fresh wood. Also, it usually does not attack heartwood timbers. This is readily observed from infested structures, where one piece of timber may be heavily attacked but an adjacent one left virtually untouched; depending on whether it was milled from the heartwood or the sapwood of a tree. Infestations are usually a problem of old wooden houses that were built with untreated timbers.

McGuinness Building Preservation Ltd has decades of experience in dealing with Woodworm, and also provides a full carpentry service to our affected clients.


We offer our clients a full range of services including a comprehensive survey to identify the areas of infestation, a complete treatment of the affected areas, along with a full reinstatement of finishes.

Many Woodworm infestations can be eradicated through chemical treatment, however in certain cases the timber may have to be replaced.

Chemical Treatment

To treat woodworm effectively, the larval stage of the life cycle of the beetle needs to be targeted. A water-based woodworm treatment is most effective as the chemical soaks into the timbers, killing existing infestations but also protecting against any future outbreaks. This type of woodworm treatment is also much safer for people and pets who might be in the vicinity of the treatment area.

In cases of extreme infestations, or where structural timbers have been affected, the timber may have to be replaced with a treated replacement piece. In most cases this is not required due to the effectiveness of the Chemical Treatment.

An affected timber structure undergoing a Chemical Treatment.

If you suspect that you have an issue with Woodworm, or for more information on our Timber Repair services, please Contact Us today.


Phone: +353 42 974 1495

Mobile: +353 87 243 2564

Email: info@mcguinness.ie

Contact Us

Contact Us