How to Spot Woodworm Activity in Your Home
Woodworm Can Cause Devastation if Left Untreated
By the time you realise you have a woodworm infestation, the damage has often been done. Watch out for these tell-tale signs and take action before it’s too late.
Woodworm is a generic term given to a whole variety of larvae that feed on anything made of wood. They all have one thing in common, however, which is that if left unchecked they will, in essence, eat your house and its contents from the inside out.
Dealing with woodworm is a relatively simple exercise for the professionals, and calling in the experts to provide the necessary timber treatment services is the easy part. But in order to do that, you have to know that you have a problem in the first place.
Perhaps the best-known indications of woodworm are those pin-prick holes. These are the exit holes, where the woodworm has hatched and moved out. They look a little like the holes on (or around) a dartboard, although they can sometimes be smaller, depending on the type of woodworm, so you need to look closely. While exit holes are the most common indicator, they are not necessarily the most reliable, as you have no idea how long they have been there, and it could be the case that the infestation is no longer active.
If there is sawdust around the holes, then you need to know two things. One is that you have an active infestation, and the other is that it is not actually sawdust at all. Known as frass, this is actually what the woodworm leave behind after consuming the nutrients from the wood. That’s right, you just poked your finger in some woodworm poo, so before you do anything else, you might want to go and wash your hands.
After a while, all those boreholes start to join together, and the result is the wood itself beginning to crumble and fall apart. This is usually most obvious around the edges of floorboards, joists and skirting boards.
General weakness or damage
If the floorboards are creaking, or seem springy and weak under your feet, something is definitely amiss. It could be woodworm or it might be some other problem such as wet or dry rot. Whatever it is, you need to investigate or get the experts in to have a look, as it will only get worse over time.
It’s nice to encourage wildlife, but if it is taking up residence in your floorboards, then you definitely have a problem. Beetles, alive or dead, are a common indication that you have a woodworm infestation and other wildlife is taking it as an invitation to move into the holes and tunnels they create.
Treating an infestation
There are a variety of DIY woodworm treatments that you can purchase, and the right one depends on the type of infestation. They are usually highly concentrated and so extreme care and the right protective gear is needed when handling them. For these reasons, it makes far more sense to get expert assistance. A professional timber treatment company will know exactly how to treat your infestation, they will do it properly, and the work will be guaranteed.