Does Woodworm Eat These 6 Types of Engineered Wood?

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Many of us are aware of how damaging and costly woodworm can be. An infestation can cause many problems when left untreated. This can cause damage and weakness to timbers. in the worst case, it can even cause structural issues.

Homeowners are often unaware that they have a woodworm problem. But woodworm can attack many different types of wood. So, it helps to understand what timber they attack. We know that different species of woodworm prefer different types of natural wood, but can they also attack engineered wood?

do woodworm eat engineered wood

Do Woodworm Eat Chipboard?

We’re aware of woodworm attacking all kinds of natural woods, but what about processed woods like chipboard?

Different species of woodworm will attack different kinds of timber. However, if the conditions are right, there is every chance that some could attack other forms of manufactured wood, such as chipboard.

The reason woodworm feed on wood and timber is because of cellulose. This molecule becomes food, which is why they often prefer natural timber. Chipboard is a manufactured wood, that goes through an industrial process. It’s made by mixing chemicals and adhesives with timber chippings. This process largely removes the food that woodworm eats.

One reason woodworm might attack chipboard is dampness. When chipboard suffers from damp it can soak up moisture quickly. This can make it much more attractive to woodworm, as the board becomes much easier to eat through. However, due to the manufacturing process food will not always be available. This means infestations might not last long.

Do Woodworm Eat MDF?

MDF is another wood that goes through an industrial manufacturing process. It is not a natural wood and contains ingredients such as formaldehyde and other toxins.

As we have already mentioned, certain woodworm species prefer certain types of wood. But some are less picky and are more likely to attack a wider variety of timber.

Just like chipboard, MDF will not contain the food woodworm need. In fact, it is even less likely, as MDF is extremely processed. This is the reason woodworm will rarely attack and infest MDF.

But an infestation is possible, providing the MDF creates the right environment, woodworm can still attack it. But the infestation will not be as bad as an attack on natural wood.

Much like chipboard, MDF is prone to damp. It soaks up moisture quickly. This creates the right environment for woodworm to easily enter the wood, so infestation is possible, but as there is no food present, it is unlikely they will stay.

Do Woodworm Eat Plywood?

In a nutshell, woodworm do like to eat plywood. This is particularly true for old plywood, as casein was used as glue. As casein is made using ingredients from animals, it makes great food for woodworm.

The common furniture beetle is one species that likes plywood. It will also remain inside plywood for longer than other timber. If the plywood is old and damp, then woodworm (furniture beetle larvae) will thrive quickly.

Plywood is often used in places that are dark and damp. This can include garages, lofts and even under stairs, making it the perfect place for woodworm to breed. As plywood is made using sapwood, it contains the food they need. So, casein and sapwood make the perfect place for woodworm to infest easily.

Do Woodworm Eat Laminate Flooring?

Laminate flooring is a popular choice for many homeowners. It’s made using high-density fibreboard, so it’s made much like MDF and chipboard. Manufacturers glue the wood fibres together to create a sturdier wood.

Laminate flooring will contain formaldehyde. This chemical is toxic and would make it difficult for woodworm to survive, eat, or breed.

Also, laminate often has a melamine face. This tough outer coating will protect the wood fibres and protect against dampness and damage. This coating is tough, which means woodworm will not be able to chew through it.

The one thing to remember, is that dampness can make it easier for woodworm. Laminate flooring is prone to damage from damp. This weakens the wood and causes it to soften. When this occurs, it increases the chance of woodworm attacking the flooring.

So again, woodworm can attack laminate flooring if the conditions are right. However, this is not a good food source and infestations will be very rare and short lived.

Do Woodworm Eat OSB?

OSB is another type of engineered wood. Manufacturers create it by compressing layers of wood strands. These wood strands are soft, and glue helps to bond them together. They also contain certain chemicals like other engineered woods, such as formaldehyde. This could help to keep the infestation at bay.

OSB won’t contain the same amount of food as natural wood, but it will contain some, and if the conditions are right, it could be prone to attack.

This wood can swell and weaken when moisture is present. As the wood becomes softer, it would become easier to eat.

There isn’t a lot of information on woodworm attacking OSB. But we can assume that woodworm could attack it. This is because it has similar characteristics to other forms of engineered wood, that are regularly attacked.

Do Woodworm Eat Hardboard?

Hardboard goes through a similar manufacturing process to other highly processed woods like MDF. This does reduce the chances of woodworm infestation. The reason for this is the removal of sugars and other foods that attract them. As well as the high levels of chemicals present tin the finished product.

In modern properties, hardboard is often used as panelling, and in the manufacture of modern furniture. These wont usually suffer from infestations like older properties.

In older properties, hardboard is often laid over old floorboards. In this case, woodworm can eat through hardboard, but they won’t live in it. It is highly processed and is also quite thin.

Again though, the chances of infestation and damage are linked to conditions. If hardboard becomes damp, woodworm might choose to attack it. So, they can cause damage if the conditions allow it. But hardboard is certainly not the wood of choice for any woodworm.

Conclusion

Woodworm might like many different types of wood, but engineered wood is not like natural wood. Natural timber contains the food they like to eat. Engineered wood is manufactured using chemicals that can deter woodworm.

Their source of food is also largely removed, which makes it harder for them to survive and breed. While these types of wood can be difficult to penetrate, damp can leave them exposed. Therefore, avoiding damp and moist conditions can make it harder for woodworm to attack.

Overall, these types of wood can suffer from a woodworm attack.

Chances are much lower, when compared with natural wood, but there is still a possibility of damage. Therefore, it always pays to keep an eye out for the signs of an infestation.