Woodworm isn’t confined to one particular species; it actually refers to the larvae of any wood-boring beetle. The most common form is the Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium punctatum) but Deathwatch Beetle (Xestobium rufuvillosum) and House Longhorn Beetle (Hylotrupes bajulus) may also be present.
Typically beetles prefer damp conditions, specifically timber with a moisture content of 18% or more. Having found a nice damp spot, beetles lay their eggs and it’s their larvae that do the damage, burrowing beneath the surface of the wood eating their way up and down the timbers until pupating and hatching out creating holes.
Ignoring the decay of any timber will encourage insect infestation.
Common Insect Infestation
Common Furniture Beetle:
- Attacks hardwood and softwood.
- Signs of attack are short tunnels running along the grain of wood, with round exit holes. Bore dust gritty.
- Larva feeds on wood for 4years +
- Adults emerge between May and August.
Death Watch Beetle:
- Attacks partly decayed hardwood, eg oak.
- Tunnels towards the centre of the timber, therefore the damage is often more extensive that it initially appears.
- Round exit holes round with pellets visible in bore dust.
- Adults emerge between March and June.
Wood Boring Weevi:
- Attacks decaying wood, therefore the wood should be replaced as a priority to treatment. Tunnels run along the grain of the wood.
- Ragged exit holes, coarse bore dust.
- Both adults and larvae attack wood.
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