No one likes the thought of a woodworm infestation inside their home, but it’s an unfortunate risk for nearly any building which has used timbers. These tenacious pests can burrow down deep into wood, damaging it from the inside and putting the structural integrity of your building at risk. If left untreated, severe cases can end up costing you thousands of pounds to repair, and weeks of disruption.
Luckily, catching a woodworm infestation early will help prevent any serious damage to the property. Telltale warning signs of an infestation include:
● Tiny round exit holes
● Fine cream coloureddust (frass)
● Weak or crumbling timbers
● Dead or alive insects near your timbers
The expert team at Prokil specialise in the detection and removal of woodworm in all its forms. In this post, we go over the average life cycle of a woodworm, how long an infestation usually lasts, and what you should do if you’ve spotted the signs of one in your home.
Unchecked damp can cause building materials to deteriorate, requiring expensive repairs. In organic materials (such as timber), it can also lead to rot and encourage woodworm.
What is the lifecycle of woodworm?
There are different types of woodworm and the life cycle is typically between 2 to 5 years, the life cycle of a woodworm begins when it hatches from its egg inside the timber. The larva that emerges will eat its way through the wood under the surface.before transforming into a fully grown beetle. Finally, it willre-emerge from the wood to mate, lay more eggs, and die shortly after.
The female beetle lays eggs on or within the surface of the timber.. This keeps the eggs safe from predators and the elements, allowing them to develop and eventually hatch.
Most eggs will hatch 5 to 6 weeks after being laid. The larvae will begin burrowing through the timber, creating new tunnels and expanding existing ones. This is the main reason a woodworm infestation causes structural weakening.
The larvae typically stay inside the timber for 2 to 5 years before pupating (the life stage where they grow from immature to mature). When the time comes, they move towards the surface of the wood and create a pupal chamber to hide inside. Their metamorphosis into an adult beetle completes after several weeks, after which they bore their way out of the timber, creating round exit holes as they escape.
Unfortunately, the main signs of woodworm don’t usually become visible until this stage, and by then the internal damage has already been done.
Once they’ve matured into adults, female beetles live for 10 to 14 days while males only live for 3 to 4. Males will mate with as many females as possible before dying, after which the females will burrow back into the timber to lay new eggs and begin the cycle anew.
How do you treat a woodworm infestation?
Because of their tiny size, woodworm can cause a lot of damage before being spotted. This makes treating them a complicated process. Unless you have the tools and know-how needed to deal with the issue, your best bet is to call in the help of a professional.
Prokil have been the local go-to woodworm treatment specialists for over five decades. We have the expertise to effectively eliminate all traces of an infestation from your home, repair or replace damaged timbers, and protect against future infestations with a specialist timber preservation treatment.
After you book a property survey with us, our team will identify the type of woodworm present, assess the scope of the infestation and identify what damage has already been done. We’ll then draw up an effective plan to get your timbers healthy again, and get started on treatment as soon as you’re happy to go ahead.