Warmer Weather = Pests

Published On April 5, 2018 | By William Thomas | Home Improvement

Several pests come out of hibernation and breed in spring, hence the resurgence of bees, wasps and rodents. However, one pest which doesn’t hibernate is the woodworm you may have in your domestic or commercial property. Woodworm is a broad term used for wood boring beetles.

Woodworm infestations thrive in the varying temperatures of the spring and autumn periods in which timber moisture levels are better for their continued survival. Condensation, poor ventilation, closed off areas and heating being switched on and off don’t just cause timber rot issues, they provide ideal conditions for woodworm to consume the natural cellulose content in the timber and to tunnel extensively, hopefully without being disturbed by humans.

The most prevalent woodworm species in the UK are:

The Common Furniture Beetle – Anobium punctatum

This is a wood boring species that prefers soft woods. Damp floorboards and old furniture presenting elevated moisture levels are ideal.

The Deathwatch Beetle – Xestobium rufovillosum

These can often be found in wet or damaged hardwoods. Interestingly, primarily in the south of England, according to Aviva Insurance.

The House Longhorn Beetle – Hylotrupes bajulu

Far rarer than the other two species in the UK, again these pests prefer soft woods and a favourite environment is in damp roof timbers.

  • Woodworm tend to lay eggs from April until September.
  • The females leave their eggs hidden in the crevices of timber.
  • When the eggs hatch approximately 10-14 days later the larvae bore in to the timber instinctively.
  • The woodworm larvae and pupa take between 2-5 years to develop in to adults. These stages are when they eat the cellulose and form galleries (tunnels) in the wood. Woodworm move towards the surface as they mature in to beetles.
  • They leave the timber. The beetle is 3-6mm long and has one purpose, to mate. They die within 14 days.

Woodworm infestation clues include

  • Weak, crumbling timber.
  • Fresh looking holes in timber. These may not be newly created. Old timber and furniture could have experienced a woodworm infestation before but please don’t take unnecessary risks.
  • Dust (frass) settled beneath holes.
  • Tunnels leading away from the holes.
  • Dead or live beetles around the timber.
  • Eggs are difficult to see with the naked eye.

Seek professional, licensed timber treatment specialists

Contact a leading, highly regarded and experienced firm like Thames Valley Timber Treatment about a professional survey to evaluate the severity of a woodworm infestation and the recommended treatments. Timber treatments through woodworm services firms carry 20 to 30 years guarantees and are often required to satisfy mortgage lenders, insurance brokers and health and safety.

The HSE and Environment Agency approves the Wood Protection Association’s code of practice. Products used for timber treatments have been independently tested and approved. The pesticides and insecticides used during woodworm services are also called Insect Growth Regulators and they kill woodworm and stop their reproduction, therefore comprehensively eradicating the woodworm infestation and its ability to destroy timber.

Avoid over the counter DIY solutions. Why place yourself at risk of under or over application of timber treatments, chemicals or the lack of a survey?


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