Dry rot and woodworm infestations are often simultaneously linked and cause a great deal of structural damage in many properties. The term Woodworm is a general term referring to a range of wood-boring beetles. The Common Furniture Beetle, also known by its scientific name ‘Anobium punctatum’ is the most common type in the UK. The Powderpost Beetle, Deathwatch Beetle and House Longhorn Beetle are also widely common. All attack and consume wood, including floorboards.
Each beetle prefers different types of wood, from hard woods such as oak and mahogany, to soft woods like pine and cedar, and all leave a number of signs indicating to a wormwood infestation. They include:
• Crumbling edges on boards, roofs and other wooden furniture
• Small holes in woodwork which are usually oval or round in shape but the size of holes in a dart board. They will appear to look clean.
• Bore dust, also known as frass, will usually be visible around the holes of below them. This thin, powdery dust is created by the emergence of adult beetles.
• Any adult beetles emerging from holes or around the house. Often dead beetles can be found near the infested wood.
There is a very common misunderstanding that woodworm only affects dated properties, when in actual fact, they can cause just as much damage to newly built properties.
When woodworms are newly hatched, they instantly burrow through the wood, which would make them very difficult to be seen. When they are burrowed deep inside, they can feed up to several years. As they mature and grow bigger in size, them emerge from the surface of the timber and fully grown adult beetles and leave behind holes. As a result, any timber or woodwork that is left untreated after a woodworm attack, is severely weakened and can result in structural disaster in buildings.
Scarily enough, most of the time we are left unaware that woodworm may be infesting our woodwork. They can typically take up to several years to be found out by which time the damage has already been done.
However, there are some tips in preventing woodworm infestations:
• If you find any signs of woodworm infestation, remove the pieces of timber that they are harbouring immediately. This will prevent any more spreading.
• It’s always a good idea to consult a professional before taking any action just in case the woodworm are not harmful.
• Ensure that woodwork is as ventilated as it can be to keep humidity levels as low as possible.
• Installing fly traps in lofts will kill any adult beetles that decide to emerge.