Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Now is the time to be vigilant for Woodworm beetles!

The traditional season for woodworm beetles to fly is in spring, roughly from March to May, when the adult beetle emerges to find a mate. So now is an important time when you might see signs of woodworm in your property, and also the time when the infestation may spread.

You may see adult beetles emerging from their holes, or visible about the property. As they emerge, the beetles leave small round holes in your woodwork, varying in size depending on the species, House Longhorn Beetle Hylotrupes bajulu being the largest. The fine, powdery bore-dust or ‘frass’ is left around the holes.
See powdery bore-dust or 'frass' left around the holes on this wooden clock

Now is the season for the common furniture beetle Anobium punctatum, which is the most frequently found of all the wood-boring beetles. It is found in housing timbers, furniture and in wooden outbuildings.
The adult beetle lays eggs on end grain or in cracks and crevices in the wood. Hatching takes place within three to four weeks and a small white grub emerges which proceeds to burrow into the wood where it eats and grows for around three years.
Woodworm beetle eggs

House Longhorn Beetle in action
As spring approaches, the grub tunnels nearer to the surface of the wood. It creates a chamber, in which it can change into a pupa or chrysalis. Here it progressively mutates into a beetle which emerges onto the surface, leaving the bore holes and frass as described above.

Once this transformation is completed, the insect bites a round hole in the thin veneer of wood that covers the pupal chamber and comes crawling out on to the surface a small brown beetle. The beetle may mate and lay eggs on the piece of wood from which it emerged, or it may fly away to lay eggs on another piece of wood and so spread the infestation.
What if I see signs of woodworm?
Urgent action is needed in case the infestation is likely to spread and cause further damage. Common forms of woodworm, including where they can be found and the damage that they do, are described in our homeowner woodworm page include:
  • Common Furniture Beetle 
  • Powder Post Beetle 
  • Wood Boring Weevil 
  • Death Watch Beetle 
  • House Longhorn Beetle 
A professional survey is needed to identify the woodworm infestation and locations and how urgent is the need for a solution. The surveyor will identify which species are causing the damage, and also whether the beetles are still active. Click this link to arrange a woodworm survey . Our surveyor will outline the severity of the woodworm infestation and will describe the potential woodworm treatment costs and alternatives.