You're unlikely to see a wood boring insect – and certainly not the worm-like larvae – in your home, but you can certainly see the results – tiny holes in timber (pin pricks) and occasionally the dust caused by the boring as the adult beetles emerge from the wood.
They are very common in the South of England and fly from roof to roof. Treated timbers are unharmed. Treatment lasts for about 20 years and it's just a case of getting an expert to spray the timbers.
Severe infestations are very rare and small infestations are no problem at all once treated.
When do they appear? Woodworm emerge from early through to late summer.
Where Do Woodworm Live? The Common Furniture beetle, the most common woodworm, likes old wood and plywood. You'll find it in floorboards, old furniture and loft rafters. If you spot a leak, ensure it's fixed and damp wood dried out as soon as possible.
How Much Damage Will They Do? There's no rush – woodworm are slow acting, so take your time to get your home properly surveyed by more than one company so you feel comfortable with the treatment recommended and quotes given.
If you're looking to buy a house that shows signs of woodworm, get it properly surveyed by a specialist before proceeding.