Woodworm refers to the larvae of the wood-boring beetles of which four species are the most common in Britain. As is usual with beetles, the adults are fairly harmless but the larvae have voratious appetites for - in this case - timber. They leave evidence of their activity as tiny, neat round holes (as if darts had been thrown at the wood). You will usually find small piles of powdery dust around the holes. This is known as 'frass' but it does not confirm that the infestation is current and active as frass can remain undesturbed for decades.
Where are they found?
The Common Furniture Beetle is a woodland insect, but also loves old houses and old furniture.
Woodworm prefers timber with a mosture content of over 20%. The average moisture content of kiln dried timber used to build new homes is 20% maximum but over the years it will stabalise depending on environmental conditions. This could well be at around 22% over winter and under 20% over summer months. So, woodworm infestation is always a possibility in untreated timbers.