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Woodworm treatment

Woodworm – Identification and Treatment

Identifying Woodwormwoodworm pic

Identifying woodworm problems as to whether or not you have a woodworm infestation is about understanding whether you need Woodworm Treatment.

Some people may or may not  already know woodworm is caused by the larvae of wood boring beetles eating their way through wood. What to look out for in a woodworm infestation are boreholes in wood, and to tell if the woodworm is active , is to look for piles of very fine sawdust like powder (frass ) at the holes entrances or bellow these holes .

Frass is essentially sawdust, produced as waste by the beetles as they eat through the wood. If frass is being produced then it can be said with 100% certainty that your woodworm infestation is still active. Frass will congregate beneath the boreholes and make small piles around your effected piece of furniture.

Once you’ve determined if you have a woodworm infestation and whether it is active or dead you can now move on to determining the species of wood boring beetle that is causing the infestation.

Most types of woodworm can be treated with the same products and methods. Even if your woodworm does not exactly match the symptoms of any one particular species of wood boring beetle below it is advisable that you still go ahead with woodworm treatment.

Woodworm holes found in timber are caused by the larvae of beetles that feed on the timber. Larger holes on the surface of the timber are formed when the adult beetle emerges from the timber to mate.

Not every home that has holes in timbers have woodworm , some homes that are hundreds of years old  may have signs of woodworm , but not necessarily have live woodworm, so woodworm treatment may not be required .

There are a number of species of woodworm, and the precise method of treatment will depend on which species is attacking the timber.

Common Furniture Beetle

By far the most common species of woodworm in the UK is the Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium punctatum). Despite its name, Common Furniture Beetle is just as likely to attack building timbers (joists, floorboards, etc…) as it is to attack furniture.

This species of woodworm can be identified by the small, round holes that are left on the surface of the timber (approx. 1.5 – 2mm diameter) and the bore-dust that it leaves behind – showing up as lemon-shaped pellets under magnification and feeling “gritty” when rubbed between the fingers.

The adult beetle (see below) is typically between 3 and 5mm long. A key identifying feature is the distinctly-shaped thorax – giving the appearance of a monk’s hood over the beetle’s head.

In most cases treatment of Common Furniture Beetle is fairly straightforward. Any structurally-weakened timber should be removed and replaced with pre-treated timber. All surfaces of the affected timber should then be treated with applied by brush or spray.

Other Types of Woodworm

Other types of woodworm common to the UK include the Deathwatch Beetle (Xestobium rufuvillosum), the House Longhorn Beetle (Hylotrupes bajulus), and the Powderpost beetle (Lyctus brunneus). Whilst the Powderpost Beetle can be treated in much the same way as the Common Furniture Beetle, House Longhorn and Deathwatch beetle infestations require more extensive treatment – for details, please contact our technical department on 01325 301063

The House Longhorn Beetle can cause particularly severe damage because its larvae are much larger than those of other wood-boring insects native to the UK – see picture on right.

The main problems encountered when treating woodworm are identifying the species involved, deciding whether the infestation is still active, and deciding which timbers have been structurally weakened and need replacing. All of these factors will influence the type of treatment carried out (if any). For this reason, we would recommend that a survey is carried out by an experienced timber treatment company whenever an active woodworm infestation is suspected. For details of such companies in your area, contact our technical department.

 Professional Contractors

For best results, the identification and treatment of woodworm should be carried out by experienced contractors – particularly in the case of widespread infestation, or where the more destructive species of woodworm are involved. If you would like more  details , please fill in the inquiry form on the contact page  or call us on 01325301063





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