Posted On By Danny Neill

How to Treat Woodworm and Wood Boring Insects

How to Treat Woodworm and Wood Boring Insects

Author: Danny Neill - Operations Manager at Platinum Chemicals Ltd

How to Treat Woodworm

Woodworm Treatments are used to eradicate Woodworm and other Wood Boring Insects that use wood as a food source and can cause serious damage to building timbers.

The 4 most commonly found Wood Boring Insects in the UK are:

  • Common Furniture Beetle

  • House Longhorn Beetle

  • Deathwatch Beetle

  • Wood Boring Weevil

Below is our Guide to Identifying the above mentioned Woodworm and the recommended Woodworm Treatments available, which are available to purchase from our Online Store.

Woodworm Identification & Treatments

Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium Punctatum):

The most common and most typical signs of Common Furniture Beetle consist of small holes with a diameter of 1mm - 2mm. Live infestations of Common Furniture Beetle are shown by a light cream bore hole dust (also known as frass) around the holes.

Adult Beetles do not feed on timbers. Typically, the adults lay eggs on or just under the surface of the timbers, which the resulting grubs feed on causing structural damage. This process occurs before the grub pupates and hatches as beetles, which also breed, lay eggs, and repeat the cycle to cause further damage.

Common Furniture Beetle come nearer to the wood surface when ready to pupate. They excavate small spaces just under the wood surface and take up to eight weeks to pupate.

Adult Beetles then break through the surface (exit holes), spilling bore hole dust, showing classic signs of Woodworm Infestation caused by Common Furniture Beetle.

A Permethrin based Woodworm Treatment is typically used for the treatment, and prevention, of Common Furniture Beetle.

Recommended Woodworm Treatments:

House Longhorn Beetle (Hylotrupes Bajulus):

The House Longhorn Beetle can cause significant damage to timbers, particularly on freshly produced sapwood or softwood timber.

The life cycle typically takes between two to ten years. This can vary depending on the type of wood and other factors such as moisture content, temperature, age and the quality of the wood.

Only the larvae feed on the wood. Larvae usually pupate just beneath the wood surface and enclose in mid to late summer.

Typical signs of House Longhorn Beetle are the shape of the tunnels and emergence holes. These emergence holes are raggedly oval and irregular. Tunnels merge to form a powdery mass contained by the sound surface skin of wood.

A Permethrin based Woodworm Treatment can be used to treat, and prevent, infestation of House Longhorn Beetle. This can be used as a surface treatment by injecting it into the emergence holes. This allows the treatment to migrate through the most susceptible areas of the timber.

Injection of a Timber Gel into pre-drilled holes can also be seen as an alternative way to treat House Longhorn Beetle.

Recommended Woodworm Treatments:

Death Watch Beetle (Xestobium Rufovillosum):

An adult Death Watch Beetle is approximately 7mm long, while the larvae can be up to 11mm long.

Death Watch Beetle create a 'tapping' sound which can sometimes be heard on quiet summer nights.

Often found in historic buildings, Death Watch Beetle attack hard woods such as Elm and Oak. Dampness is essential for the establishment and promotes rapid development. The larva is very soft, yet can bore its way through the wood, provided that the wood has experienced prior fungal decay.

Typical signs of Death Watch Beetle are the 'tapping' sounds as mentioned above, but also the texture of the borehole dust can be gritty, disc-shaped pellets.

The Larvae itself has a distinctive thin dark pigmented area above the mouth. Legs covered in fine gold hairs are also present. This is one of the ways to identify the larvae as being Death Watch Beetle, and not to be confused with Wood Boring Weevils.

Treatment of Death Watch Beetle is the same as House Longhorn Beetle (above).

All timbers should be inspected for their structural integrity.

Recommended Woodworm Treatments:

Wood Boring Weevil (Euophryum Confine):

'Euophryum Confine' is a species of Wood Boring Weevil that is native to Europe.

The Wood Boring Weevil are known to attack damp and decaying softwoods and hardwoods, often when infested with the fungus, although they will also continue to attack dried out timber previously attacked by rot. They can also attack plywood in these conditions.

Wood Boring Weevils are likely to be found in areas such as poorly ventilated ground floors, cellars, or wood in contact with damp solid floors or walls.

An Adult Weevil is around 3mm - 5mm long, brown-black in colour with a distinctive long snout. They can migrate in large numbers into rooms adjacent to damage, particularly during summer months or if drying takes place.

The Larva can be up to 4mm long, curved and pale cream in colour and has no legs. They can be found in infested wood all year long.

Typical signs of Wood Boring Weevil are numerous 'Tunnels', normally found in the direction of the grain, often breaking through to the wood surface. Emergence holes are small, ragged and about 1mm in diameter.

The best and probably the most environmentally friendly way to treat Wood Boring Weevil is to remove the source of dampness and dry out timbers. Generally, no Woodworm Treatment is required for the treatment of Wood Boring Weevil.

Replace any decayed timbers. Infestation of sound dry wood is not possible with Wood Boring Weevil.

Woodworm Treatments Products Overview

WoodGuard Insecticide

WoodGuard Insecticide is an effective Concentrated Woodworm Treatment used for the eradication and prevention of Woodworm and other wood-boring insects. WoodGuard Insecticide Woodworm Treatment dilutes with water to make up to 25 Litres of Ready-to-use product.

Wykamol Microtech Insecticide

Wykamol Microtech Insecticide is a highly effective Super Concentrated Woodworm Treatment used for the eradication and prevention of Woodworm and other wood-boring insects. Wykamol Microtech Insecticide Woodworm Treatment dilutes with water to make up to 25 Litres of Ready-to-use product.

Lignum Pro I 62.5 Insecticide

Lignum Pro I62.5 Insecticide is a Professional Grade, Higher Strength, Concentrated Woodworm Treatment used for the eradication and prevention of Woodworm and other wood-boring insects. Lignum Pro I62.5 Woodworm Treatment dilutes with water to make up to 25 Litres of Ready-to-use product.

Lignum Woodworm Killer

Lignum Woodworm Killer is an effective Ready-to-use Woodworm Treatment used for the eradication and prevention of Woodworm and other wood-boring insects found on timber structures. Lignum Woodworm Killer Woodworm Treatment can also be used to prevent re-infestation of Woodworm. Supplied in 1 Litre and 5 Litres Ready to use containers.

Lignum Pro Gel

Lignum Pro Gel is a Deep Penetrating 'mayonnaise' type Woodworm Treatment Paste which is used for the eradication and prevention of attack by wood-boring insects and for the prevention of attack by wood-rotting fungi (Dry Rot and Wet Rot). Supplied in 310ml Cartridges and 7.5L Buckets.

Other Useful Products

DUAL Woodworm & Dry Rot Treatments

As mentioned above, Woodworm Infestation can seriously damage Structural Timbers. However, wood rotting Fungi (particularly Dry Rot) has the potential to do a lot worse - Read our Guide on 'How To Identify & Treat Dry Rot and Wet Rot'.

We also have a range of products which can be used to Prevent and Treat BOTH Woodworm and Wood Rotting Fungi (Dry Rot / Wet Rot) which can be viewed in our Dry Rot & Wet Rot Wood Treatments Category.

Boron Wood Treatments

Boron Wood Treatments are based on water-soluble borate, a timber preservative that has been extensively researched over the last 50 years and provides effective treatment against woodworm and other wood-boring insects.

The products in our Boron Wood Treatments range are also formulated for use against fungal decay such as Dry Rot and Wet Rot.

Compared with other wood treatments, borates have the distinct advantage of exhibiting superb penetration into damp timber. Hence they can be used in high-risk areas such as embedded joist ends, lintels, wall plates, etc...

These Product can be viewed in our Boron Wood Treatments Category.

Spray Applicators

Most of the above Treatments can be applied by Brush or by Spray Application (recommended).

Platinum Chemicals supply a wide of Spray Applicators which can be used to apply most of our Woodworm Treatments.

Image Credits: CSIROSigaUdo Schmidt (1), Udo Schmidt (2), Udo Schmidt (3)

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