Damp and Timber Specialists for 50 years

Woodworms may only be a few millimetres long, but don’t underestimate them – given enough time, these tiny pests can cause thousands of pounds of damage to your home. Their larvae can tunnel through wood, feeding on it as they grow, which gradually weakens the wood’s internal structure. In extreme cases, this can lead to the wood crumbling or even collapsing outright.

If your carpet is laid over a wooden floor, you might be wondering whether woodworms can spread to it from the wood and cause even more damage to your home. The answer is a bit more complicated than you might think.

Over the last 50 years, the team at Prokil have dealt with hundreds of woodworm infestations across the South. We know all about woodworms and the damage they cause, so we’ve put together this guide to help you protect your home (and your peace of mind) from these pesky invaders. Keep reading to find out if woodworms can survive in carpets, what the signs of a woodworm infestation are, and what steps you can take to deal with them!

Do woodworms live in carpets?

While adult woodworm beetles might bore through a carpet to escape from wood after emerging, woodworms themselves don’t actually live in carpets. This is because woodworms, in their larval stage, feed on the cellulose in wood (hence their name). Carpets don’t provide this sustenance, so they wouldn’t find them suitable for long-term habitation.

On top of this, woodworms prefer a dry and dark environment within the wood itself. Carpets typically harbour dust, moisture, and light, making them unsuitable for the woodworms’ needs.

However, this doesn’t mean that woodworms can’t live in the wood underneath a carpet. We’ve detailed some of the signs to watch out for below.

How can you tell if there are woodworms under your carpet?

Detecting woodworms under carpet can be tricky since they’re typically hidden from view, but there are several signs you can watch out for. Some of these can be seen without touching anything, but others will require you to lift the carpet and look underneath it:

  • Exit holes: Look for small, round holes (usually 1-2 mm) in wooden skirting boards, furniture legs, or exposed floorboards.
  • Frass: This is the fine, powdery wood dust produced by woodworm larvae as they tunnel through the wood. You might find it around holes, on the floor near infested areas, or even under the carpet itself. Old, inactive frass might be darker and crumblier.
  • Tunnels: In severe infestations, you might see shallow tunnels in the wood surface.
  • Live or dead beetles: Occasionally, you might spot adult woodworm beetles near infested areas. They’re small, brown, and about 3-5 mm long.
  • Uneven carpet: If the woodworm damage is significant, the carpet might feel uneven or springy in affected areas.
  • Tiny carpet holes: In rare cases, woodworm larvae might chew through the carpet backing, leaving tiny holes.

Can woodworms spread through carpets?

If you’ve noticed signs of woodworms under your carpet, you might be concerned that they’ve spread to other wooden areas in your house via the carpet. The good news? This is fairly rare, as woodworms prefer to spread through wooden structures, furniture, and other wood-based items, where they can survive easier.

However, it’s not impossible for the larvae to move from the wood onto the carpet. This could happen if the larvae crawl out of the wood in search of a new food source or if the wood is disturbed, causing the larvae to migrate. If you’ve checked other wooden areas in your house and suspect that this may have happened, your best option is to arrange for a survey as soon as possible to prevent the problem from getting worse.

Protect your home with an expert woodworm survey from Prokil

Don’t let woodworms eat away at your peace of mind! Prokil has been the South’s trusted name in woodworm treatment for over half a century, protecting homes and families through fast, effective solutions and reliable customer service.

After you book a survey with us, we’ll identify the extent of the infestation and draw up a report detailing the best course of action. We’ll then return on a later date to eliminate all woodworm with our proven insecticides, repair or replace damaged components, then shield your timbers from future threats through wood preservatives. The result? A safe, clean home for your family to enjoy for years to come.

Ready to get started? Book a survey online or call us on 0800 048 9488 today! We’re happy to answer your questions and talk you through the process, so don’t hesitate to reach out.

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