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Woodworm – What is it and How Do You Treat It?

Woodworm

Woodworm is a term that evokes dread for many homeowners and antique lovers.

These tiny insects can cause significant damage to wooden structures and furniture if left untreated. Understanding what woodworm is, how to identify it, and the best methods for treatment are crucial in preserving your wooden treasures.

Let’s explore some useful information about woodworm and how to tackle this pesky problem.

What is Woodworm?

Woodworm is a collective term for the larvae of various wood-boring beetles. These larvae feed on wood, creating tunnels and causing structural damage over time. The most common types of woodworm beetles include:

  1. Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium Punctatum): The most widespread species, often found in furniture and structural timbers.
  2. Deathwatch Beetle (Xestobium rufovillosum): Typically infests hardwoods and is often associated with historic buildings.
  3. House Longhorn Beetle (Hylotrupes Bajulus): Known for causing severe damage to softwoods, particularly in roofing timbers.
  4. Powderpost Beetles (Lyctidae): Prefer hardwoods and are often found in flooring and panelling.

Identifying Woodworm Infestation

Recognising the signs of a woodworm infestation early can save you a lot of trouble and expense. Here are the key indicators:

  • Small Exit Holes: Tiny round or oval holes on the surface of the wood, typically 1-2mm in diameter.
  • Frass: Fine, powdery wood dust around or below the holes, a byproduct of the larvae feeding.
  • Tunnels in the Wood: Visible when the wood is cut or broken open.
  • Weak or Damaged Wood: Wood that crumbles or breaks easily.
  • Adult Beetles: Sightings of beetles emerging from the wood, especially during warmer months.

Preventing Woodworm Infestation

Prevention is always better than cure. Here are some proactive measures to protect your wood:

  • Control Moisture Levels: Woodworm prefers damp environments. Ensure proper ventilation and humidity control in your home.
  • Treat Wood: Apply a wood preservative to susceptible wood surfaces, especially in basements, attics, and other vulnerable areas.
  • Regular Inspections: Periodically check wooden structures and furniture for signs of infestation.

Treating Woodworm Infestation

If you discover a woodworm infestation, don’t panic. There are several effective treatment methods available:

  1. Chemical Treatments:
    • Surface Sprays: Suitable for minor infestations, these are applied directly to the affected wood. Ensure the product is suitable for the type of wood and infestation level.
    • Injectable Treatments: For deeper penetration, these are injected into the exit holes to reach the larvae inside the wood.
  2. Heat Treatment: Exposing the infested wood to high temperatures can kill the larvae. This method is often used for larger structures and requires professional equipment.
  3. Freezing: Small items can be placed in a freezer for several days to eradicate woodworm.
  4. Fumigation: In severe cases, fumigation can be effective. This involves enclosing the affected area and using a gas to kill the insects. Professional assistance is required for this method.

Professional Help

While DIY treatments can be effective for minor infestations, severe or widespread woodworm problems require professional intervention. Pest control specialists can accurately diagnose the extent of the infestation and recommend the most appropriate treatment.

Conclusion

Woodworm can cause significant damage if not addressed promptly. By understanding the signs of infestation and taking proactive measures to protect and treat your wood, you can safeguard your home and cherished wooden items. Whether you opt for DIY methods or professional help, acting quickly and decisively is key to combating them effectively.

If you have any questions or need further assistance with woodworm treatment, feel free to reach out to our experts in pest control. Contact the Falcon Environmental Services team on 01752 929292.

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Kay Soppet
Kay Soppet
2024-01-25
I was extremely pleased with Falcon Environmental Services. They were efficient, reliable, friendly and professional. I was happy that I found a local company to help with the problem of pests in my attic. They were always available to talk to explaining the situation to me and how they were going to deal with it. I really felt that they went over, above and beyond what I expected. Nothing was too much trouble, my calls and enquiries always returned with a friendly voice, care and consideration. I would honestly recommend them and use their company again if the need arises. It’s very comforting to find good, reliable professional people you can rely on. Thank you to everyone at FALCON.
Steven Newton
Steven Newton
2024-01-21
I would definitely use this company again very professional.
Marta Hawkins
Marta Hawkins
2024-01-19
Great service, super professional with a nice friendly touch. Always responsive and ready to adjust and accommodate extra needs. Highly recommend
Steve HOPPER
Steve HOPPER
2024-01-18
Fast friendly and knowledgeable, Matthew understands your problems and discusses and explains what can be done to sort the problem, uses various ways to solve or remove whatever is causing the problem, from rats, wasps, bee's, feral pigeons, you name, it Falconry Environment will work hard to find a solution for you...
Sarah Wilkinson
Sarah Wilkinson
2024-01-18
Great service, competitive pricing and friendly staff. Highly recommended
Shane
Shane
2024-01-18
Falcon is the best. Matt is and always such a professional approachable man. We have had the pleasure of using Falcon for a few reasons that they have alway had expert advice and responses.
John Adaway
John Adaway
2024-01-18
I have had the pleasure of working with Matthew and his team and would highly recommend Falcon Environmental Services their friendly and professional approach to the work they do.
Marc Payne
Marc Payne
2024-01-18
An excellent, professional and reliable service as always.
Aaron Brian
Aaron Brian
2024-01-18
Very professional service from every member of the team that I’ve dealt with. The team are extremely knowledgeable and always to willing to help when they can. Highly recommended company. Thanks Matt and the team.
Tracy Phillips
Tracy Phillips
2024-01-18
Very happy with service that we received. High level professional advice and follow-up work was provided by the company. Communication with the office was quick and responsive and colleagues who attended were prompt, helpful and skilled. Would fully recommend the service if and when required.

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