Peter Cox trained technican applies woodworm treatment to exposed floorboards

Woodworm treatment

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Woodworm treatment

Woodworm is a relatively common property problem in properties in the UK. A number of these wood-boring insects are often found in humid and poorly ventilated areas of the property such in the loft or under floorboards.

If a woodworm problem is left untreated it can lead to aesthetic damage to skirting and wooden furniture as well as potentially significant damage to structural timbers. I

Woodworm treatments from Peter Cox have been verified and approved by leading trade bodies such as Which? Trusted Trader. This ensures that when it comes to treating woodworm, we are industry leading professionals.

Our woodworm surveys and solutions eliminate problems in properties of all ages and sizes. This page contains expert help and advice that will help you understand how to treat woodworm.

To speak to your local team of woodworm specialists contact us today or book a survey online by clicking the button below.

Book a Survey Online for a £25 Discount

Do I need woodworm treatment?

If you have noticed any signs of woodworm such as holes in timber, dead beetles, or sawdust-like ‘frass’ then it is worthwhile investigating your timber to establish if you have a woodworm infestation.

If a woodworm infestation has weakened structural components it could result in a large-scale repair. Therefore it could be a significant issue if the woodworm infestation is found in:

  • Timber joists
  • Load-bearing wood
  • Roofing
  • Rafters
  • Structural timber
  • Floorboards

If this is the case we would highly recommend that your property is inspected by a professional before any action is taken.

Can I treat woodworm myself?

There are many DIY solutions and ‘woodworm killers’ available in hardware shops that can be effective for certain types of woodworm, particularly on furniture. If you are certain the infestation is localised to a sideboard, chair or dresser, then a professional solution is likely not required and a DIY beetle treatment or ‘woodworm killer’ will suffice.

If you suspect woodworm has got into the timber frames of your property then we would always recommend getting a professional to help and following their advice on treating woodworm.

Woodworm larvae can spend several years hidden in your timbers. This makes it incredibly hard to determine how severe the infestation is until it is too late. By that point, the wooden beam, joist, or surface may have been structurally compromised.

Also, while our professional surveyors use chemicals that are safe long-term, their application does require strict observation of COSHH regulations. This is why our team use protective clothing and equipment when treating structural timbers and floorboards.

What happens if you don't treat woodworm?

While some signs of woodworm might seem initially harmless, over time, a few small holes and tunnels in timber can become a far bigger problem.

If woodworm is left untreated and allowed to cause serious damage to structural timbers it is going to result in more extensive, and expensive, woodworm treament to make the property structurally sound again. This can include the replacement of timbers that could have been saved.

This can be avoided if treatment is applied as early as possible.

Professional woodworm treatment survey

If you opt for professional woodworm treatment the first step is a woodworm survey.

In order to establish the best course of woodworm treatment for your property, our professionally trained surveyors will conduct a detailed woodworm survey. Our woodworm surveys are conducted by surveyors accredited by leading trade bodies. This gives you peace of mind that they will provide the highest level of industry knowledge and insight in order to correctly identify and treat the insect.

The Peter Cox woodworm survey process includes:

  • Identification of the type of woodworm beetle and the severity of the infestation
  • Determination of the activity level of the woodworm
  • A tailored treatment plan specifically designed for your property
  • Identification of any additional repairs needed, such as for any dry rot or damp issues

Following the survey, the surveyor will provide you with a written report detailing any issues found and if required, a proposal outlining the necessary steps to remove the infestation or repair any structural damage.

What types of woodworm do Peter Cox treat?

It is important to identify the species of beetle present in your home because not all are actually “woodworm” and not all require treatment. The main beetles that can cause danger to the timbers in your home are:

  • Common furniture beetle
  • Deathwatch beetle
  • Wood boring weevil
  • House longhorn beetle

The main reason for correctly identifying the woodworm beetle is that specific treatments may apply to specific infestations.

For example the Common Furniture Beetle which is the most common cause of woodworm problems in UK properties would likely require a spray treatment to eliminate the larvae and prevent future infestations. However, deep infestations by a rarer Death Watch Beetle may require injection treatments into the exit holes left by adult beetles.

Woodworm treatment for Common Furniture Beetle

Treatment for the common furniture beetle can vary depending on the extent of infestation but a typical treatment will involve the spraying of insecticide to any infested timber. Our water-based spray eliminates the beetles on contact as they pass through the spray treated timber.

Where structurally necessary, heavily infested timbers will be cut away and replaced, or economically repaired by skilled joiners using resin repair techniques.

Woodworm treatment for the Death Watch Beetle

Any timber infested by the Death Watch Beetle requires careful inspection before any treatment plan is created. Ideally inspection would take place during the start of woodworm season (around April to June) when emerging beetles are leaving the timber.

Any source of moisture ingress or excess humidity that could result in the continued infestation of the Death Watch Beetle and any associated fungal decay should be repaired and the affected timber should be allowed to dry out. Our surveyor will then determine the extent of any damage caused by the infestation and establish what timber can be rescued, what needs replaced and what can be repaired with other materials such as epoxy resin. Next our surveyor would search the property for any other evidence of infestation or damage caused by Death watch beetles to ensure the problem is fully understood.

Like other beetles, treatment with an insecticide will be effective at killing emerging beetles or surface level eggs and young larvae that have yet to enter the timber, however to get to older larvae that are deeper in the timber, and have a longer and potentially more damaging life cycle than common furniture beetle, it may necessary to supplement any spray treatment with targeted application of insecticidal paste via injection into the timber.

After treatment is complete, ongoing monitoring is required between April and June for the next few years to detect any evidence of renewed activity; this would include new exit-holes or the reemergence of frass. If this is discovered then continued treatments as described above may be necessary as long as any activity remains.

Woodworm treatment for House Longhorn Beetle

House Longhorn Beetles require more than just a surface spray treatment to properly tackle an infestation. House Longhorn Beetles have a longer life cycle (up to ten years) so they visit the surface of the timber with far less regularity than other species of woodworm beetle.

By and large House Longhorn Beetle will require similar spray and injection treatment we would use to treat Death Watch beetles. However, with this species, it is important that all timber in the property is inspected for its structural integrity and additional treatment applied accordingly based on findings. Regular inspection of timber during the treatment process will also be necessary.

Any timber removed during this process should be burned to prevent further spread.

Woodworm treatment for Wood Boring Weevils

Unlike other wood boring insects treatment for Wood Boring Weevils will often involve treatment of a damp or fungal decay problem in the timber the weevils have infested.

Rather than spraying or injecting insecticide, simply removing the source of damp will eradicate the weevil problem. Additionally, like any other wood boring beetle problem, Wood Boring Weevil treatment may involve the repair, removal and replacement of any structurally weakened timber.

Professional woodworm treatment

Generally speaking, a woodworm problem caused by Common Furniture Beetles will be treated with the application of a woodworm treatment spray, designed to envelope the timber and kill any emerging woodworm beetles.

On bare wood surfaces Peter Cox technicians will use the latest proven insecticidal formulations that eliminate the insects on contact as they pass through the spray treated timber. Where structurally necessary, heavily infested timbers will be cut away and replaced, or economically repaired by skilled joiners using resin repair techniques.

Beyond spray treatment, woodworm treatment can also involve the removal and replacement of any severely damaged timber, especially where the woodworm infestation has impacted the structural integrity of the property. Resin-based repairs may also be considered.

In certain circumstances, usually larger commercial properties, fumigation treatment is also an option.

Regardless of the treatment applied Peter Cox will ensure treated areas are safe for re-entry after completion, detailed in the survey report.

How do you prevent a woodworm problem from coming back?

Peter Cox will guarantee any woodworm treatment we undertake but it is possible for woodworm to return to areas that were not treated if the right conditions are allowed to develop.

Following the steps below will help prevent woodworm problems in the future:

  • Avoid excess humidity: Woodworm beetles like to lay their eggs in damp timber. It is easier for larvae to chew than dry wood and provides a greater chance of survival
  • Check second hand or vintage furniture: Upcycled and antique furniture is very popular but be sure to check the furniture for signs of a woodworm before bringing it into your property. We would suggest removing any furniture or decorative timber that has been infected by woodworm. This will prevent any residual infestation from spreading to structural timbers

How much does woodworm treatment cost?

To arrive at an accurate estimate, we would first have to conduct a woodworm survey at the property.

Naturally, the findings of the report will affect the final price and this will be determined by factors such as:

  • The extent of the infestation
  • Scale of treatment required - ranging from full house fumigation to localised spraying or brushing
  • Do structural timbers need to be repaired or replaced?

Contact the woodworm treatment specialists

If you are worried about a potential woodworm infestation in your property then get in touch with our specialist team to discuss it. If necessary we can send a qualified surveyor to your home to assess the extent and severity of the problem. If necessary we will provide you with a woodworm treatment plan to get rid of the insect. If you are happy to proceed then we have a team of local technicians ready to get started applying our certified woodworm treatment solution.

Get in touch with us today by contacting your local branch of Peter Cox or click the button below to book a survey.

Book a Survey Online for a £25 Discount

Next Steps

*Survey enquiries for your local branch will be directed to our dedicated central survey control teams across the UK. Calls to 0800 and 0808 numbers are free unless you are calling from a business phone, in which case the rate will be set by your provider.