Contrary to common belief, woodworm refers to many different species, including deathwatch, house longhorn, common furniture beetle and powder post. However, these species have one thing in common: they all bore through the wood during the larval stage of their lives before turning into full-grown beetles and leaving the nest.
One of the most common types is the common furniture beetle, which generally attacks softwoods like pine. Most other species also attack softwoods, but they rarely cause structural damage to timber frames or furniture unless they tunnel along the grain of the wood. A potentially more harmful species is the deathwatch beetle, which tends to attack hardwoods like oak and chestnut, but only after softened by damp-related rot.
Damage by the various species of woodworm is often easy to identify by any of the following signs
Small holes in the timber. These are typically no more than 2mm in diameter
Wood dust, also known as frass, gathers near the spots.
Dead larvae, often found near infested pieces of wood.
Adult beetles emerging from infested timber.
Weak or damaged floorboards and other timber structures.
Generally, all but the first symptoms point to an active infestation. Therefore, it can be necessary to take some extra steps to treat the problem.
When Should You Call Pest Control, such as wasp nest removal?
Many pest control companies will try to have you believe that the numerous small holes that are tell-tale signs of woodworm point to an active infestation. However, these tiny holes are exit holes where the adult beetles have flown away from their nests. Therefore, in the vast majority of cases, there is no active infestation.
An active woodworm infestation is easily identifiable by the other previously noted symptoms. Because most species of woodworm generally prefer moist or recently felled timber, they’re not likely to infest structures that have been standing for more than a few years unless there is a severe damp problem. In other words, the holes created by woodworm are likely almost as old as the structure itself. Woodworms require a moist and reasonably humid environment to thrive in. They’re unlikely to nest in dry areas, such as a heated home’s timber beams or furniture.
In most cases, active infestations can be dealt with without spraying the whole area with toxic chemicals. However, treating active infestations in such a manner also fails to consider the root cause of the problem, usually damp. For example, if you place a piece of furniture in an area of your home where there is a sticky problem, typically associated with mould and mildew, an infestation may occur. Rather than focusing solely on eliminating the woodworm threat, you’ll need to call a professional such as grey squirrel control treatment Chester to identify and address the root cause of the problem.
The relationship between woodworm and rot is often misunderstood. Rot is caused by damp which, in turn, makes the timber a far more attractive place for woodworm beetles to make their nests. In a dry and properly ventilated home, an active infestation is extremely unlikely. Nevertheless, homeowners are often understandably concerned when they see weak floorboards, joists, beams or rafters and are often quick to blame woodworm. However, while weakened structures will need to be reinforced, if not replaced entirely, it is far more critical to focus on eliminating damp to prevent further damage.
If you think your home might have an active woodworm infestation, a reputable pest control company such as grey squirrel control treatment Chester should be able to provide you with a reliable survey to address the extent of the problem or if, indeed, there is even a problem at all. They should quickly identify other infestations such as wasp nest removal, provide an overview of the extent of any repairs needed and, most importantly, identify the underlying causes of the infestation.