Woodworm is a generic term that is used to commonly describe the larvae stage of all wood boring beetles. The most common beetle in the UK is known as the Common Furniture Beetle. However, there are various other beetles which are present in the UK.
Timber decay and woodworm can affect buildings of all ages. If allowed to continue untreated severe cases of woodworm will lead to weakened timbers that can ultimately compromise the integrity of the building. The first step is identifying the types of species and the appropriate treatment, if applicable.
Woodworm can be found in any housing timbers, furniture or in wooden outbuildings. It can be found anywhere in a property where there are exposed timbers. As timber accounts for anywhere up to 70% of the fabric of a house, untreated woodworm can cause serious problems.
The active season for the wood boring beetles to emerge is normally between March and September which is when they are likely to be noticed in wood with active infestations. The biggest indicator of an active and present woodworm problem is evidence of frass or bore dust beside the exit hole, in some situations live beetles can be found.
Our trained surveyors can undertake a survey and identify the type of infestation and suggest an appropriate treatment. Following our survey we provide a written report outlining the surveyor’s findings and recommendations with an estimate for works where recommended.
There are a few common signs that can identify a possible woodworm problem:
You may see adult beetles emerging from their holes
Dead beetles (usually Death Watch Beetle) may be visible about the property, often on windowsills or under furniture from where they have emerged. Live beetle can emerge in spring to mate.
You may also come across what looks like fine powdery sawdust near the exit holes which is the bore-dust/frass they produce.
What is the life cycle of the woodworm?
The woodworm life cycle starts with the adult female beetle laying her eggs on the timber. This could be the end of a timber beam or timbers within an attic space – anywhere where the timber is exposed.
Once the eggs hatch, the larvae will burrow its way down into the wood where they can spend anything up to three years or more eating their way up and down the timber.
Eventually the woodworm forms a pupal chamber; this is when they transform into an adult beetle. They eat their way out of the wood creating the woodworm hole to start the whole process again. This is typically when it becomes apparent that there is woodworm.
The most common wood boring beetle species we identify are:
- Common Furniture Beetle
- Death Watch Beetle
- Wood Boring Weevil
The Common Furniture Beetle is the most common woodworm requiring treatment. Our surveyors shall consider the condition of infested timber, the type and accessibility of the woodworm attack and the risks and hazards associated with any work that is to be recommended.
Typically, spray treatments are undertaken (in some cases paste, and in-situ pressure injection are also carried out). All of our timber treatment products are water based and have Health & Safety Executive certificates, and most are English Nature approved for use in bat roosts. That means they are non-toxic to mammals, including humans.
When floor boards need to be lifted, we take care to limit any damage, leaving floors which are often exposed in good order.
Fibre glass, where present, can be moved and reinstated by our operatives if required.
When infestations by the Death Watch Beetle is discovered, treatments will always be dictated by site conditions and formulated by our experienced surveyors.
As standard and in most cases, our work is covered by a 20-year guarantee. This is backed by a guarantee administered by Construction Guarantee Solutions Ltd.