Here is how woodworms spread.
When it comes to wood, many uses are tied to it. These range from furniture, art, insulation, heating, musical instruments, construction, and so on. Now, this is an easy target for a lot of pests.
Asides from termites, other wood damaging pests include carpenter ants and woodworm.
We’re more interested in discussing the damaging effects of woodworm with a particular focus on how they spread. If you have no idea what these are, woodworm is simply the larval stage of wood-boring insects.
Wood-boring beetles will always target wood to lay their eggs within the tiny cracks on the timber surfaces.
Time is of the Essence
With woodworm, timing is always important.
The longer the worm stays, the more damage it causes. So, if you’ve noticed woodworm activity on timber or furniture, it’s best to get to the root cause of it to provide a more elaborate treatment.
This ensures they’re eliminated and gone for good.
Dampness attracts Woodworm
Dampness tends to be the leading cause of a lot of structural damage, including woodworm activity. A buildup of moisture mainly causes this.
For wooden components of a structure, such dampness quickly results in rot and all sorts of issues.
Finding a lasting solution to this problem requires focusing on the causes and treating the effect.
Here, we’ll be restricting the conversation to the spread of woodworm and how much can be contained.
Signs That Confirm Woodworm Spread
As part of our discussion, you’ll need to know how to identify woodworm first. A lot of times, proper identification becomes a problem. This affects the response adopted by the homeowner.
If you’re finding it difficult to differentiate between woodworm activity and other forms of wood damage, this article will be of immense help.
Common tell-tale signs include exit holes, fine bore dust, weakened (usually damaged) floorboards, and tunnels within the wood. Other tell-tale signs include dead beetles, live beetles, and woodworm larvae.
One characteristic feature of woodworms is the exit holes they leave behind.
Now, the appearance of exit holes doesn’t mean they’re gone. These holes are usually oval or round-shaped, measuring about 2mm in size. Such exit holes typically have sharp edges.
Emerging adult beetles mainly form exit holes. At this stage, their larval stage is completed, and they can survive outside of the wood.
Fine Bore Dust
The fine powdery dust you see around woodworm-infested wood results from their droppings. This is also known as frass. You’ll find such frass around exit holes created by emerging adult beetles.
When such dust is seen in addition to exit holes, it gives you some level of confirmation regarding woodworm presence and activity.
Weakened Floor Boards
The damage wrought by these pests is bound to destroy wood and wooden structures. Your floorboards and joists, for instance, will become weakened. Here, the edges become crumbly.
This arises from the multiple exit holes created around the corners and edges.
Tunnels within Wood
One thing woodworms are known for is the tunnels they create in wood. Further inspection will reveal the true extent of the damage. This is better seen when a cross-section of damaged timber is cut open.
Such damage may be irreversible for furniture items, so it’s best to act fast to limit the damage.
One of the sure signs of woodworm activity and presence is dead beetles seen around the damaged area. However, this is in no way a confirmation of an inactive infestation.
Further, inspection is needed to determine whether these pests are still holed up within the wood or not.
Live beetles can also be seen exiting from infested wood. These are primarily adult beetles that have completed their larval developmental stage.
Here, every doubt you had about woodworm presence in timber is dispelled by such sightings. What remains is to carry out proper treatment.
Probing of affected wood is likely to show these woodworm larvae actively tunneling through the timber. With all or some of these signs showing, taking appropriate measures to contain the problem remains.
Seeking professional help tends to give the most comprehensive result.
When it comes to the spread of woodworms, you’ll need to know how the process is kick-started. First, female beetles find a favorable wood to lay their eggs. Not every wood is considered good.
An ideal environment for laying eggs by female beetles is high-moisture timbers.
These female beetles find cracks within the moist wood to lay their eggs. With such eggs laid, the process begins. These eggs hatch into larvae which burrow into the wood.
This keeps them out of sight and safe to continue their larval developmental stage.
Now, a woodworm can live for significantly more extended periods than you think. These insects live in wood for as long as 3 to 5 years. By the end of this period, the larvae will have molted into an adult beetle.
The adult then emerges through a hole to find a partner to mate.
Mating Starts the Process Again
With two adult beetles (male and female) mating, what results is the laying of eggs in cracks found on damp wood, thus repeating the process.
What Can I Do to Prevent Woodworm Spread?
Having discussed its mode of spread, what remains is to find ways to restrict or prevent these pests from damaging the timber.
Prevention is the best treatment as it helps eliminate conditions deemed favorable to woodworm presence and activity.
First, you want to ensure that your home’s interior is dry.
This can be a bit challenging for areas with high moisture content. Nevertheless, a humidifier could go a long way in arresting the problem.
Several actions can be taken, such as using air conditioning and incorporating exhaust or ventilation fans into your home’s moisture treatment system.
Others include drying laundry outdoors, fixing leaky pipes, keeping your gutters clean, etc.
With all of these measures, you can easily contain wormwood spread. It’s best to have a professional treat existing wormwood infestation.