Termites and Woodworm

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This page will be for the discussion of termites and woodworm, and in particular for the treatment of infections.


Termites are well known wood-eating insects found throughout the world[1]. The most common types found in the United States include drywood termites and subterranean termites. Typically treatment involves tenting and gassing of infected pieces and structures. Alternative treatments for limited infestations include microwave exposure. Bora-care[2] can be used in a half-and-half solution with water to slow down or possibly kill infestations, though is more typically used to prevent infestations in the first place.


Woodworm refers to the infestation of a wooden item such as an arcade machine, piece of furniture, or dwelling by the wood-eating larvae of one of several species of beetle.[3] Although not commonly effecting furniture or games in the United States, it is relatively common in pieces found in England and continental Europe.

Woodworm beetles tend to create a higher density of exit holes in wood then termites, and tend to do so facing away from light. Holes are often found inside cabinets of infected pieces, and on the back sides of pieces facing walls.

While the beetles are not difficult to kill, beetle eggs are. As such, treated pieces can flare up time and time again if not treated properly. This is of particular concern in California. California has banned the use of effective pesticides such as Methyl Bromide within close proximity to housing. Additionally, Methyl Bromide is no longer mass produced and of extremely limited availability since its total phaseout in 2005 by the EPA due to Ozone layer concerns[4].

If a woodworm infection spreads to a house in California, the house will likely have to be treated with Vikane[5], though at much higher doses than for treating termites and for a week or more instead of a day. As a result, tenting for woodworm in California and several other states can run into the tens of thousands of dollars instead of the few thousand tenting for termites might normally run.