The description 'woodworm' is commonly and loosely applied to any wood boring insects. In fact, by the time most people are aware of their presence, the metamorphosis, of which the worm or larvae is one form, has completed to the beetle stage.
All woodboring insects commonly occurring in this country have similar life cycles. The eggs are laid in groups within cracks, crevices, and open joints in the wood, these hatch out and the resultant larvae begin tunnelling into the timber. The number of eggs laid and the period over which the insect spends its life in larvae form varies according to the species. The larvae ultimately pupate and after several weeks in chrysalis form, adult beetles develop and bore their way out of the timber. Adult beetles live only a short time and will mate during this period and so continue the process.
There are few natural predators and in consequence with beetles laying between 40 and 80 eggs the spread of the infestation can be fairly rapid. It will also be understood that the small circular flight holes are only apparent once the beetle has emerged and the observations of a group of these flight holes at one particular point does not necessarily indcate that infestation is only occurring in that one area. In all probability insects in larva form are also active in apparently unaffected timber. It is; therefore, seldom that localised treatment is effective.
TDT offer a wide selection of timber treatment methods and solutions for the eradication of such beetles, all of which are environmentally friendly and have the latest HSE accreditation.
The most common types of woodboring insects encountered in structural timbers are:
Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium punctatum) is perhaps the most prevalent of the woodborers in this country. Its increased attack is attributed to a number of factors such as bulk storage of furniture during the war years and the greater number of older houses with timberwork suitable for its continued survival. It has a life cycle of between one and four years.
Death Watch Beetle (Xestobium rufovillosum) is a larger insect having a life cycle of up to eight years. It normally attack hardwoods which have suffered previous fungal decay, hence it is more frequently found in older houses and churches. The larvae of Death Watch Beetles tend to concentrate their activiies at the ends of beams and lintols etc, consequently the results of their labours can often weaken structures to a point where these become unsound.
House Longhorn Beetle (Hylotrupes bajulus) is fortunately not widespread throughout the British Isles. It causes devastating damage to timbers by tunnelling through leaving the external face showing as sound wood and often only by probing can its presence be detected. Discoveries of House Longhorn Beetle must be reported to the Princes Risborough Building Research Laboratory at Aylesbury, Bucks.
Lyctus Beetle (Lyctus brunneus and Lyctus linearis) occurs mostly in the sapwood of hardwoods, eating the starch in this portion of the wood. It is sometimes referred to as Powder Post Beetle.
Wood Weevils (Pentarthrum huttoni Euophyrum confine) are small woodboring insects which will only exist in very damp timber, ground floor skirting boards, basement joist ends etc. They have a life cycle of only a year and the elimination of the damp source will often prevent their survival.
NOTE: There are a number of other woodboring insects that are brought into this country in imported timber and several which do not adapt to continual attack in converted timber, surviving only in living trees.
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