Woodworm is widely used to collectively describe the numerous species of woodboring insects which can attack our homes. Recent surveys indicate its presence in 75% of all houses in Great Britain.
The grub or larvae of the beetle burrows through the timber, feeding on the wood substance, often seriously weakening the structural timbers throughout the property. Attack is not confined to old timbers and nearly all new wood used in the construction of buildings is susceptible unless pre treated. Floor joists, roof timbers and staircases are often particularly prone to attack.
The most usual insect attack is by the COMMON FURNITURE BEETLE (Anobium punctatum) which accounts for approximately 75% of all timber infestation. The life cycle commences with the female beetle laying eggs on the surface of rough unpainted timber, in joints, cracks or old flight holes. The eggs hatch into larvae, which bite into the wood, usually leaving no visible trace. They can then spend up to 3 years tunnelling through at an average rate of approximately 5cm per annum. This causes serious damage to the timber, often not indicated by any external signs. Eventually the larvae creates a small chamber just below the surface of the timbers, where pupation takes place. The adult beetle then bites through to the surface creating an exit, or “flight hole”, usually in the late Spring or Summer. The then adult beetle emerges to fly away and mate, thereby recommencing the life cycle.
The other most common woodboring insects include the DEATH WATCH BEETLE (Xestobium rufovillosum), POWDER POST BEETLE (Lyctus brunneus), WOODBORING WEEVIL (Pentarthrum huttoni) and the LONGHORN BEETLE (Hylotrupes bajulus). Characteristics, type of timber attacked and life span all differ slightly, although all follow a similar life cycle.
Our Surveyors are trained to identify the nature and degree of infestation and will recommend suitable remedial work. Treatments are usually carried out by pressure spraying the exposed timber with suitable chemicals although in certain instances, Boron gels and rods maybe used. Timber treatment paste may also be specified in order to provide long term penetration.