If you are reading this then the chances are you’ve had a survey done and they’ve found evidence of woodworm in your home or on your property. This is not an uncommon situation and while it may sound very scary there are very clear steps to follow to eradicate the problem once and for all. Let’s start at the beginning.
What actually is woodworm?
Interestingly, it’s not a worm at all, but rather the larval stage of beetles. There are several species of beetles whose larvae are known as woodworm. These devious creatures lay their eggs in small cracks in your furniture, beams and floorboards so that the larvae can feast on the wood.
How to identify woodworm?
This is a bit of a non-starter as the larvae will be deep inside the wood and you are unlikely to see them at all unless you start going all Jack Nicholson in The Shining with an axe to the wood in your home! Instead you need to identify their tell-tale exit holes. These are created as the larva completes its cycle and exits to continue life as a beetle. As soon as you start to see exit holes it is essential to act fast.
What if the holes are not fresh?
Of course you may be looking at historic woodworm exit holes. It can be tricky to tell for sure, but you can look for ‘frass’ (dust) around the holes. This would indicate they are relatively new and a specialist should be called in immediately. It might, however, be wise to err on the side of caution and get a specialist opinion in any case.
What to do next?
If you are acting during the purchase of your home then it is imperative to get a surveyor and woodworm specialist in before exchanging contracts. If you already own the property then there is no need to worry as most damage caused by woodworm can be repaired and the little beasts eradicated with some fairly simple techniques.
The fundamental idea behind treating woodworm is to make conditions for their survival impossible. Woodworm thrives in damp conditions, so if there is a woodworm problem in your home, there is also a damp problem. Damp, of course, brings with it all sorts of other undesirable issues, so it goes without saying that eliminating damp should be a number one priority anyway. Eliminate the damp, you’ll eliminate the woodworm. The colony will simply die out. Talk about killing multiple birds with one stone!