Can I Kill Woodworm in the Freezer?

Treating woodworm can involve chemical or environmental methods. Providing you expose woodworm to conditions it doesn’t like, it’s perfectly possible to kill them. This might lead you to the question, can I kill woodworm in the freezer?

Let’s explore the answer in detail and discuss effective ways to kill woodworm.

Can I Kill Woodworm in the Freezer? It’s perfectly possible to kill woodworm in the freezer. Of course, you couldn’t use this method for treating woodworm infestations in a building, but it’ll work fine for wooden furniture.

Providing you have a big enough freezer, of course.

Can I Kill Woodworm in the Freezer?

The process for killing woodworm in the freezer is pretty simple. Do the following:

1. Wrap the item in something sealed, such as a carrier bag or cling film. It should ideally be as airtight as possible.

2. Put the item in the freezer for at least a week.

3. Take it out and leave it to thaw for about a week.

4. Return it to the freezer for another week.

5. Remove, let it thaw for a few days, and then unwrap it.

The middle gap out of the freezer should trigger any remaining eggs to develop, which the second week in the freezer will kill.

While this method takes at least a month, it’s a fairly effective and passive method for killing woodworm.

But a much simpler method is simply using spray woodworm treatment like this one:

Soluguard Woodworm Treatment (500ml) - Ready For Use High Strength Woodworm Killer Spray

Does the Cold Kill Woodworm?

Normal cold temperatures won’t be enough to kill woodworm. By this, we mean the kind of temperatures you could expect from the British winter, which generally hover around freezing at their lowest point.

Do Woodworm Die in Winter?

Adult woodworms can survive the winter with little issue. During cold weather, they’ll burrow into woodwork, as it’ll usually be slightly warmer within.

Are they Active in Winter?

While they are not active in winter, they won’t breed in cold weather but will instead focus on eating. While they won’t be as active during cold weather, they can still cause a noticeable amount of damage.

What Temperature Kills Woodworm?

Woodworm can survive quite a drastic range of temperatures. Their upper limit is around 52 degrees C, and the lower limit is -18 C and below.

At -18 degrees C, it could take 2 weeks or more to completely kill any woodworm infestation. However, at temperatures of -32C and below, it’ll only take a few days.

The standard temperature of a domestic freezer is around -18C. As such, it can be used to kill woodworm in smaller items, such as bowls, wooden decorations or other small items.

That said, you should also consider the effect this could have on the wood. A treated wooden item will usually be fine in a freezer, as humidity is one of wood’s biggest foes. Freezers aren’t very humid because they’re too cold.

Some types of wood might leak resin into the freezer and could absorb some moisture if allowed. However, painted, varnished or treated wood should be fine.

To get around this, just make sure you seal the item in something, as suggested above. This should prevent any food contamination if you’re just using your regular freezer.

Of course, if you plan to do this regularly and have the space, consider buying a dedicated freezer for killing off woodworm.

woodworm in winter

Does Woodworm Like Cold Weather?

Woodworm, much like most of us, doesn’t like cold weather. They can survive in typical British winter conditions, but colder weather does impact their behaviour somewhat.

As mentioned above, their first step is to bury deeper into the woodwork. If this doesn’t help, the adult woodworms can become dormant, during which time they won’t do anything.

This can protect them from harsh weather conditions, which is why you freeze a wooden item for so long.

The larvae, however, are much less resilient. Cold weather can cause them to die pretty quickly because they don’t have any way to protect themselves against it.

However, unless you manage to kill off the adults, all that happens is the woodworms are down a generation. And they can replace it fairly quickly once the weather warms again.

woodworm in cold weather

Does Freezing Kill Woodworm

Freezing does kill woodworm. While it’s not the most practical method, it at least means you don’t have to use harsh chemicals to treat wooden items infected with woodworm.

If you plan to use a freezer to kill woodworm, just make sure you take steps to prevent food contamination. Also, be as patient as possible because it can take at least a month to completely kill off all generations of woodworm.