Wood Boring Insects (woodworm)
Woodworm is a collective name for many different species of wood boring insects. The insects that we are concerned with are the ones that are able to use the wood in your property as a food source or as their home. These insects can cause serious damage to timber by boring into wet, decaying timber, in the garden or woodland, But worse than this, a small number of insects, are able to attack timber in the drier conditions found in our properties. These insects are referred to as "woodworm" because it is during the larval or 'worm' stage that they bore and eat into the wood. Most insects are identified by the damage they have left behind, it is rare to see the insects themselves on the timber. Dead beetles (esp. common furniture beetle) are often found on window sills, this is because they are attracted to light. People often see holes in timber and assume that this is where the beetles have gone into the timber, however this is in fact the opposite, usually the holes in the timber of your property are flight holes where the insect has left the timber. There are many insects that bore into timber, Listed here are some of the categories that cause the more serious damage to our property. countries.
The Common Furniture Beetle Anobium Punctatum
The Common furniture beetle is the most commonly found woodworm in the UK. Damage can be identified from the tiny holes in the surface of the wood they have infested. These holes are emergence holes, this is where the adult beetle has emerged from the timber.
The Common furniture beetle lays its eggs on the timber, the eggs hatch into microscopic grubs and make their way into the timber through the many natural tunnels contained within the timber itself. These grubs burrow and tunnel about within the timber eventually creating their own enlarged tunnels as they grow. Active woodworm can often be identified by the appearance of the exit holes, sharp clean edges often (but not always) accompanied by a scattering of tiny dust piles known as ‘frass’ on the timber. Structural weakening often occurs in more advanced attacks, if find such an attack and are in any doubt you should contact us for an expert opinion. This beetle tends to prefer moist timbers, often found in older houses or terraces where the floor joists are near the subfloor oversite and ventilation may be inadequate or blocked.
There are many other types of woodworm that attack our properties, whilst they do have different characteristics the main difference is in the identification. Shown below are pictures of some other types of beetles and the damage they cause.
House Longhorn Beetle Hylotrupes Bajulus
Woodboring Weevil Pentarthrum Huttoni and Euophryum Confine
Ptilinus Beetle Ptilinus Pectinicornis
Powderpost Beetle Lyctus Brunneus
The Deathwatch Beetle Xestobium Rufovillosum.
DIY treatments can be bought from most Diy stores in the form of a spray or liquid preservative, however you should bear in mind that the beetle has exited via the holes so treating the holes it is a bit like bolting the stable door after the horse has ran. It should be remembered that these treatments are chemicals that can be hazardous to health and so, strict adherence to the health and safety instructions, protective clothing requirements and cosh regulations should be maintained at all times. Also to be considered is the fact that if you treat an attack yourself you will not have a written guarantee, which is usually a requirement for a house sale. Building Societies and their surveyors will generally insist on another opinion from a specialist company such as ourselves and if a guarantee is not present or any structural timber has been affected we will have no choice to recommend professional treatment which often means you will have to pay for it prior to the sale going through or in the form of a price reduction anyway. Why not get a professional inspection and report in the first place and save yourself a lot of trouble.
If you think you have an attack of woodworm, contact us.
Areas covered from our Newcastle Office include -