Woodworm is a problem that all homeowners will want to avoid, but unfortunately, sometimes nature has other ideas. If you do experience a problem with woodworm, you should identify the problem and act accordingly as soon as possible.
To help you do just that, the BC Profiles team have compiled a guide on how to treat woodworm.
What is Woodworm?
Contrary to what the name would suggest, woodworm is not a worm, but rather the larvae of a wood-boring beetle. There are four kinds which are commonly found in the UK, the types of woodworm beetles are:
- Common Furniture Beetle
- Wood Boring Weevil
- Death Watch Beetle
- House Longhorn Beetle
The female of any one of these beetle species will lay eggs either on or just beneath the surface of the timber, usually in larger pores and cracks. Once inside the timber, the larvae feed upon and cause damage to the wood for a period of up to five years, emerging once fully matured to breed and repeat their life cycle.
What Does Woodworm Look Like?
Knowing how to spot woodworm is important, so what exactly do these larvae look like? Though they’re hard to spot and generally found hidden away and feeding within timbers, you can identify woodworm by their creamy-white colouration and curved bodies. They’ll remain inside the affected wood until fully-grown.
How to Spot a Woodworm Infestation
As we mentioned above, it can be hard to spot woodworm given that they live inside the timber, and it’s here where they’ll cause the most damage. Visible signs of infestation often only appear after several years, however, it’s still important that you’re aware of what to look out for:
- Small holes around 1-2mm in diameter in the timber
- Fine dust (known as frass) surrounding the aforementioned holes
- Crumbling around the edges of floorboards and timber joists
- Weakened or damaged floorboards and timber
Where Can You Find Woodworm?
Woodworm is most commonly found in:
- Timber joists
- Roof beams
- Wooden surfaces
- Structural timbers
- Decorative woodwork and timbers
How to Prevent Woodworm Infestation
Though it’s notoriously hard to control nature and fully prevent any of the common beetles from laying their eggs, there are steps you can take to reduce the risks of a woodworm infestation:
- Keep your wood and timbers dry
- Seal wood and furniture with varnish
- Invest in good quality, hardwood furniture
- Keep your home heated and well-ventilated
- Remove and replace any infected or suspect wood from your home
- Carefully check any secondhand and vintage furniture for signs of infestation
How to Get Rid of Woodworm
Though you can treat small areas affected by woodworm yourself (e.g furniture or wooden instruments), we would always recommend seeking the help of a qualified professional to deal with any woodworm infestation on a larger scale, especially when concern structural timbers.
First and foremost, you must identify the type of woodworm before rushing to undergo any treatment; the type of beetle will determine the course of action you’ll need to take and the wood treatment that you’ll need to use.
For example, the Common Furniture Beetle can be tackled with a brush, dip or spray woodworm treatment. For species such as the Death Watch Beetle (which bores the deepest of all the woodworm beetles), you’ll need to inject the timber as well as treat the surface to reach and exterminate the larvae.
Products such as the brilliant Everbuild Woodworm Killer are suitable for all kinds of wood-boring beetles; penetrating deep into the wood and eradicating the beetle and their larvae in all life stages.
You’re now well equipped to spot and deal with any type of troublesome woodworm infestation! If you’re looking for more up-to-date advice and information, browse our BC Profiles blog page where you’ll find tons more how to’s and guides.