What Is Woodworm?
Woodworm is the generic term used to commonly describe the larvae stage of wood boring beetles that are typically seen emerging between April to October. As seasonal pests, woodworm can be found in any house where there is exposed timber.
With timber accounting for up to 70% of the fabric of a house, woodworm can be a very common problem with woodworm treatments common within the summer months. In Scotland, the most typical woodworm beetle pest is the ‘Common Furniture Beetle’ which can get into any home through open doors, windows, fresh air vents and gaps in the eves.
The Problem With Woodworm
The reason why woodworm is often a problem within buildings is due to the woodworm larvae feeding on the cellulose within the wood leaving a network of tunnels that can cause significant damage to the timber structures within a property. Depending on the level of woodworm infestation, it can result with timbers of a property losing their structural intergrity.
How Does Woodworm Begin?
Woodworm begins with the adult beetle that looks for somewhere to leave its eggs.
This could be on a door or window frame, the end of a timber beam or timbers within an attic space. Here it will lay a clutch of eggs and once these eggs hatch the larvae will burrow its way into the wood where they can spend up to three years or more eating their way through the timber. When they transform into adult beetles they eat their way out of the wood to start the whole process again.
Tell tale signs to identify woodworm include:
- Small round holes in your woodwork similar to the holes in a dart board.
- Fine, powdery dust around these holes (this is known as frass).
- Crumbly edges to boards and joists.
- Adult beetles emerging from the holes or present around the house.
- Even if you can’t see any holes, you might also find frass escaping from the back or underside of old furniture. Again this suggests active woodworm.
Treating or Solving Woodworm Issue
When it comes to resolving a woodworm issue, the first step is to establish the serverity of the problem. Along with the woodworm damage you can see, there can often be woodworm damage where you cannot see. Once the extent of the problem is identified, the appropriate treatments can be applied. Treating woodworm can be as simple as a chemical spray. However, it can also be as completed as replacing structural timbers within a property.
There are ways your can help prevent woodworm however, with specialist equipment, aprofessional woodworm survey can identify the presence of any wood boring insect even with timbers that are not exposed. Once the extent of any woodworm infestation is known, an appropriate course of woodworm treatment can be recommended.