Holey moley! The effects of woodworm

Woodworm is the generic term for a number of species of wood-boring insects. The insects lay their eggs on timber and their larvae bore through the wood thus damaging and weakening the structure. The larvae then pupate before emerging as adult beetles and flying off to lay eggs on fresh timber.

It is the emerging adult which leaves the tell-tale flight holes and bore-dust (often the first signs of infestation). The most common wood-boring insect infesting structural timbers in buildings in this country is the Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium punctatum).

Early identification of woodworm infestation often means that a surface treatment with water-based insecticide will kill-off any active infestation and have the residual effect of preventing any re-infestation. Any heavily infested and unsound timber may have to be replaced using structural repair methods.

There are also instances where chemical treatment is not necessary such as where infestation is by bark borer (Ernobius mollis) as this insect only feeds upon bark and outer sap rings and infestation dies out when bark is removed. Correct identification can, therefore, save property owners hundreds if not thousands of pounds in unnecessary treatments.