Woodworm Treatment Specialists

Woodworm 

Anobium punctatum – Common Furniture Beetle

All woodworm treatment needs to start with a thorough survey of the affected timber before deciding on the method of treatment.

woodworm treatment specialists

Apex Woodworm Treatment Specialists

KEY FEATURES

  • Adult 4-6mm in length
  • Laval stage up to 7mm in length
  • Flight hole – 1-2mm in diameter
  • Egg hatch – 6-14 days
  • Larva life cycle in timber – 2-5 years
  • Food source – cellulose from timber

Optimum moisture content in timber – 16-20%

Dropping light coloured gritty frass on cobweb, falling from flight holes due to vibration.

Habitat

Softwood and European Hardwoods.

Generally only found in the sapwood of timber unless wood rot is present when it may be found in the heart of wood timbers. Frequent in old furniture and construction timber; very common in roof timbers.

DISTRIBUTION

Worldwide

SIGNIFICANCE

The life cycle of the woodworm starts with the emergent of the adult beetle from timbers. Dependant on temperature this could be between May to August.

Once emerged, the female beetle will go in search of suitable egg laying site, which may be old flight holes, cracks, or under bark. The males will find the females by following a pheromone trail left by the female. Once mated the eggs will be deposited in cracks and holes. The beetles will then die without causing further damage. 

The small pearl-like eggs may be in clusters up to 50 and can be seen with the naked eye. Under suitable conditions the eggs may hatch within six to fourteen days. The larva will randomly tunnel through the timbers eating the cellulose and starchy substance. The cellulose is generally indigestible to insects and other animals, but like other cellulose consuming insects, common furniture beetle has a commensal microorganism within its gut to help digest this and in turn produce the protein and sugar it requires. 

The larva will continue eating and tunnelling through the timber for between 2-5 years before migrating to just below the surface of the timber. The larva may be up to 7mm in length now. It will produce a cell where it will pupate and turn into an adult beetle, this may take 2-3 weeks. The adult beetle bite through the timber producing the customary flight hole 1-2mm in diameter and so the life cycle begins again. Successive re-infestation of localised areas over time will produce the timber to structurally become unsound and removal and repair will be required.

TREATMENT

All woodworm treatment needs to start with a thorough survey of the affected timber before deciding on the method of treatment. Also the structural integrity of the timber needs to be assessed as these may need replacing or cutting back at least 300mm passed the part of the timbers badly affected.

Our main method of treatment is to apply a low-pressure spray to all visible sides of the timber containing Permethrin active ingredient, this will penetrate into the timber approximately 1-3mm. The chemical will not reach the deep-seated larva but as they pupate and turn into a beetle and emerge it will come into contact with the Permethrin insecticide, which kills the beetle and prevents re-infestation. Any new timbers required to replace damaged timbers will need to be pre-treated before fitting back into place.

An alternative method of treatments, which may be used, are paste and gels, these can be painted onto the surface or injected for deeper penetration.

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