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
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
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 and would like some expert advice why not talk to a fully vetted and acredited Which? magazine
TRUSTED TRADER where you know you will receive an honest and fair appraisal of your requirements and a highly
competitive price if any work is