long term effects of untreated woodworm

How Long Does Woodworm Treatment Last?

Woodworm infestations can cause serious damage to the timbers in your home, wreaking havoc across wooden furniture or burying their way deep into important wooden supports.

Serious structural damage is a major health and safety hazard, so it’s vital to have any woodworm infestation swiftly treated by a professional.

But what does woodworm infestation treatment involve and how long does a treatment last? In this article, we explain how long woodworm treatments take to apply and how long they stay effective.

What Does Woodworm Treatment Involve?

Woodworm is a term that’s used to describe a range of woodworm species that burrow deep into timbers. Woodworm larvae leave behind distinctive trails as they dig their way into timbers searching for cellulose. Eventually, those tiny holes can lead to dangerous structural instability if left untreated.

Woodworm first need to be located and identified by a professional, before a woodworm treatment is selected and applied. Treatments vary depending on the species and the extent of the infestation. If woodworm are only present at surface level, surface sprays or pastes can be used. If the woodworm are deep in the timber, injections need to be applied to reach them.

The treatments are designed to kill existing woodworm in the timber, while also providing an anti-woodworm surface that prevents further infestation. For more details, read this article on how to treat woodworm.

How Long Does Woodworm Treatment Take to Work?

Woodworm treatments work instantly to kill woodworm, and eliminate eggs and larvae in the timbers.

If woodworm are present on the surface, then treatments can be applied quickly and effectively. Depending on the extent of the infestation, the treatment can take just a few hours to be applied throughout the entire household.

If woodworm have burrowed deeper into timbers or are located in less accessible areas of a property, treatment can be more complex but doesn’t ordinarily take longer than a day to be completed (although this depends on the size and extent of the infestation).

So, How Long Does Woodworm Treatment Last?

Woodworm treatments are long lasting and guaranteed to prevent the return of any infestation for years at a time. As strong chemicals, when applied correctly woodworm treatments are able to kill and prevent a return of any woodworm for decades.

In general, woodworm treatments are proven to be effective for 20 years, although in practice this can actually be much longer. The woodworm treatment creates a protective barrier, which prevents new woodworm from taking hold and laying eggs that can hatch into larvae.

For this reason, it’s an excellent idea to not only eliminate woodworm where they are located but to apply treatment throughout a household to stop any opportunity for outbreaks.  Remember, prevention is always preferable to treatment when it comes to woodworm!

Get More Information on Woodworm Treatment

For more information and expert advice on treating woodworm in your property, please contact our friendly team on 01765 804050 or fill in our online contact form. Our experienced professionals will be on hand to help you with your woodworm concerns.


how to treat woodworm infestation

Woodworm Treatment

What is woodworm treatment?

The term woodworm might conjure up cartoon-type images, but it is, in fact, something of a misnomer since it tends to be a different type of creepy crawly - beetles - that inflict the damage.

And there is one main offender: Anobium punctatum aka the Common Furniture Beetle. Although it mainly thrives outdoors, infesting the likes of tree trunks, branches and the like, the Common Furniture Beetle can cause serious damage if ever it creeps and crawls its way to indoor timber.

So how might that happen? Spring and summer is the time of year when the reproductive process starts – the beetles emerging from the wood crevices that are normally their habitat before the females return to lay eggs, which usually number around 30.
The eggs will hatch about a month later and the grubs will then bury themselves even further into the timber. They will spend about two to four years there, eating the wood and slowly maturing into lavae.

The lava will then dig a chamber just beneath the surface of the wood and the pupation process will begin – culminating when the adult beetle cuts a hole in the surface of the wood. Thus the process repeats itself.

It’s the by-product of the reproductive cycle – the beetle’s emergence holes and the dust (known as frass) they create – that are the tell-tale signs of woodworm infestation.

What is woodworm infestation?

The woodworm infestation can be highly significant because, depending upon the conditions, it can occur in a number of different timber types and products: from wooden ornaments, through furniture and building timbers.

It goes without saying that the latter can prove a particular problem: if left unchecked, an infestation of building timbers can compromise your building’s structural integrity, leading, in the most extreme cases, to total collapse.

In highlighting such an eventuality, it must be pointed out that there are other offenders besides the Common Furniture Beetle. There is, for example, the Death Watch Beetle, or Xestobium rufovillosum, which tends to be found in older buildings, particularly those with hardwoods that are either damp or have been affected by fungal decay.

And there is also the House Longhorn Beetle aka Hylotrupes bajulus. Larger than the other species, it can infest sapwood (the soft outer layers of recently formed wood between the heartwood and the bark) and is mainly associated with roofing timbers.

The good news, demographically-speaking for a North Yorkshire-based company like Danford, Brewer & Ives, however, is that the House Longhorn Beetle limits its habitat to just a small part of South East England. Even so, spare a thought for the owners of properties that suffer infestations: if left unchecked, they can lead to severe structural weakening in just a short period of time.

How to treat woodworm infestation?

So how to go about treating a woodworm infestation? When one is discovered, a particular course of action should always be recommended by a team of experts, who will assess the conditions and circumstances surrounding the case.

First of all, a surveyor will make a thorough inspection of the infested timber, noting the type of wood, its accessibility and assessing the various risks.

Then, the timbers will need to be cleaned thoroughly to remove excess debris, before preservatives are applied.

A common and cost-effective form of treatment involves either spraying or using a brush to apply water-based insecticides.

Treatment of smaller items such as furniture or even ornaments can, meanwhile, be undertaken using either heat or freezing treatment, as well as gas fumigation.

All such methods require both training and a high measure of competency and it goes without saying that DB&I’s team are more than capable of undertaking such specialist work. Moreover, we’re always keeping our eyes peeled for any new innovations and methodologies.
If you would like more information on woodworm - or any of the other building services Danford Brewer & Ives offer, such as timber treatment, basement conversions, extensions or building maintenance – then please contact us. As always, we’re more than happy to help