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Woodworm – what are the signs and treatments?

Woodworm or wood boring beetle is a generic term used to describe an infestation in timber by the wood eating larvae of different species of wood boring beetle of which there are many different types. The beetles thrive in damp conditions and a warm temperate climate with woodworm infestations particularly common in enclosed spaces within a property where there is a lack of ventilation such as under the stairs and in the loft.

Whilst it is the adult beetles who lay their eggs on the wood, it is the larvae who tunnel inside the wood so weakening and causing serious damage to the structural timbers within a property as they do so.

A clear indicator of a woodworm infestation is the appearance of holes of various sizes within the wood, usually 1mm to 1.5mm in diameter depending on the type of infestation. An active infestation will have dust around the holes with adult beetles sometimes visible particularly in the summer months.

What are the types of woodworm?

woodwormCommon Furniture Beetle

Once ready to pupate, the larvae will come nearer to the surface of the wood and then break through the surface making small exit holes producing fine wood dust. They only attack timber made from seasoned sap wood and not timber that has come from the heartwood part of a tree. Larvae can bore through timber for 3-4 years growing up to 7mm with an adult beetle growing to 4.5mm.

Deathwatch Beetle

An adult beetle can be 7mm long with the larvae growing up to 11mm. Their unique characteristic is the tapping sound the adult beetle makes to attract a mate, a sound that can be heard by the human ear. They typically attack oak and elm which is already suffering from fungal decay therefore causing further damage to already weakened timbers.

How is woodworm treated?

The different types of wood boring beetles and their larvae have different characteristics and require different treatment in order to stop and control an infestation.

Our qualified surveyors will carry out a full diagnostic survey to identify the type of woodworm infestation, if the infestation is still active and assessment of the extent of damage caused to the timbers. A frass analysis can be undertaken where necessary to confirm the exact type of infestation.

Our surveyors will also evaluate for other possible contributing factors and problems as a result such as reasons for the damp conditions, water ingress points, condensation, ventilation and signs of wood rot and decayed timbers.

ProTen provide professional woodworm treatment and diagnosis

Our surveyor will conduct a timber survey to assess for the required woodworm treatment, as follows:

  • Identifying the type of woodworm
  • Determining whether the infestation is still active
  • Assessment if the timber needs repair or replacement
  • Investigation of damp conditions and reasons for moisture ingress
  • Assessment for damp proofing and ventilation requirements
  • Observation to look for any other affected or at risk timbers
  • Observation to look for signs of any other associated timber problems (such as dry rot)
  • Determine the most appropriate woodworm treatment necessary for the property
  • Provide an Inspection Survey Report detailing findings and quotation for any works necessary
  • Monitoring of exit holes to establish level of activity
  • Frass analysis

Our operatives will carry out woodworm treatment solutions as follows:

  • Elimination of all water ingress causing the damp conditions
  • Removal and replacement of rotted timbers
  • Treatment of in situ and replacement timbers
  • Application of the appropriate fungicidal spray, timber pastes or dual purpose fungicide and insecticides

Our Guarantee

Our work is guaranteed through our own ProTen Company Guarantee and we offer further peace of mind via our third party Guarantee Protection Insurance Scheme.

Find out more about our guarantees here

Contact ProTen today to eradicate your woodworm problem.

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