Woodworm Treatment

Timber treatment can be carried out to structural timbers of properties infested with wood-boring insects, such as woodworm. The wood worm treatment is carried out by applying an insecticidal spray onto the affected timbers. In severe cases, it may be necessary to replace the timbers. The spray used to treat woodworm is environmentally friendly, effective and long-lasting.

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What is woodworm?

Woodworm refers to the larvae of any wood-boring beetle, rather than one particular species. In the UK, the most common are the Common Furniture Beetle, Deathwatch Beetle, House Longhorn Beetle and Powderpost Beetle. All of these species can live in and consume wood. They eventually leave once they have reached maturity, however by this time there is often damage to the timber. For more help identifying beetle species, Click Here.

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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Even if you can’t see any holes, you might also find frass escaping from the back or underside of old furniture, which suggests active woodworm. However, not all of these signs of activity are cause for concern. Holes and frass might just indicate a previous woodworm infestation, long since dormant. The following tips can help you confirm whether you have a serious, current problem:

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

Adult beetles are responsible for boring the holes when they exit the wood to breed. This happens between May and September, so a good idea is to block the holes during the winter by painting with a coat of emulsion or applying masking tape. In the spring, you can check if any beetles have emerged and therefore determine whether you have active woodworm in your timber.

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?

The amount of harm caused by woodworm will depend on the species of beetle and the type of wood.

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:

Identify the species

Determine whether the infestation is still active

Employ a timber specialist or qualified surveyor to determine which timbers have been structurally weakened and need replacing

Timber that has been structurally weakened will have to be removed and replaced with pre-treated timber. Other affected woodwork will then need to be treated. Small-scale treatment can easily be carried out as a DIY job, but professional advice is recommended for the treatment of larger-scale infestations and certainly for removal and replacement of large timbers.

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Woodworm treatment methods

Surface application of pesticides

Freezing – only suitable for items of furniture infested with woodworm

Fumigation – usually appropriate for Deathwatch Beetle infestation in large structural hardwoods. The adult beetles are effectively "smoked out" during the annual flight season using this woodworm killer

If you’re wondering how to treat woodworm or you’d like some more information on woodworm treatment cost or any of our other services, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Simply call 01132102398 or email watertighthomes@yahoo.co.uk. We operate in Leeds, Yorkshire, Manchester and the surrounding areas.

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