Woodworm is not akin to a termite infestation, and is easily treatable, however it must be effectively and efficiently eradicated. In severe cases, damage can be extensive, resulting in full timber replacement, especially in flooring where both the joists and boards may need to be replaced. Infestations in areas including, under floors and in lofts, may go unnoticed, resulting in long term damage and expenses.
For the majority of cases, treatment will involve replacing a few timbers and spraying with an approved insecticide.
Woodworm generally infests damp wood throughout the countryside. In the drier conditions within a property, the speed of the damage is slower but lasts longer. If the timber becomes moist, this will give the woodworm opportunity to thrive. Damper areas of the property such as under floors, in the roof and garages are places woodworm particularly attack.
Poor ventilation and moisture producing areas, for example kitchens and bathrooms, can all contribute to the ideal living conditions of woodworm. The female lays her eggs in old flight holes which increases the success rate of development and allows each generation to firmly establish itself. Wood is hydroscopic, meaning it can absorb moisture from the air. Previously dry timber can quickly become attractive to infestation.
Finding woodworm is not always easy, as they are often concealed in small flight holes. Woodworm typically find sapwood more palatable than heartwood. The former represents the more recent growth in a tree and contains more sugars and nutrients that the older heartwood. It is less dene and contains fewer toxins.
If you think you have found woodworm get in touch for free advice. It is usually treatable with minimum hassle, and colourless water based chemicals. It may not be as expensive as you initially feared.
Woodworm can be found almost anywhere. However it may favour the damper areas such as around the loft hatch and along the eaves. From my own experience it will emerge in all timbers eventually, hence the necessity for a full treatment.
Because of the inaccessibility of the area, underneath flooring can harbour a long lived and unnoticed infestation. Floor boards may look pristine on top while being thoroughly peppered with exit holes on the underside. The structural failure may suddenly become dramatically apparent when part of the floor gives way under pressure from above. Look for occasional flight holes and spongy movement when walking across the surfaces.
This is a common area of infestation, as the timbers in garage roofs are often moister and very accessible to beetle attack. As in all infestations, yellow sawdust frass (woodworm waste) may be observed streaked on timbers. Visually this is first observed lying as a layer of dust on items stored in the garage. It stands out on black items, and the car windscreen!