Thursday, 31 May 2012

Woodworm Treatment

Woodworm is the name for a group of insects that bore holes in wood. In fact the insects lay their eggs in the wood or in the grain. The larvae bore tunnels in the timber, feeding on the cellulose, the result can weaken the timber structure. When the adult beetles emerge from the wood, they leave visible holes and bore dust (called ‘frass’). The adults are especially active in springtime.

House Long Horn Beetle Damage
Different beetles attack different types of wood, for instance some attack soft wood and some attack hard wood, so some species may be more damaging for structures. Also some beetles may be more common if different geographic areas.

Beetle damage on truss
Woodworm Survey
Obviously it is important to be sure about the nature of the woodworm infestation, and how damaging it has been or will be. A professional survey will tell you which type of beetle is causing the problems, and how harmful it is. In many properties the surveyor may need to lift the floorboards and/or enter the roof space, and he or she may lift the roof insulation if necessary to examine the timbers. The professional surveyor will evaluate the treatment to be used, prevention measures to be taken, and the cost, which will depend upon:
  • The nature of the woodworm beetle that is active.
  • How serious the infestation is.
  • Whether there are structural risks.
  • Whether timber needs to be repaired or replaced.
  • How big an area is to be treated.
  • If timber replacements are required.
  • Whether it is easy to gain access to the infested areas.
Here’s where to book a woodworm survey.
Woodworm Treatment
Peter Cox technicians use the latest insecticidal formulations that eliminate the woodworm insects on contact as they pass through the spray treated timber. Deep seated Death Watch Beetle infestations, in large section structural hardwoods for instance, require a more targeted treatment and here a deeply penetrating insecticidal gel is employed. 
The standard treatment contains permethrin which is a widely used, relatively low toxicity insecticide. After one hour people can re-enter the space that has been treated. Boron is an alternative treatment, also water-based, low-odour and non-flammable. The chemicals are usually applied as a spray. However, brush, injection, gel or paste formulations are also used. The formulations are licensed by the UK Health & Safety Executive, and are safe for people and pets.

Also if dust and debris are covering the area, this will need to be removed before treatment can take place. If there is a risk to the structure, timbers that are seriously infested with woodworm may need to be cut out and replaced with new healthy timber, or else restored using resin repair methods.

For more information please visit