Treatment of Woodworm and repair to damaged timber Solihull
Damp Proof Course survey

Treatment of Woodworm and Repair

Common Furniture Beetle 'Woodworm' (Anobium punctatum)

Treatment of Woodworm and repair to damaged timber SolihullThe Common Furniture Beetle, also known as Woodworm, will be found attacking softwood construction timbers also European hardwoods, very rarely found in tropical hardwoods. Frequently found in older furniture hence the name "Common Furniture Beetle". The flight holes which can be seen on the surface of the timber is where the adult beetle will usually emerge between late March and early August.

The characteristic circular flight holes are of 1 - 2 mm in diameter. After mating occurs, the females will lay their eggs on the surface, crevasses or old flight holes of surrounding timber. After the eggs hatch a new life cycle will begin. An infestation by this beetle will usually occur in dry and well ventilated areas, suspended ground floors, roofs, panelling etc. Normally the severity of the attack in these areas will depend on any associated dampness, structural weakness can occur depending on the severity of the infestation and our surveyor will determine what treatments and replacement is deemed necessary.

This insect is found throughout Great Britain and is often misidentified with other wood boring insects.

The most common insect misidentified as Common Furniture Beetle is the Wood Boring Weevil:

Wood Boring Weevils Pentarthum huttoni and Euophryum confine
Habitat Decayed hardwoods and softwoods in damp conditions. Poorly ventilated ground floors, cellars and all timbers in contact with damp floors and walls become susceptible to infestation. Beetle and larvae are numerous with holes normally evident in the direction of the grain.
Treatments Normally, no chemical treatment is required but the source of dampness must be removed followed by the removal of affected timbers. Infestation of dry timber is not possible.

Other wood boring insects that can be found in the UK are:

Bark Borer Beetle Ernobium mollis (waney edge borer)
Habitat Damage confined to bark and immediate underlying layer of sapwood. Usually found in recently dead trees, logs, slabs and posts. Can sometimes be found in buildings if bark is still present.
Treatments Falls into category C. Insects where treatment is not necessary. When the bark is removed the infestation will cease.

Wharf Bencar Beetle Nacerdes melanura
Habitat Very damp, decayed timber, often found in wharf timbers or timbers in fresh water or brackish conditions. Once found, far away from its normal habitat in the original wood blocks forming the roadway, which were left in situe and covered over in the now named, The Priory in Birmingham City Centre.
Treatments No insecticidal treatment required. Remove source of dampness, dry out sound timber and replace as necessary. Re-infestation of sound wood is not possible.

Powder Post Beetle Lyctus brunneus:
Habitat Tropical and Europeans hardwood, principally oak and elm with large pores and high starch content. A pest of the Stock yard's or Timber Yards, after which common in furniture and occasionally oak timbers and strip flooring.
Treatments Organic solvent or micro-emulsion where softwood is easily accessible.
Treatment to furniture or decorative flooring being dependant on finishes which limit the fluid absorption. Where kiln sterilisation or stock is kept, regular inspection is advised.

House Longhorn Beetle Hylotrupes bajulus,
Habitat Sapwood of most softwoods, particularly roofing timbers. At this present time it is only common in areas of the South West of London where special Building regulations exists to protect further spread. Small inactive infestations can be found in buildings 100 years old in London. This can be overlooked in the early stages, however, it can be extensive when tunnels join up causing complete disintegration. Larval feeding may be audible on warm days and can be heard as a scraping noise.
Treatments Micro-emulsion, paste or organic solvents. Inspect thoroughly to determine structural weakening, remove and burn all badly damaged timber.

Note: Any suspected outbreaks should be reported directly to the BRE Centre for timber technology and construction, who maintain records of infestations in the UK.

Death Watch Beetle Xestobium rufovillosum.
Habitat Sapwood of hardwoods chiefly oak sometimes found in hartwood. Often found in historic buildings, churches where large section oak or elm was used in the construction. Dampness is essential for establishment and the promotion of development a slower growth rate can continue in drier timber.
Treatments Organic solvent, micro-emulsion or paste. Pressure injection using flight holes or purpose drilled holes to reach deep larvae and beetles. Drefrass timbers as necessary and replace or support structural timbers as required.