Woodworm Treatment

WOODWORM TREATMENT

 Woodworm surveys & Treatment Specialists, Timber Infestation Surveyors providing Surveys & Reports for Wood Boring Beetles & Insects Associated With Timbers Affected by Damp Timber Decay.

Woodworm is a generic term used by specialist timber treatment companies to describe various species of wood boring insect beetles, the larvae of which are able to use wood as a source of food.  Wood boring beetles can be found in any part of a house, floorboards  ,joists, staircases, & structural  roof timbers, and can if in the right conditions, cause considerable insect damage resulting in the weakening of structural roof voids and floor timbers, resulting in having costly specialist woodworm treatment carried out by timber treatment companies to resolve the beetle infestation problem.

Life cycle of the wood boring beetles is normally always near completion before most home owners are even aware that they have a problem.  In fact, most woodworm infestations only comes to light when a property is being bought or sold and the valuation surveyor working for the bank / building society carries out a mortgage home buyers survey and discovers woodworm holes in timber floors, staircase, roof timbers and recommends that a woodworm survey be carried out by specialist woodworm treatment companies who are members of the P.C.A. property care association and provide a specialist woodworm infestation report along with costs for any treatment that may be required.

Adult woodworm beetle lays her eggs in cracks and crevices of the timber. When the eggs hatch, the woodworm larvae burrows into the wood feeding off the timber within and creating tunnels. On reaching maturity, an adult beetle emerges from the timber creating  characteristic woodworm holes and bore dust (frass).  This is when woodworm specialists are called in to carry out woodworm treatment.

Various species of woodworm beetle common to this country, all have fairly similar life cycles, however the length from laying of the woodworm egg to the emergence of the woodworm beetle varies in length.  The active season of the woodworm beetle is between May and October, when is some cases the wood boring beetles can be seen emerging from floor and roof timbers in properties throughout the UK.

When dealing with an active infestation of woodworm, the necessity for chemical wood worm treatment or non treatment depends upon the species of wood worm beetle and the type of timber and its moisture content.  Some wood boring beetles such as the Death Watch & Weevil prefer damp or decayed timber for its survival and in most cases chemical woodworm treatment is not required to eradicate the infestation, as controlling moisture levels and drying the timbers may be all that is necessary.

Damp Aid experienced and qualified independent woodworm surveyors are based across the UK and are ready to carry out  comprehensive  woodworm inspections to assess the extent of any problem and the type of woodworm insect involved. They will carry out independent woodworm surveys to  determine if the infestation is active, check timbers for associated defects such as wood rot / damp and if any timbers need replacing. Based on this detailed evaluation, Dampaid woodworm surveyors will then recommend appropriate and  most cost effective woodworm / timber treatment services

Most common woodworm beetle infestations found in properties during inspections / surveys in the UK mainland are:

Common Furniture Beetle:
(Woodworm Treatment needed for active infestation)

This woodworm is the most common wood boring insect found in buildings throughout Britain.  It is also found in New Zealand, Australia and other parts of the world.  It normally attacks structural timbers made from the sapwood (the “working” part of a tree) of softwoods and European hardwoods, unless wood rot is present in the heartwood (the “old” inner part of a tree). It is commonly found in furniture  (from where it gets its name), structural floor & roof timbers particularly around loft hatches, timbers in contact with solid walls, under stairs cupboards and other areas affected by damp. Flight holes found in very old structural timbers may often be historic (non active) so will not require chemical woodworm treatment.

House Longhorn Beetle:
(Replacement of infested timbers using new pre-treated timber)

This woodworm beetle is a major cause of damage to softwood building timbers throughout central and southern Europe.  In the UK significant damage is confined, in the main, to roofing timbers, and is mainly confined to the South West area of London, where special Building Regulations exist to protect structural timber and prevent further spread. It attacks the sapwood of most softwoods. On warm days an audible scraping noise can be heard where the larvae of large infestations are feeding on the wood.  Details of suspected outbreaks should be reported to the BRE (Building Research Establishment) who maintain records of infestations in the UK.  Newer buildings, in particular domestic dwellings built after the First World War and up to the present day, have smaller timbers which often contain a large proportion of sapwood.  This provides the potential for roof collapse if the timbers become seriously infested with house longhorn beetle.


Death Watch Beetle:
(Woodworm treatment necessary)

In the British Isles, this woodworm beetle is common to the south of England, but less so in the North, and unknown in Scotland.  The death watch beetle will attack partially decayed hardwoods, mainly oak. It is often found in historic buildings where large quantities of oak or elm beams have been used structurally. Dampness is essential for the establishment and rapid development of the attack, however it can occur in drier timbers but at a much slower rate. It is usually found in areas which are prone to damp, such as wall plates, floor joist ends, lintels and other built-in timbers.


Wood-Boring Weevil:
(no woodworm treatment necessary only to treat associated wood rot)

Occasionally misidentified by woodworm treatment companies as the Common Furniture Beetle, though of slimmer appearance and having a long snout. Wood-boring weevils will only attack timber that is damp and decayed, with the damage they cause being secondary to that of the fungus. There is no fixed emergence period and holes are ragged, of about 1 mm in diameter. This beetle does not require chemical woodworm treatment as it will die rapidly once the affected timber has dried out. Infestation of sound, dry wood is not possible.

Bark Borer:
(no woodworm treatment necessary)

In instances where the Bark Borer is identified, then no woodworm treatment is necessary. It is only usually found in buildings where timbers have bark present. By removal of any bark the infestation will die naturally through lack of food source.
An African Import . . . . . . “False Powder-Post Beetle”
This exotic wood-boring beetle of the family Bostrychidae (one of the commonly called ‘false powder-post beetles’), with its large, distinctive and rather menacing thoracic horns, is found in parts of Africa and Arabia. It is often imported to Europe (and sometimes to Britain) in timber. These can sometimes emerge from ethnic wooden bowls and ornaments that people have purchased abroad and brought back to the UK as tourist souvenirs!!!

Treating Woodworm

The threat from woodworm is most severe when they attack timber in buildings. Over time, the woodworm tunnels weaken the timber and if left untreated, active infestations of woodworm can lead to structural damage.

Woodworm in furniture may be treated with a range of appropriate products available from your local hardware stores. However, woodworm which is found in the structural timbers of your home should be inspected by a professional damp and timber surveyor, who can identify the species of wood worm and recommend the correct remedial measures or woodworm treatment for that particular woodworm beetle.

Not all signs of woodworm found in floors & roof timbers are cause for concern. Holes and frass might just indicate a previous woodworm infestation, long since dormant. Certainly, if you are unsure, it is always advisable to consult a woodworm specialist. Please feel free to contact Dampaid for any help, advice. Alternatively, make a survey enquiry to organise a professional woodworm survey.

 

Woodworm Timber Infestation ( wood boring beetle ) Mortgage Surveys & Reports for Homebuyers  & Homeowners.

Before undertaking woodworm treatment, a Damp Aid Surveyor will conduct a timber survey inspecting all accessible floor & roof void timbers to assess the extent of the woodworm problem, the species of woodworm infestation and how far the woodworm has spread. He will also check for associated problems such as timber decay / rot or dampness and identify if any timbers need to be replaced. Only then can the appropriate decision be made as to whether the cost for woodworm treatment to floor / roof timbers is required.  The findings following the timber survey will be set out within a report which will satisfy the mortgage lenders / providers.

Woodworm infestation treatment for wood boring beetle insect Attack

Woodworm is treated by targeting at least one stage in the development of the beetle. The infestation will be brought quickly under control, but with their long life cycles it may take more than a year or so before a woodworm infestation completely dies out.

The woodworm treatments we use are powerful but are applied to minimise exposure to people, pets and the environment. They are generally applied as a low odour, water-based fluid sprayed onto the surfaces of the structural timbers.  Should our woodworm treatment services be necessary, then the timber treatment is covered by a Damp Aid long term guarantee with an optional Insured guarantee provided if required.

Cost of Treating Woodworm / Wood Boring Beetle Insect Attack

We are often asked by clients who are currently in the process of moving home – How much does woodworm treatment cost? how much does it cost to treat a house for woodworm / beetle infestation?.
The cost of treating woodworm will vary from property to property.  A woodworm survey (timber survey) would be required to determine the type (species) of woodworm beetle and the extent of the infestation.  It is also necessary to find out if the woodworm infestation is active or historic.  In some cases it is not necessary to treat the whole property therefore, based on these factors the woodworm treatment costs would vary with each individual property inspected.

A Case of Mis-identification

There have been many instances where Damp Aid have been instructed to inspect an outbreak of woodworm and provide a report & quotation for woodworm treatment.  These clients have already had quotations from other woodworm treatment companies who have been offered a “free” damp and timber survey.  Upon inspection to the roof timbers & floor joists by a Damp Aid surveyor, it had been noted that the particular beetle infestation was such that the woodworm treatment was not required or the wood worm infestation found in the house had been of an historic nature.  In these circumstances the clients have saved hundreds of pounds by avoiding unnecessary costly woodworm treatment.  To avoid misidentification and incorrect diagnosis, my advice would be to employ a fully qualified CTIS / CSRT damp and timber surveyor to inspect your home.

If you need to arrange a woodworm survey / inspection, whether it be to a roof void / loft, ground sub-floor timbers, staircase, first floor timbers or would like further information  regarding wood boring insects, eradicating woodworm & timber fungal decay in a house / flat that you may currently be in the process of buying / selling which is showing signs of a suspected woodworm infestation to the floor boards, call Damp Aid UK to speak to a specialist timber surveyor who I’m sure will be able to make an appointment to visit your home or discuss on the phone which inspection you require to be carried out on a property.

Call your nearest office to book a survey or email us

Further Reading
Britton, EB. 1961. Domestic Wood-boring Beetles. British Museum (Natural History) Economic Series No. 11A. London, British Museum (Natural History).

Duffy, EAJ. 1953. A Monograph of the Immature Stages of British and Imported Timber Beetles. London, British Museum (Natural History).

Hickin, NE. 1975. The Insect Factor In Wood Decay. The Rentokil Library. London, Associated Business Programmes Ltd.

 

Damp survey, timber survey for house purchase, combined damp and timber survey, specialist timber and damp reports for mortgage providers, damp-proofing quotation and woodworm treatment are provided by Damp Aid UK in the following North West, Midlands and South East regions / areas
 Birmingham, Cheshire, ChesterWrexham, Lancashire, Liverpool, London, Manchester,
Merseyside, Middlesex, North Wales, Shropshire, South East England, West Midlands, Wirral
& Yorkshire