Just hearing the word woodworm is enough to strike fear into homeowners as you visualise the wooden structure of your home crumbling around you.
Thankfully, this fear doesn’t have to become reality as there are plenty of woodworm treatments available.
Depending on the scale of the problem, you can either call in a specialist with experience in how to treat woodworm or you can learn how to treat woodworm yourself.
Either way, you don’t need to worry. This comprehensive guide to woodworm will help you identify if you have a woodworm problem, explain what exactly a woodworm is, and most importantly how to both prevent and treat an infestation.
What is Woodworm?
Many people are surprised to learn that woodworm are actually beetles. The problems associated with woodworm start when a female beetle lays her eggs, up to 50 of them, in a crack or natural hole in wood.
Within around 2 weeks the eggs hatch and the larvae begin to do the damage, munching their way through your wood for between 2 and 5 years.
Then they mature into beetles and burrow towards to surface and out to mate and repeat the process.
Types of Wood-Boring Beetles
Another surprise to many is that there is more than one sort of wood-boring beetle, all are commonly and collectively referred to as woodworm.
The type that is most common in our homes, and poses the most threat, in the UK is the common furniture beetle.
Other common wood-boring beetles include the deathwatch beetle, the house longhorn beetle, and the powder post beetle.
It is important to correctly identify the type of beetle infestation that you think you have to ensure that you use the right treatment.
Signs of Woodworm Infestation
- Holes in wood where the newly transformed beetle exits the wood in search of a mate.
- Dead beetles (especially on window sills).
- Powdery wood dust, especially around the holes in the wood, but even without holes this dust behind or underneath furniture may indicate the presence of woodworm.
- Weakened floorboards or furniture.
- Wood has crumbling edges.
- Presence of other beetles – some beetles such as the Steely Blue beetle eat furniture beetles so might indicate the presence of woodworm.
How to Treat Woodworm
Woodworm in the timbers or other wooden structures of your home can be treated with a water-based spray – this is the least toxic method.
Fogging can be used in a localised area of woodworm infestation and is particularly good for floorboard infestations.
Fumigation is for larger areas and infestations including industrial infestations. The area to be treated will be inaccessible for around 48 hours.
How to Prevent Woodworm
- Keep your home and therefore the wood within it as dry as possible with good ventilation and heating.
- Where possible keep woodworm out of your home to begin with. Sometimes bringing in second-hand or antique furniture accidentally brings in these pests as well.
- Look for signs of infestation before you buy and if necessary treat the item before you bring it in.
- Use a varnish on wood. Woodworm won’t be able to penetrate the varnish to lay eggs and it is toxic to them.
- Treat with a woodworm treatment.
How to Treat Woodworm Yourself [DIY]
Small items and furniture that you know or suspect to have a woodworm infestation can be. treated with readily available woodworm treatments by yourself.
You must follow the instructions carefully and ensure that you adhere to all the safety precautions.
For woodworm infestations or suspected infestations within the timbers or other structural wood in your home it is important to get a woodworm survey completed and specialist woodworm treatment from professionals.
They will recommend the best course of action including what timbers will need replacing.
Woodworm Treatment Cost
Once a survey has been completed you will have a better idea of your treatment options and the costs involved.
An accurate price cannot be made until a survey has been completed because this will provide information such as whether spraying or fogging is the best option and how much area needs to be treated.
There will also be additional costs if timbers and/or joists need to be replaced.
Woodworm Treatment Survey Process
- Book a treatment survey.
- Survey is completed by experts.
- Advice and a quote is provided based on the results of the survey.
If you suspect a woodworm infestation in your home it is important to deal with it quickly to avoid serious damage and the mounting costs that go with it.
To discuss any concerns you have about a possible woodworm infestation contact us at RBS today.