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What is woodworm?
Signs of woodworm infestation?
Your woodwork may be harbouring woodworm without you knowing it. Wood can be infected with eggs or larvae without it being noticeable, and you may not discover a woodworm infestation for several years. It’s a common misconception that woodworm only affects old properties, it can also cause damage to newly constructed buildings.
Signs of woodworm infestation include:
Small round holes in your woodwork, similar to the holes in a dartboard
Fine, powdery dust around these holes (this is known as frass)
Crumbly edges to boards and joists
Adult beetles emerging from the holes or present around the house
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Identify the woodworm
Not all woodworm are harmful – consult a professional entomologist to identify the woodworm before you decide on treatment. Watertight Homes Ltd
Coat the timber during winter
Test the humidity of your woodwork
You can test the humidity of your woodwork using a timber moisture meter.
They may cost around £50, however, they are available cheaply for hire at hardware stores. To use, insert the probe into the wood and you’ll see an instant moisture content reading.
A moisture content of 20% would be a cause for concern. Woodworm prefers timber with moisture content over 18 %, although it can tolerate moisture contents as low as 12% for short periods. At lower moisture levels, however, the rate of colonisation tends to be low and the infestation will eventually die out with prolonged periods of reduced moisture levels.
A moisture reading of 11% means your property has a low risk of a woodworm infestation.
How to prevent a woodworm infestation
Keep humidity levels low and ensure the wood is well-ventilated. Remove pieces of furniture or non-structural timber that are infested, in order to avoid the woodworm spreading. Install electric fly traps in loft spaces and under-ventilated areas to kill emerging adult beetles in the summer months, and thus reduce the threat of infestation.
How much damage can woodworm cause?
Treating Woodworm Infestation
There are a few methods of how to get rid of woodworm. If you’ve found evidence of woodworm, before deciding on a treatment, you should: