Please, never make the mistake of assuming woodworm can’t cause severe damage to a property. Woodworm activities can invalidate insurance, create substantial structural integrity issues and have health and safety ramifications.
Whether your infestation is suspected, proven, moderate or highly populated, choosing to ignore the issue is a hugely risky strategy that won’t save money or secure peace of mind in the long term. The woodworm damage will simply continue unaddressed.
What are woodworm?
Woodworm is an umbrella term for wood boring beetles in their larvae form, pre-maturity. The most common species in the UK are the Common Furniture Beetle – Anobium punctatum and the Deathwatch Beetle – Xestobium rufovillosum.
They enjoy moist timber, from damp joists to condensation affected window frames. The varying temperatures of spring, autumn and winter are ideal.
Their life cycle illustrates why woodworm pose such a threat to the strength of timber in the long term:
- A female lays eggs in the crevices of timber.
- After 10-14 days these hatch as larvae.
- The larvae instinctively bore in to the timber.
- Woodworm live in the timber for 2-5 years as larvae and pupa.
They tunnel and consume the natural cellulose content in the wood to survive.
They move towards the surface as they mature.
- As adult beetles, they leave the timber with one aim, to mate. After less than 2 weeks as beetles, they die.
Act immediately to prevent woodworm infestation expansion
At the first suspicion of a woodworm infestation, a specialist timber treatment firm like Thames Valley Timber Treatment should be contacted so that a thorough professional survey can be carried out. This assesses the timber affected and any susceptible areas so that an accurate timber treatment plan can be designed in accordance with the severity of the issue.
It is a common public misconception that when, for example, a woodworm infestation is present in a joist that the entire floor or every timber in the premises, furniture too, must be treated. Woodworm do not habitually move from one timber to another. A woodworm infestation can be treated in isolation.
Signs like holes in the timber may look freshly bored but could be historic. Other indications of a woodworm infestation include:
- Dust, professionally termed as frass, beneath holes.
- Tunnels, known as galleries.
- Crumbling or weak timber.
- Live or dead beetles concentrated in areas.
Woodworm related timber treatments
- Woodworm prevention.
- Woodworm infestation eradication.
Many lenders and insurance companies insist on a professional survey and 20-30 years guaranteed treatments so, although an over the counter self-administered solution may be tempting, this is rarely satisfactory or comprehensively successful.
It also places the people and any animals on site at risk from poisons. Qualified, experienced operatives appreciate the dangers, have the correct PPE and effective practices. Trust them rather than taking chances.
Licensed products used by specialist timber treatment firms have been independently tested and approved by the HSE. Pesticides and insecticides are insect growth regulators designed to halt the life cycle and reproduction.
An ignored woodworm infestation could have life changing implications. Talk to a woodworm specialist today.