Damp and Timber Specialists for 50 years

It is estimated that around 1 in 5 homes in the UK have some level of woodworm infestation, though many go undetected. This is a serious problem as woodworms can spread quickly throughout the structure of your home.

At Prokil, we are experts in property care services and can detect a woodworm infestation, diagnose the type and effectively treat it. We understand that a fast response can be pivotal in woodworm treatment because of the speed of infestation can spread.

In this blog, we explain the speed at which woodworm can spread and the factors influencing this.

How Quickly Does Woodworm Spread?

Woodworm can spread at a significant pace throughout your home. This is because adult woodworm beetles can move freely throughout space as they can fly. This means the infestation doesn’t necessarily stay confined to one room or section of a structure.

To add to this, the larvae are also capable of movement, tunnelling their way through the timber structure, adding to the damage.

Larvae can make their way through wood for anything between two to five years. Over this time, they can travel a significant amount, which can have serious consequences.

This is why early detection and swift action is so important. However, it is also worth noting that there are a few factors that will influence the pace at which woodworms move about your home.

What Influences the Woodworm Spread?

It isn’t as simple as having a woodworm infestation that will spread within a certain time. There are a number of key factors that will speed up or slow down development.

Type of Wood

The type of wood will often have an impact on the rate at which the infestation will move. Often, hardwoods, such as oak and mahogany, are denser and have a tighter grain. This can make it more difficult for woodworm larvae to not only tunnel their way through but also penetrate it in the first place.

However, some types of woodworm are better at working their way through hardwood than others, so in choosing hardwood, you are not eradicating the potential of woodworm.

Softwood is the opposite (as the name might suggest), meaning that it is less dense and the grain structure is looser. This makes it more susceptible to woodworm infestation.

Moisture and Humidity

Woodworms are attracted to high-moisture and humid areas because these are suitable conditions for their development. This is another aspect of softwood that makes it more prone to these infestations, as it absorbs moisture more easily than hardwood.


The optimal temperature for woodworm is between 18°C and 30°C. At this temperature, they can thrive, feeding and breeding. It also encourages the larvae to develop quicker, which will lead to a faster growth of infestation.

Extremely high temperatures will slow down the speed of the spreading as it can stress the larvae and adult beetles, slowing down their metabolism, which reduces their ability to feed and reproduce.

Additionally, lower temperatures will also reduce the pace of the spreading as it will take the larvae longer to develop, impacting the speed of their lifecycle and reproduction. Woodworm can lay dormant in very low temperatures, leading to a pause in the spread in the right temperatures.

When Should You Contact A Professional?

While several details can impact the speed of the spread of woodworm, the chances are an infestation is taking hold of your home fairly quickly because the temperatures we keep in our homes are the optimal temperatures for woodworm larvae to thrive.

Therefore, you must contact a woodworm specialist as soon as you suspect you have an infestation. This will give you the best chance to minimise the effect of the insects.

Prokil have a team of experts who can rapidly spot signs of infestation and create an effective treatment plan. Over our 50 years of experience, we have worked in properties of all types, ranging in size and shape, including listed buildings.

Our treatments aim to eliminate all active woodworm and eggs and ensure your timber structures are protected against future infestations. We provide a 20-year guarantee on all our woodworm treatments so you can be confident in our work.

If you believe you have a woodworm infestation in your home, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to book a woodworm survey.

Call us on 0800 048 9488 or complete our online contact form to request a callback.

Book a survey today

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

What to expect from your survey


Book a survey

Book a survey from any of our locations, at a time that suits you.


Our experts give a quote

One of our damp & timber experts will arrive to survey the work.


We complete the work

Based on a quote, we carry out the work guaranteed for 20 years.

Related Blogs