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How To Tell If You’ve Got Woodworm

28th April 2021

Categories  Woodworm

Small Holes in Timber and unexplained sawdust?

As temperatures rise we have entered what we call the flight season for wood boring insects commonly known as woodworm but are actually a species of beetle.

Whilst you may assume that older, period properties are more likely to attract woodworm, this type of pest is becoming an increasing problem in new builds too where the air isn’t able to circulate effectively throughout your property. Now you know that woodworm can strike in any environment, it’s time to learn the signs that you may have this type of infestation in your home!

Checking damp areas

Woodworm is notoriously difficult to spot and some infestations may have been in existence for a number of years before visible signs appear. If you’re aware that you have a problem with damp in your home, then it’s important to get this treated by a professional damp proofing specialist.

Areas that have suffered from water ingress will provide the perfect conditions for woodworm to thrive in, so it’s best practice to check these spots thoroughly when assessing for the presence of woodworm.

Locating frass

Woodworm is a generic term given to describe any type of beetle that bores through wood, but there are two main species you’ll come across in the UK. These are the common furniture beetle and the deathwatch beetle. The larvae of each of these will bore through wood such as your skirting boards, floorboards, furniture, windowsills, or door frames. However, wooden belongings such as guitars can also become infested!

The result of this is to find several small holes in your wood, which are roughly the same size that a dart would make when entering a dartboard. Alongside the holes, you should see a pile of dust that has been driven out of the wood during this boring process. This dust is known as frass and is one of the main ways that a professional will be able to identify that woodworm is present and the type of beetle that needs dealing with.

The size of the two main beetle types differ from each other, as an adult common furniture beetle may only grow up to 4.5mm whereas an adult deathwatch beetle can reach 7mm long. It’s common to spot the adult beetles during the summer months when they mature and exit the wood.

Treating your woodworm problem

As soon as you’ve determined you have woodworm, it’s important to reach out to a specialist who will be able to assess the extent of the problem. In advanced cases, your wood will have weakened due to the boring, so it may be necessary to remove and replace sections of the timber from your home.

You’ll also need to treat the lifecycle of the woodworm from larvae to adult, which can be accomplished by applying dual action fungicide and insecticide solutions, or alternatively use a timber paste with inbuilt fungicidal spray. The cause of your damp should also be addressed, whether that be improving ventilation in loft spaces, or fixing broken guttering that has caused penetrating damp.

Now that you’ve learned how to identify woodworm, it’s time to take action. Carry out visual inspection of any suspicious areas of your home, and get in touch with professionals as soon as possible!

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