Four Tips for Dealing With Woodworms

It’s that time of year again. The warmer weather is here and with it homeowners start to see the telltale signs of unexpected visitors in their homes – woodworm!  So, to help all those who think they have a woodworm problem we have compiled a handy list of the top tips to help ease those woodworm woes!

1. You need to know the type of woodworm infestation you have

To start with, do you know what woodworm are? The generic term woodworm refers to the larvae of any type of

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wood-boring beetle. Here in the UK, the most common forms of woodworm found in homes are the Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium Punctatum), Deathwatch Beetle (Xestobium Rufuvillosum), House Longhorn Beetle (Hylotrupes Bajulus) and Powder Post Beetle (Lyctus brunneus).

2. How do I know which type of woodworm I have?

It is always a good idea to get a woodworm specialist to identify the correct type of woodworm before you decide on any form woodworm treatment. Not all woodworm beetles or larvae are harmful and only a qualified woodworm specialist would be able to advise you on the type of infestation and the best course of action to remedy the situation.

3. Have the humidity of the timbers checked

Have the humidity of the wood within your property professionally checked by a surveyor with a timber moisture meter. The surveyor will insert the probe into the timber and get an instant moisture content reading. For reference: a moisture content of around 20% would be a cause for concern as woodworm prefer timbers with a moisture content of over 18% however; woodworm can also tolerate moisture contents as low as 12% for short periods. At lower moisture levels, the rate of woodworm colonisation tends to be lower and infestation will die out with long periods of reduced moisture. You can assume that a reading of around 11% puts you at very low risk of a woodworm problem.

4. Is it a live woodworm infestation?

The holes that are commonly associated with a woodworm infestation are made by the adult woodworm beetles. The

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woodworm make the holes as they exit the wood. The woodworm flight season tends to be between May and September. One idea is to block the woodworm holes during the cooler winter months by painting with a simple coat of emulsion, or by applying masking tape. In the spring, you can then easily see if any woodworm beetles have emerged from the timber and therefore determine whether you have an active woodworm infestation or not. Alternatively seek the advice of a professional.

To prevent further woodworm infestation, it is an idea to also employ the following woodworm tips:

– Remove any items of furniture or non-structural timber that are woodworm infested to avoid the woodworm spreading to other timber in the property.

– Keep humidity levels low and ensure areas with wood are well ventilated.

– Install electric flytraps in loft spaces and areas that are under-ventilated. This will help kill emerging adult woodworm beetles in the summer months, and thus reduce the threat of further infestation.

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