Woodworm infestation can be treated chemically or nonchemically by heating or freezing the affected area or using inert gas. Chemicals may be less effective since most nontoxic chemicals cannot penetrate the wood deep enough to kill the larvae.
The term woodworm describes many types of borrowing beetles. Signs of an infestation include round holes in wood structures and furniture. Adult beetles form these holes when they emerge from the wood between May and August in the northern hemisphere.
Chemical treatment can be effective in controlling an active population of woodworms. However, chemicals only penetrate the wood by millimeters, allowing much of the infestation to continue to thrive deeper in the wood.
There are alternative, nontoxic methods of eradicating woodworms. One way is to apply heat to the infestation. Heat must be applied for one to eight hours, depending on the type of beetle. Kits can be bought with heating pads that allow control of the temperature. Another way to kill woodworms is to freeze them. A low-temperature treatment needs to be applied for about two weeks. Kits are available for purchase, with thermometers, sensors and freeze spray. Another proven method to get rid of woodworm is to use inert gas to kill them. Nitrogen, helium and carbon dioxide are all effective at exterminating a woodworm infestation and keeping furniture and structures intact and sound.