Woodworm is a loose term that references the larvae of multiple different species of wood-boring insect. Usually, the insect that causes woodworm is the Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium Punctatum), which is responsible for 75% of all timber damage in the UK. The beetle lays its eggs within the wood and when the larvae emerge, they begin to consume the timber for up four years until they are ready to pupate and change into an adult.
From a preventative perspective, ensuring the wood in your property remains dry is a key factor in avoiding woodworm related issues, as the larvae prefer wood with a moisture content of 15-30%. Use your central heating and ventilation systems to keep the wood in your home from getting too damp. If left unchecked, woodworm can lead to structural weakness so it’s essential that any woodworm problems are dealt with sooner rather than later.
Fortunately, identification and treatment of woodworm is fairly simple, as long as there is an accurate understanding of the scale of the problem and what species of beetle is causing the issue.
Woodworm is usually quite easy to notice and identify. The most obvious symptoms of woodworm are small holes in the surface of affected wood. These holes are usually 1-2mm in diameter and are created as the adult beetles leave the wood. Often, these holes have a very fine, sawdust-like substance called frass around them – another remnant of the adult beetle’s departure from the wood.
Some less common signs of woodworm include weak or crumbling timber or visible tunnels where the larvae have travelled through the wood. If you notice any of these signs, it’s always advisable to get a fully-qualified (CSRT or CSTDB trained) expert to investigate the issue further and identify the most appropriate treatment.
If you have identified a cause for concern, then it’s time to investigate treating the woodworm. The most important point to keep in mind is that whilst the majority of woodworm problems are the result of the Common Furniture Beetle, this doesn’t mean that they all are. Unfortunately, the treatments that work effectively on the Common Furniture Beetle don’t always work on the other species and furthermore, some of the other types of beetle that cause woodworm can be much more destructive if left unchecked. This is why it’s essential for you to get a professional survey conducted as soon as possible, as the surveyor will be able to identify the particular species of beetle and in turn, select the most suitable treatment method.
In the case of the Common Furniture Beetle, treating woodworm is fairly simple and involves the use of a chemical spray which can be applied to particularly challenging areas with a brush where necessary. This seeps into the wood to eradicate the adult beetle as it exits timber, thus disrupting the breeding cycle and protecting the area from further infestation. After being left for an hour, this woodworm treatment is complete, making it one of the least intrusive options.
However, for more invasive species such as the Death Watch Beetle (Xestobium Rufovillosum), a gel treatment may be more suitable. The gel can be injected into the wood, applied to the surface of the timber or both to effectively deal with the woodworm infestation.
The cost of woodworm treatment varies greatly depending on the scale of the infestation, the species being dealt with and the treatment necessary. For instance, a small Common Furniture Beetle infestation that is localised to a single piece of furniture is going to be significantly cheaper to treat than a whole support beam infested with Death Watch Beetle larvae. After having the area surveyed, you should be able to obtain an accurate quote for the treatment required.
With over 15 years' experience dealing with damp and woodworm issues, the specialist team here at Garratt’s Damp & Timber is perfectly equipped to both survey and treat your woodworm problems. We always recommend booking a free inspection so that one of our professional surveyors can accurately identify the extent of your woodworm infestation, ensuring a fast and appropriate treatment that works first time.
We offer a 30-year guarantee on all of our woodworm treatments to ensure that each and every one of our customers is fully satisfied with the service we provide. We pride ourselves on honest, client-centric advice so if you would like a free survey, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0208 535 7536 or contact us online.