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Pest control in Ibiza and Formentera: woodworm.

Nova Control, company specialized in wood treatments in Ibiza and Formentera

Woodworm: health risks and economic losses.


The word woodworm refers to various types of beetles, i.e. beetles. Coleoptera are a very large group of insects, but only a few of them feed on wood. These few are called woodworm beetles.

It is the larvae that normally feed on wood. The adults generally have only a reproductive function and do not feed.

Second only to termites, they are the pest that causes the most damage to wood and its cellulose-containing derivatives. But unlike termites, woodworm and other coleopterans are not social insects. There are males and females, but they do not reproduce inside the wood. Females lay their eggs in cracks and flaws in the wood. Once hatched, the larvae start digging galleries to feed. The thickness of the galleries increases as the size of the larvae increases.

They bore and feed in the wood until it is time to make a pupa (chrysalis) from which the adult emerges. At this point, they bore into the surface and then exit through this hole, which will have a round appearance and will release a fine wood dust in the area.

Woodworm, due to the characteristics of its life cycle, in practice constantly infests and re-infests wood.


Woodworm and economic losses.

Like drywood termites, they build galleries inside the wood, and except in those species where a characteristic noise can be heard (coming from the larvae boring into the wood), the infestation may go unnoticed until the wood is broken.

They are great eaters of wood and its by-products, such as paper and cardboard. From vital parts of wooden buildings, such as beams, pillars, floors and walls, to furniture, works of art and books, they can be affected.


As with termites, if the problem is not detected and solved in time, the result can be the total loss of the affected area.

Woodworm and health risks.

Woodworm, like termites, do not pose a direct health risk in the same way as, for example, rodents, cockroaches or mosquitoes. They do not act as disease vectors, nor do they bite or sting people or pets.

However, they do pose an indirect risk by damaging structural elements of buildings, such as beams or floors, which may eventually collapse, with the consequent danger of personal injury.

In addition, we must bear in mind that they can feed on decorative or culture-related elements, such as sculptures, books, paintings... and that the loss of these objects, beyond their economic value, can represent a great sentimental loss for us.

Woodworm identification and control.

Pest identification:

-Structural damage.

-Circular holes on the surface of wooden structures and objects or their drifts.

-Fine wood dust in affected areas.

-Sightings of adult specimens.

Woodworm control by Integrated Pest Management (IPM):

-Prior inspection.

-Control of organisational measures.

-Control of structural measures.

-Application of biocides (injection, spraying, impregnation, etc.).

-Heat treatments (microwave heat treatments).

For a more detailed description of our work methodology, please consult the description of our Integral Pest Control (IPC).


Woodworm, main species.

Death watch beetle beetle (Xestobium rufovillosum): this is a beetle whose name comes from the particular noise it makes as a mating lure. It measures between 5 and 9 mm, has a cylindrical body and a small head. It is brownish in colour.

Death watch beetle - Xestobium rufovillosum on wood. It is a woodboring beetle from family Anobiidae.


Common furniture woodworm or small woodworm (Anobium punctatum): measures between 2.5 and 5 mm. It affects not only furniture, but also structures such as beams, floors, ceilings... it is estimated that it is responsible for 70% of the damage caused by woodworm. Brownish colour with the body covered with longitudinal "lines".

Beetle Lyctus brunneus from the family Bostrichidae. Isolated on a white background


Parquet woodworm (Lyctus brunneus): 2.5 to 5 mm in size, but less robust than the common woodworm. They do not digest cellulose well, which is why they tend to prefer wood with a higher starch content. In other words, they prefer deciduous or hardwood species (oak, elm, ash...) to conifers (pine, spruce, cedar...).

Beetle Lyctus brunneus from the family Bostrichidae. Isolated on a white background


Large woodworm (Hylotrupes bajulus): can grow to 18-25 mm. It is also known as the wood moth. Its colour can vary from brown to grey or even black. It has a very long life cycle, which means that its larval stage (the "worm" that affects the wood) can last up to 12 years. Throughout its larval stage, it will not leave the wood, but will live inside it, building galleries inside as it feeds. In practice, this means that by the time the infestation is detected, the problem may already be serious.

They have a preference for pine wood. Once larval development is complete, they emerge leaving a 7-10 mm elliptical hole in the wood.

Old House Borer Hylotrupes bajulus isolated on white


Oak capricorn (Hesperophanes cinereus): large, 13-24 mm in size, but less common than the wood moth. Larvae also have a long development, can last 6 years and can reach a length of 30 mm.

It usually develops a preference for oak wood. It is a widely distributed species in the Mediterranean area.

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Nova Control has the professionals, resources and experience necessary to guarantee the correct control of pests and microorganisms both in Ibiza and Formentera, always seeking to cover the service in a discreet and professional manner.

At Nova Control, we always try to adapt to the needs and requirements of our clients, whether they are public, private or private entities.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact us:

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If you have any questions or doubts, please do not hesitate to contact us.


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+34 604 04 82 98

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Calle Galicia nº36 bajo
07800 Ibiza (Islas Baleares)

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