Some might say that the words ‘interesting’ and ‘woodworm’ cannot possibly go together, but you would be surprised. Either that or my sense of what is interesting is completely warped.
Most people think woodworm damage looks like little bullet holes that become visible on the surface of timber. Other signs can also include traces of bore dust, resulting from the adult wood boring beetle emerging from the wood. So, hold on to your hats, and before you cry “Timber!” here are some interesting un-boring facts:
- Woodworm is the collective name for the larval stage of certain wood boring beetles – it doesn’t actually refer to a specific species.
- The pests are seasonal like other pests, and the woodworm season usually runs from May to October.
- Woodworm attack internal and external timber, both as a source of food and as their home. They also enjoy nibbling the wood in home furnishings.
- The larvae spend roughly 3.5 to 4 years beneath the surface of the timber eating wood, slowly increasing in size. Once the larvae has evolved into a beetle, it will bite its way through the surface of the timber, creating the recognisable small holes.
- Wood boring beetles are attracted to light and can often be found near windowsills, windows or around loft hatches.
- The Deathwatch Beetle is an indigenous British insect, well documented for hundreds of years – proud to be British eh? Once upon a time, they even caused a problem in the Westminster Hall.
- The most common wood boring beetle found in British buildings is the Common Furniture Beetle.
- Woodworm can be picky and have preferences for certain types of wood. The Deathwatch beetle has a strong preference for hardwood timbers like oak, ash and chestnut. An active infestation by this beetle nearly always coincides with an existing fungal decay problem, like dry rot.
- Woodworm cricket bats – how ironic for a cricket bat manufacturer to be called Woodworm.
- Woodworm problems can be very serious and if left untreated, in the most extreme cases, could lead to the failure of the structure of a building. You certainly don’t want your house falling down.
Any more facts anyone?