Woodworm is common in older UK properties and without the proper woodworm treatment it can lead to extensive damage to a building’s structural timbers.
We see lots of cases of woodworm across Devon and the South West and, happily, can confirm that it is almost always treatable with a professional grade insecticide. The clip above was taken on a job in Exeter where we found a living woodworm larvae in a broken section of floorboard. Seeing the larvae alive is actually quite a rare site and in many years of surveying this video is one of only a handful of sightings of showing what the larvae of woodworm look like.
What Does Woodworm Look Like?
The first thing to understand is that the term ‘woodworm’ covers many species of beetle which spend part of their lives living in wood. It is this early stage of their lives when they are a larvae (think maggot!) that they eat through wood potentially causing structural damage.
There are different types of woodworm, here are the main ones found in houses:
Common Furniture Beetle
This is the main beetle we find on surveys. The timber holes are a distinctive perfect round about 1mm to 2mm diameter and a fine wood dust, called frass, is often visible.
Treatment is usually possible with a spray of insecticide fluid that soaks into the timber killing the beetle on emergence.
This is the big boy of the beetle damage world! Deathwatch Beetle can cause serious damage as shown in the picture at the top of the page.
Notoriously hard to treat they can live in the timber for 5 years before emerging. This makes killing them a lot more difficult than Common Furniture Beetle.
Fortunately usually only found in historic buildings with oak structures.
Wood Boring Weevil
Commonly found causing damage to floorboards at the edge of a room and often mistaken for Common Furniture Beetle damage.
In fact, this insect only attacks damp wood and so the solution is often to fix a damp problem rather than to spray insecticide.
This is where a qualified timber surveyor can potentially save you from unnecessary work and cost.
How To Tell If Woodworm Is Active
Woodworm beetles are seasonal and typically emerge between April and October each year. It is at this time that it is common to spot the main signs that there is a beetle infestation problem within a building which may need woodworm treatment.
What Does Woodworm Treatment Involve?
Woodworm treatment by a professional company offering a long term guarantee is the best way to tackle the problem. Did you know that the most common form of woodworm beetle actually flies meaning that spot treatment does not work? The beetle will lay microscopic eggs on wood which the human eye cannot see, once hatched the larvae will eat the wood totally unseen. The visible holes are only seen once the beetle emerges – up to 5 years after the egg hatched!