Woodworm damage to a timber beam

So you think you’ve got woodworm?

14 May 2019

Spring is upon us! But the beetles are back! Over recent months, the team at Timberwise have had an increasing number of home owners contacting us regarding treatment for woodworm problems they have discovered. This is typical at this time of year, as we are now entering what is known as wood-worm season. Hibernating and feeding within structural timber throughout the winter months, the wood boring insects are now beginning to emerge from the timber in the final part of their lifecycle in order to find a mate. Woodworm infestations can ensue in any area of a property where there is structural timber; as timber accounts for anywhere up to 70% of the fabric of a house, woodworm problems should not be overlooked and should be treated as soon as possible to avoid continued damage to the timbers.

The reasons that woodworm are attracted to certain timbers is as a result of timber having a high level of moisture content. The wood boring insects find this kind of wood easier to chew. Common furniture beetles (Anobium Punctatum) prefer hardwoods as they tend to have a moisture content of over 28%. Woodworm in furniture can be treated by yourself with treatments being supplied by local DIY stores. However, for treating larger areas it is always advised to seek the opinion of a qualified timber surveyor. The problem with treating woodworm by yourself is that there are many different types of beetles that can have an impact at your property and the remediation for one type of beetle may be different from another. Consequently self mis-diagnosis could prove to be costly.

Tell tale signs of a woodworm problem

There are steps to check to see if you might have woodworm affecting your property or not. One of the easiest signs to spot that you may have woodworm in your home is that there will be exit holes visible on timber. This may however be from a previous woodworm infestation or a current woodworm infestation. Another sign that you have woodworm in your property is that you may find dead beetles in your house – particularly on a windowsill. Windowsills are the usual places to find dead beetles as this is down to the fact that wood boring insects head to areas where there is natural light. Frass is another sign of woodworm which is waste being left by the woodworm. Frass looks like sawdust to the untrained eye but to a surveyor it can hold clues to the type of infestation that is present.

The timber that has been affected by the woodworm may also appear to be damaged. The damage may look similar to the damage that is caused by wood rot. This is why we recommend you contact a timber specialist to carry out a survey at the property to ensure the correct diagnosis of the problem.

What to do if you think you have woodworm?

Spotting a woodworm infestation in a property will strike a sense of panic into any property owner, as the repercussions may potentially be detrimental to the structure and shape of a home. When dealing with a serious issue such as woodworm it’s always best to leave it to the specialists. A qualified Timberwise surveyor will be able to identify the woodworm species, determine if the infestation is active and propose a remedial solution through conducting a thorough woodworm survey. So what is the process?

1. Pick up the phone and call one our helpful customer service team who will be able to arrange an affordable, honest, in depth survey at a time convenient to you.

2. Our surveyors will inspect room by room methodically, paying particular attention to the construction and type of timber (hardwood or softwood) being used. Efforts will be made to examine all timbers at actual or potential risk.

3. Our surveyors will look for symptoms of infestation including:

  • holes in the wood surface
  • bore dust ejected through hole (frass)
  • tunnels beneath the surface
  • larvae
  • surface irregularities, bumps and corrugations

Woodworm boring through wood Woodworm exit holes

4. Through years of experience and industry standard CSRT timber qualifications, our surveyors will be able to assess the state of activity of any insect infestation found and identify the species causing the damage. Indications such as freshly cut emergence holes, fresh bore dust or live larvae in propped wood would suggest an active infestation.

5. In more severe cases, where there is a serious weakening of structural timber suspected, our surveyors may need to confer with structural engineers or repair specialists.


Woodworm problem? - arrange a woodworm survey!

Following an inspection, our surveyors will draw up the correct specification for the elimination of the woodworm infestation. The type of woodworm treatment, and any special requirements for the eradication of more difficult infestations e.g. Longhorn beetle is identified on a case by case nature.

Timberwise has been providing the eradication of woodworm from both domestic and commercial properties for over 50 years. If you are concerned about a potential woodworm infestation in your property do not hesitate to give Timberwise a call. Call 0800 288 8660 to book a survey today or visit our woodworm treatments page to find out more!