Woodworm is a loose term that references the larvae of multiple different species of wood-boring insects. 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 internal areas of 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. Ensuring good sub-floor ventilation exists and adequate, unblocked airbricks allow the sub-floor timbers to remain dry is important, too. 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, the identification and treatment of woodworm are 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 holes, usually 1-2mm in diameter, that are created as 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, like Garratt's Damp & Timber, to investigate the issue further and identify the most appropriate treatment.
If you have identified a cause for concern, it’s time to investigate treating the woodworm. The most important point to keep in mind is that while 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. Furthermore, some of the other types of beetle that infest and attack 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 generally 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 thoroughly to some areas with a brush where necessary. The insecticide seeps into the upper few millimetres of wood to eradicate the adult beetle as it exits the timber, thus disrupting the breeding cycle and protecting the area from further infestation. After being left for an hour, this woodworm treatment is complete and client re-entry is safe, making it one of the least intrusive options.
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 services varies greatly depending on the scale of the infestation, the species being dealt with and the treatment required.
Garratt’s Damp & Timber offer free home surveys where we will inspect the property and diagnose any prevalent damp issues, as well as offer a solution to eradicate the problem. Our team of professionals will ensure that you are kept fully informed as to the costs involved, as well as with how long any treatment and/or repair work is expected to take.
With over 18 years' experience dealing with damp and woodworm issues, the specialist team here at Garratt’s Damp & Timber is perfectly equipped to 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 provide woodworm treatment in:
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.