The two most common wood boring insects in timber are the Common Furniture Beetle (anobium punctatum) and Deathwatch Beetle (xestobium rufovillosum) or Woodworm as they are more commonly known.
Woodworm refers to the larva stage. At this point the small white worm hatches from its egg. The larva ingests cellulose and starches present in old wood fibres. Creating a system of tunnels their presence has the ability to weaken timber and cause its collapse.
It's a common misconception that woodworm only affects older properties; in fact it can cause damage to newly constructed buildings.
So What Are The Signs Of An Infestation?
Woodworm leave small round holes in your woodwork and surrounding these holes will be powdery bore dust. This is known as Frass.Crumbling wood especially round corners of boards and joists.
Woodworm larvae or eggs (this can be very difficult to see)Dead adult beetles.Presence of adult beetles between May and October
Types Of Woodworm
The Deathwatch Beetle is the larger more vigorous of the two most common types of Woodworm. It has a preference for hardwood, particularly oak. Tunnelling towards the centre of the wood the Death watch beetle is the more destructive of the two! This pest requires more than just a surface treatment. Communicating with each other by clicking with the noise actually signifying there hunt for a mate, superstition suggests it is sign of an impending death! This noise is often what alerts residents to their presence within a property or building. They are red in colour and can measure up to 7mm.
Measuring up to 4mm the Common Furniture Beetle can be found in both hardwoods and softwoods. Both beetles prefer dampness in timbers and damp or rot will accelerate damage. Adult beetles are responsible for boring the holes when they exit the wood to breed. This process can take some time with the lava being present in the timber for between 4 to 5 years before pupating into adult beetle. They then emerge from a flight hole on the timber surface. The size of the flight hole is unique to which type of beetle has emerged. The adult beetles will mate, lay 40 – 60 eggs and the cycle will continue again!
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