Treating a Woodworm Infestation With Vinegar

You’ve just discovered some small holes and tiny piles of dust on your wooden furniture. This might be a sign you’ve got a woodworm (common furniture beetle) infestation. There are many ways to deal with the problem but you’re wondering if vinegar can be used to control the infestation, because you’re looking for a non-chemical solution, or you’ve looked at the products available in the market for woodworm treatments and everything looks very pricey.

Vinegar is known as an effective product against all kinds of bugs, and it’s cheap, but let me ask…

Can you treat woodworm with vinegar?

You can use vinegar to treat woodworms in a piece of furniture, but it won’t kill the larvae or the bugs, it will just force the larvae out of the furniture. Works better on smaller pieces of furniture.

To learn more about how to get rid of the infestation, continue reading…

First things first: check if the infestation is still active

The vinegar smell is strong enough for humans as well as it is for bugs. If the infestation is not active anymore, you don’t have to go to the length of applying vinegar to your finest piece of furniture if you don’t have to. This is how you should look for signs of an ongoing issue with woodworms.

First look for signs of fresh piles of dust or “frass”, after you’ve vacuumed any that was present the moment you’ve noticed the holes. If there are new piles of dust forming, the issue is obviously ongoing, but if there isn’t any new piles forming during the course of a couple of weeks, you should assume that the “blighters” might have exited the holes to look for “food” somewhere else. In this case, no need to apply the vinegar treatment.

On the other hand, if there are fresh piles of “frass”, then apply the vinegar solution mixed with water 1:1. Use a dropper or small syringe to inject the vinegar into the small holes. Make sure you cover all of them.

How does vinegar work against woodworms?

The holes you found on your furniture are the doors to corridors the female woodworms have made when laying their eggs. New larvae, when “hatched” continue digging the “tunnel” deeper into the wood.

Vinegar creates a very unpleasant smell and taste to any kind of bug, including woodworms. When they are in contact with it they change direction and look for an exit out of the furniture piece, looking for another feeding area.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages of using vinegar:

  • Ecological
  • Non-toxic
  • Cheap
  • Non-hazardous


  • Rarely kills woodworms
  • Strong odour
  • Possibly will cause damage to certain kinds of wood

What types of wood can be treated with vinegar?

Not all woods can be treated with vinegar, before using this treatment, make sure the wood being treated can handle vinegar, or any other liquids. There are other non-toxic treatments to consider such as using lavender.


Image by Ulrike Mai from Pixabay


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About Sergio

Sergio is an author and editor of Abbey Power Tools. DIY enthusiast, and once a retail assistant at B&Q, loves to write and now gives advice on everything home improvement to everyone visiting this website.

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