Are Woodworm Causing Damage in Your Home?

Are Woodworm Causing Damage in Your Home?

Firstly, there is no such thing as a woodworm. Honestly. So what little pest has enjoyed snacking on my doorframes, you may ask? Well, it could be the larvae of any one of many wood-boring beetles found in homes, such as:

  • The Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium punctatum)
  • The Deathwatch Beetle (Xestobium rufuvillosum)
  • The House Longhorn Beetle (Hylotrupes bajulus) or
  • The Powderpost Beetle (Lyctus brunneus)

Yes, of course I am being picky. The combined term for these beetle larvae is ‘woodworm’, but it’s handy to know that there are species within the group.

These tiny creatures can cause a lot of damage. Whilst they are in the larvae stage, the ugly things can quite happily munch their way through a terrific amount of wood, before they transform into a beautiful – errr… ok, not so beautiful beetle…Irrespective of whether it is holding up your entire house or the leg of a priceless family heirloom. Luckily, this is a common problem in homes and you shouldn’t find it hard to find a professional who can help you or a DIY treatment for woodworm.

Misunderstanding number two (so much debate around such incy chaps), is that woodworm only lives in old properties. Wrong.Brand new houses are similarly at risk of woodworm infestation.

Do It Yourself Project

Something to keep in mind to begin. If you see evidence of woodworm, you don’t need to be alarmed. Hopefully, what you can see are just the last few remaining signs of a historical and since migrated colony of woodworm.

So, the best thing to do would be to keep a close eye on the progression of the signs. Obviously, if you see beetles scuttling around the house, you’ll know that your problem is current. Similarly, if there’s an avalanche of frass ( that’s the dusty powder which comes from burrowing holes inside the furniture).If you notice an item of furniture showing signs of woodworm, remove it and keep it away from any other furniture that they could spread to.

If you can see holes, you’d be best to keep monitoring the damage. You’ll definitely want to do this before paying out a lot of money, then finding that there wasn’t an active problem anyway. A cheap and straightforward way to monitor signs of woodworm is to paint the affected wood with a layer of emulsion paint during the winter. This will block up all of the holes and seal in any larvae. Check back a few months later, between May & September. If you have an active infestation, it will be clear to see the signs of the emerging adult beetles.

A common-sense approach is to be proactive in the fight against woodworm. If you want to prevent a woodworm infestation in the first place follow these guidelines:

  • Keep all wood well ventilated and humidity levels low.
  • In the summer, install an electric fly traps in notorious woodworm-friendly areas to kill the emerging adult beetles before they have a chance to reproduce.

Lastly, if you are sure you have a current & unmanageable problem, you’ll need to invest in some timber treatment in order to erradicate the colony. There are a number of low and high-tech options for whatever application you need, but remember – if you feel out of your depth, it’s best to consult a professional.

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