Woodworm is the term most used when describing wood boring insect activity within the timbers of buildings. There are several insects that may attack the timbers within your property – some require treatment – some don’t!
The most common wood destroying beetle found in British buildings today is the Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium punctatum). This insect commonly occurs outdoors infesting dead tree trunks, branches and other forms of exposed timber but, the main cause for concern is its ability to infest indoor timbers in a variety of situations.
Adult beetles emerge from timber in the spring and summer. Very soon after mating the female beetle lays approximately 30 eggs, often into cracks and crevices in the timber she has just vacated. Usually within a month the eggs hatch and the young grubs begin burrowing into the timber. Here they remain for between two and four years slowly eating and burrowing beneath the surface of the wood.
Eventually the mature lava excavates a pupation chamber just beneath the surface of the wood. Following the pupation process the adult beetle cuts a hole in the surface of the timber and emerges to start the process once more. It is the appearance of new emergence holes and the dust (frass) that falls from them that often indicates the presence of an active infestation of woodworm.
The woodworm beetle is significant because given the right conditions it can infest a wide variety of timber products including structural building timbers and furniture. If left unchecked infestations can lead to severe structural weakening and eventually total collapse of the infested timbers.
The Death Watch Beetle (Xestobium rufovillosum). This insect is often associated with historic buildings and usually affects the sapwood of hardwoods that are damp or have been affected by fungal decay.
House Longhorn Beetle (Hylotrupes bajulus). This large insect affects sapwood and is predominantly associated with roofing timbers. They are limited in range to a small part of South East England. Infestations if left unchecked can lead to severe structural weakening in a relatively short period of time.
When infestations by the Death Watch Beetle and House Longhorn beetle are discovered, treatments will always be dictated by site conditions and formulated by an experienced and qualified specialist.
Before making a decision on any remedial treatments consideration must be given to the risks and hazards associated with any work that is to be recommended.
In preparation for the application of preservatives the timbers should be cleaned down to remove any excessive dust and debris. Treatments using permethrin based or boron based insecticides are very common and are generally successful and cost effective. Chemicals are often applied by low pressure spraying but some insecticides can be applied by “fogging” or even brushed on.
Please contact us to discuss your requirements and we will do our utmost to assist you. Insitu SCP are one of the most established names in building preservation in the South East of England, with over 40 years experience in the industry. You can be assured that we will identify potential issues, find the best solution and deliver long lasting results with minimal disruption.