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Attack by any of the wood-destroying (woodworm) beetles found in the UK can normally be resolved by adequate treatment of the wood with an approved insecticide/biocide. However, it is sometimes necessary to have to replace timbers within a property if the woodworm damage is severe.

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Prior to any treatments of woodworm taking place...

Prior to undertaking any form of woodworm treatment, it is essential to establish if the infestation is active or historic.

The insect may have already died out due to the unsuitability of the timber, decreased moisture content of the wood or due to previous treatments. In many instances, it can be difficult to assess the extent of the infestation especially where the majority of the timber is concealed.

Timbers should be investigated to establish if the woodworm is still active to justify any form of treatment. In these instances, treatment may not be warranted. Engaging the services of a qualified surveyor (such as those with the CSRT or CSTDB qualifications) will help determine the viability of the infestation as well as determine the risks and hazards associated with any work that is to be recommended.

Treating woodworm issues

If it has been identified there is a woodworm issue and that timbers require treatment, then the most convenient way of treating infested timber (whether in furniture or in buildings) is by the application of an approved insecticide/biocide solution to all parts showing signs of infestation, as well as to the adjacent timbers.

You can (of course) potentially do this yourself. There are chemical insecticide/biocide brands that you can purchase from a DIY store. However, you will have to be extremely careful, be suitably protected before applying any chemical treatments. However, for peace of mind especially during buying or selling of a home, most professional contractors can offer you a treatment with the benefits of a long term guarantee.

If it is yourself or a professional, make sure special attention is paid to the undersides and surfaces with limited accessibility and ensure all surfaces are evenly treated. The most effective time for an application of insecticides is from early Spring to late Summer when adults emerge (prior to them starting the woodworm lifecycle again).

In some circumstances, the use of fumigation, heat or freezing techniques can be considered. These procedures must be conducted by properly trained and competent technician(s). Depending on the nature of the woodworm/wood boring beetle, additional or alternative measures of control may be required.

Where the woodworm attack is so severe that the strength of the timber is affected, it may be necessary to replace the infested parts with new timber which should be treated before use. 

Professional woodworm treatment

For those simply looking for a reputable tradesmen to resolve a woodworm issue, members of the PCA that specialise in timber preservation are the recommended first port of call for practical advice and guidance on treating woodworm.

The ability to implement the correct and appropriate remedial treatments can save huge sums of money that would have otherwise been spent on expensive structural repairs. PCA members who specialise in woodworm & timber preservation are proficient in a number of techniques that can be utilised to control beetle infestations. 

To find a local PCA woodworm specialist hear you, simply run a search using the tool below.

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Professional Woodworm Guidance

For professional tradesmen or contractors looking to find out more more technical detail about Woodworm & timber preservation, visit our professional guidance section.

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Signs of Woodworm

‘Tell-tale’ signs of a woodworm issues - Learn how to identify if you have a woodworm issue.

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