Woodworm problems in your home?
Woodworm is one of those small pests that can cause big problems if not dealt with. Woodworm is not necessarily the type of pest that you will know about until some time has passed, which is why if you see any signs of an infestation, we strongly recommend calling in a professional. This is due to the damage that they cause to furniture, wooden beams and floor boards. They cause structural damage which can be very dangerous if left unattended. With Spring in the air, now is the time that adult beetles will start emerging from the wood source.
Woodworm is really an umbrella term for the larvae produced by many different species of wood boring beetles. It is also a generic term used to describe the infestation. Typical wood boring beetles found in the UK include; the Deathwatch beetle, Powderpost beetle and the Common furniture beetle.
The larvae produced by these beetles is what cause the damage to wooden objects. The beetles will lay their eggs on the surface of a wooden item. Once the eggs hatch as grubs, they then work their way through the wooden structure by feeding on it and creating tunnels throughout. This is what causes cosmetic and even structural damage to the wood. Most of the larvae will require an element of moisture to survive too.
Tell-tale signs that you have a woodworm infestation are as follows;
- Frass-this is the dust like material that is pushed out of the tunnels created by the larvae. It can be found on the floor around the area of the wooden object.
- Holes- the affected wood will have visible holes on the surface. These are usually quite small depending on the size are larvae.
- Adult beetles-the adults will begin emerging in April as well as throughout the summer months.
- Structural damage to the wood-If there is a large infestation, you may see the wooden object begin to crumble typically seen in floor boards and roof beams.
- Checking damp wood-the larvae do require an element of moisture so they are more likely to be found in old damp wood rather than typical household items like a chest of drawers for example. However, if buy household items second hand, it is always good practice to check for any signs of woodworm as it is not always possible to know how long the item has been stored for and it what conditions.
Seeing holes and frass may not be an indication that you have a live infestation, it may be the case that the infestation has died and it is just the after effects that are visible. However, if you do see beetles emerging or located nearby the wood source then the infestation is a live one. One tip to confirm if the infestation is live is to cover the holes over the winter months (as the woodworm infestation is typically dormant) and check back around April time to see if any adult beetles have emerged through the covering.
Woodworm, although not always an immediate pest problem, is still a pest problem and one that is difficult to treat. If you think you have a woodworm infestation then please give us a call. We can offer advice, identify the species and put in place a safe and effective plan to remove the problem.