Woodworm Problems & Treatment
When people discover Woodworm (Anobium punctatum) in floorboards or joists, their first instinct in a lot of cases is to think that the property is going to collapse around them. In most woodworm infestations this is not going to happen for a very long time, as to get to the point of where floors are collapsing would take 20-30 or even 50 years of the beetle re-infesting the same timbers.
The term Woodworm refers to the larval stage of the Common Furniture Beetle although there are many other types of Woodworm such as Powder Post Beetle, House Long Horne Beetle, and Deathwatch Beetle. These are less likely to be found, and most problems are due to Common Furniture Beetle.
The infestation starts with the beetle laying eggs in crevices just below the surface of the timber mainly in softwoods or in the sapwood of European hardwoods. Once these eggs hatch as a small larval stage, they bury into the wood and begin the worm stage of the life cycle. They will live deep inside the timbers tunnelling away and eating the starch part of the timber, which gives the wood most of its strength for between 2-5 years.
The larva will grow up to 7mm in length once it has completed its time as a larval stage, it will migrate to just below the surface of the timber where it will pupate and turn into a beetle called the Common Furniture Beetle. This pupa stage may take 5-8 weeks, and it will bite its way through the surface creating the little holes you see on the surface of the timber, these are called “flight holes”. This beetle does not feed but mates and lays more eggs often re-infesting the same areas over again. In time, this is why the wood becomes weak or structurally unsound.
Treatment for Woodworm
The treatment for woodworm will firstly require us to conduct a thorough survey to assess what timbers are in a sound condition, which needs replacing and how to treat the timbers. If the woods get badly infested and unsound structurally, these will need to be replaced or cut back to a point at least 300mm past the damaged areas, the replacement timber will need to be pre-treated.
Our main method of treatment is to treat all visible sides of the wood with a chemical called Permethrin. This comes in a concentrated solution, which is mixed with water to allow us to spray the timbers. The water will carry the insecticide into the timber then it evaporates leaving the timbers impregnated with the chemical. This will kill any beetles biting out or larval stages tunnelling into the timber, the chemical in effect stops future life cycles of the beetle.
There are other methods of treatments to suit different situations such as a paste and gels. These are particularly good on timbers, which are going to be fixed into the walls as they can incorporate other chemicals, which will help prevent wet rot and dry rot also from attacking the wood.
Find a Woodworm Treatment Professional
If you think you have a woodworm problem, seeking a professional company that deals with woodworm treatment is the best way forward. Using a local pest specialist like Apex pest control will soon inspect, and identify if you have a woodworm problem.
Apex is available in Sheffield and serves South Yorkshire. You can contact Apex on 0114 3491098