Dealing with woodworm can be in some cases a difficult and often stressful task, especially if it is not caught early enough. As you might expect, most people do not know a lot about woodworm so often interpret the signs of woodworm as something else.
If it is the case you are fairly certain you have a woodworm infestation then you have come to the right place! Read on to discover our top ten tips for dealing with a woodworm issue.
If however, after reading the tips below you are still uncertain about how to deal with the woodworm, then we are here to help. Feel free to give us a call on 0808 273 2138, click to message us and we will try to help you out as best we can. Alternatively, check out how the professionals treat woodworm on our woodworm treatment web page.
Our tips for dealing with Woodworm
1 – The holes are not a sign they have Left
The small holes woodworm make when they are burrowing out of the wood are usually the first thing anyone with a woodworm infestation will notice. However, many people also believe this to be a sign that the woodworm has left the wood.
It is a very common misconception to believe that the presence of these holes means the woodworm is inactive. But actually, it is very likely the original woodworm has left its offspring behind in the wood. The real way to see if woodworm is active in the wood is to look out for any droppings.
It is not the most glamorous job in the world but it will help you find out whether the woodworms are active or not. The droppings look like a fine sawdust and will usually be around the holes in the infected wood.
2 – Damp conditions are not always necessary for Woodworm
While woodworm thrives in damp conditions, it isn’t always needed for woodworm to be present in your furniture. So don’t think that just because you aren’t experiencing any issues with damp that you’ll be safe from a woodworm infestation.
There is a theory that some woodworm species actually prefer to attack wood with a high moisture content. In fact, two species of woodworm actually require wet decayed timber resulting in woodworm having to be a consideration in certain cases of damp. The bottom line however, is that damp conditions are not necessary for woodworm to thrive and to be potentially present in floors/wall timbers our furniture.
3 – Insecticides do not always work
While insecticides can be used to treat woodworm infestations you should be aware that they are not one hundred percent guaranteed to work. This is because it is a surface applied treatment surface that does not have much penetration into the timber.
Surface based woodworm insecticides are designed to coat the timber to kill adult beetles as they emerge from the timber to start mating and thus the lifecycle again. Usually surface applied insecticides will only penetrate the top one or two millimetres of the wood. While it does coat and kill the adults as the emerge from the flight holes, it is unlikely to reach the larvae deep inside. It will typically take another couple of years before the remaining larvae comes into contact with the insecticide and it may even require an additional spray.
4 – The type of Woodworm is important
From first glance, all types of woodworm may seem the same, but do not let a quick glance fool you as the type of woodworm is very important. For example, the common furniture beetle tends to like old furniture and loft timbers, while the Death Watch beetle goes for hardwoods like ash and oak. Death Watch Beetles also have their infamous noise making as a sign of their presence.
In a nutshell, different woodworm species can cause different types of damage and can cause more structural damage quicker than others.
5 – Prevention is key
Prevention is key but that is easier said than done. If you have recently dealt with your woodworm infestation then there are some tips you can take to help prevent another outbreak.
Key to this is to control the humidity within your property. Woodworm generally prefers timber with a higher moisture level. By keeping your property well ventilated (and thus the timber within the property well ventilated) you will help to alleviate any further woodworm infestations.
As an additional prevention measure, you can always test the humidity of the timbers within the property using a timber moisture metre. You can typically hire these or you can purchase them for approx £50. To give you an idea of what you should be concerned with when using one of these devices, anything over a 20% moisture content reading is something to be concerned about. Anything below 12% is ideal.
6 – Damaged timber do not necessarily need to be removed
Just because you have a woodworm issue does not mean you necessarily need to take away the timbers. Again, it really depends on the type of woodworm that is attacking the timbers however, it typically takes a very long time before the timber loses its strength. Even if the timber has been structurally compromised, there are solutions out there that are cost effective to either cut away and replace damaged areas or economically repair them using our unique resin repair techniques. The one thing however, we would stress is that if you do not know what you are doing here, then we would suggest not to attempt this yourself and seek professional advice.
7 – Use ‘Vapour Strip’ fly traps
It’s a slightly unusual treatment to be sure but using Vapour Strip ‘fly traps’ can actually aid you in getting rid of the woodworm beetles. Placing the fly traps in loft spaces and in under-ventilated areas of your home or workplace will increase the odds that the ‘fly traps’ will kill the emerging adult beetles.
8 – Don’t panic!
While woodworm on some occasions can be difficult to treat, if you can catch the problem early enough it can be fast and relatively easy to deal with. However, if you don’t it is important not to panic, just get a treatment plan underway as soon as possible.
9 – Be Prepared to Get Rid of some Furniture
This might sound obvious but we would strongly advise that you remove all furniture pieces and non-structural timbers that are woodworm infested or that you suspect might have a woodworm issue. This is simply to help minimise or prevent any further woodworm issues within the property.
As a tip, woodworm is usually only found amongst the upper layer of the infected wood, leaving the surrounding layers of the wood untouched. If this is the case then it is possible that the wood item infected will still be quite strong and capable of being salvaged after the wood is treated.
However, if the wood starts to crumble or break off when touched or handled, then it is unlikely that even after a successful treatment that you will be able to salvage the furniture. The only course of action then is to get rid of it.
10 – You may need professional help
While you can sometimes treat woodworm on your own, in many cases you should get the job carried out by a professional. This is because the treatment needs to be very thorough and involves spraying chemicals. In the case of a mass outbreak of woodworm structural damage can occur and you should not even attempt the job on your own and instead got straight to a professional.
Want to learn more or need further help?
Hungry to learn more about woodworm? If so, click on the information links below:
If you simply just want to have a chat to discuss your woodworm problems or to arrange a consultation, simply click to get in touch with your nearest office of Peter Cox team or you can also call 0808 273 2138 to talk to the experts. Alternatively, if you already know that you need expert assistance then you can book a survey online now.