Woodworm: The definitive guide and how to eliminate it
We agree that no one likes to have insects breeding at home, especially if they are destructive bugs like the unpleasant woodworm, a small but annoying pests that come to our homes without invitation and stay in our doors, furniture and other wooden objects, finishing everything in its path and causing us a big headache.
Well, if you have become a victim of these bugs and have no idea why they have appeared in your home or what to do to solve the problem, here we have left you a lot of information that will help you to better understand the situation and put an end point to this concern of the woodworms.
What is woodworm?
It is a family of xylophagous insects of larval cycle and very similar to beetles, which usually dig galleries along the length and width of dry wood structures, which serves as a source of food. They are characterized for being of small size, of a dark or brown color and with very large and separated eyes.
These pests are present in all parts of the world and are often difficult to detect; and is that the larvae of these small beetles are responsible for destroying the wood from within, so it is unlikely to know of their existence, until they have reached their adult stage and dug a hole to come to the surface. It should be noted that, once they are adults, these bugs deposit their eggs in any slot or crack they find between the wood, allowing the terrible cycle to start again.
Why does the woodworm appear?
Now that you know what woodworms are, you will surely be wondering why they appeared.
Let’s see, one of the main causes of the appearance of these bugs has to do with the fact that adults take flight during the spring and autumn seasons, in search of food sources, whether statues, beams or wood furniture.
Also, when carrying out construction or maintenance of buildings, it is important to carry out curative treatments on the wood, since it may have been previously contaminated with these insects as a result of long periods of storage, or simply because the sawmill It has also been infested. Then, if treatments of this type are not carried out and the wood is full of these bichillos in its interior, when manufacturing structures with this material or take it to the interior of our homes, we will be welcoming them to these terrible plagues.
How to know if I have woodworm?
Now, to know if you experience an infestation by woodworm, you do not need to be an expert in the treatment of wood, as these animals leave some traces that allow us to sense their unpleasant presence and are:
- Holes in the wood. As we have already said, although the larvae are deep inside the wood and it is hardly possible to see them, once they are adults, they come to the surface through holes that dig into the wood.
- Small piles of sawdust on the ground. Depending on the type of woodworm involved, these small piles may be more or less solid; For example, the cerambycids tend to leave denser mounds, since their larvae are much larger than those of other species, while the lichens and anbids create smaller and finer-grained piles.
- Sounds that come from inside the wood. It is possible to hear the odd noise that comes from inside the wood and this is, without a doubt, a sign that the larvae of the woodworm are biting our wood to feed on it.
If you detect the presence of these insects in your home, you will have to get down to work and eradicate them before the situation gets worse, and for that you can make use of the excellent tricks and advice that we have left you later.
Types or species of woodworm
We have three groups of woodworm that we consider the most common and problematic, and these are: common furniture beetle, powderpost beetle and longhorn beetle. Each of these little bugs is distinguished by its physical characteristics and by the nature of the wood from which it feeds, as well as by the consequences it produces.
Common furniture beetle
The larvae of this species differ from the others because of their whitish color and curved appearance. As with the rest of the woodworms, these larvae are the main causes of the deterioration of the wood, since, once the eggs deposited by the adults are born between the cracks or crevices of the wood, these larvae begin to penetrate it. with its small but strong jaws, creating passages parallel to the fiber inside the material.
When they reach their adult stage, the common house borer acquire a dark color and develop a kind of hood known as pronotum. Finally, they dig holes of up to 4 millimeters in diameter to reach the surface and take flight in search of new sources of shelter and food.
Like the common furniture beetle, their larvae are white and curved. These animals usually attack any wooden structure that contains high levels of starch and, once they become adults, create smaller holes between 1 and 2 millimeters in diameter, resulting in some very fine sawdust mounds, very similar to talcum
In terms of food, the lictides are very selective and only attack surfaces that have a high starch content, greater than 3% in relation to the anhydrous weight, and also have a degree of humidity between 6 and 32%. Likewise, they are interested in wooden structures with vessels at least 0.07 millimeters in diameter, because for females it is easier to deposit their eggs.
This group of woodworms is also known by the name of giant woodworm, since they tend to be of a considerable size when they reach adulthood. Their larvae are distinguished from the rest of the woodworm in that they have a yellowish color and some well-defined rings around their body. They also have quite strong jaws that serve to excavate the passages inside the wood, sometimes parallel to the fiber, and the exit holes to the surface are usually thicker and tubular, from which piles of sawdust fall. much more dense.
Woodworm sting or bite
There are those who believe that woodworms tend to bite or bite people, but the truth is that they do not. However, these animals are linked to a small insect called Scleroderma domestica, which bears a strong resemblance to ants. This tiny host uses the presence of larvae of the woodworm to deposit their eggs in them and get a source of food that is comfortable and close. As you can imagine, the larvae end up dying but, in the course of time, the Scleroderma can approach the people who are in the place of the infestation and provide them with a sting.
In short, this means that woodworms do not produce bites or bites that can directly affect us, but they do have a type of parasite that is capable of attacking us. To prevent this from happening, the ideal is to eliminate the sources of food for the woodworm, since when these die, the Scleroderma also disappears.
In this sense, it is very helpful to contact an expert in pest control and treatment of wood, as well as assisting the doctor to treat the bite.
Is woodworm dangerous?
As to whether or not they are dangerous, we must say that woodworm represents a risk to human beings, even if it manifests itself in the long term. However, we must not forget the presence of parasites derived from their larvae, such as the domestic Scleroderma, which can provide us with stings that, although they are not mortal, can be quite annoying and painful.
Well, the main danger of these bichillos lies in the deterioration of our wood structures, since they can appear to be strong enough outside, but the internal decomposition caused by woodworm can generate a loss of rigidity and, in more cases serious, to make the structure yield.
It is important to clarify that woodworm only lodges in dead wood, so the trunks of live trees are free of these bichillos, and that is precisely why they represent a risk for people and their houses.
In short, if a woodworm infestation occurs and the wood is not treated in time, it is possible that the structures or wood bases created by us will weaken each day more. In spite of how small they are, these insects have generated great economic losses in different countries, since they end up deteriorating the interior of the beams and pilasters, making them more unstable.
For all this we can say that, while they seem harmless to the naked eye, these animals are capable of serious long-term consequences, so that their control and extermination are more than necessary.
How to eliminate woodworm
When exterminating these bugs, we can choose between two types of treatments offered by experts in pest control: curative-preventive treatments and strictly curative treatments. Let’s see what each one of them is.
This type of treatment not only ends with woodworm, but also prevents further infestation. It includes treatments based on the application of liquid preventive products, either superficially or in depth, since its active principles adhere to the wood after the solvent has vaporized.
As for the surface treatments, they have a very light penetration, so they only guarantee results in not very wide segments, such as pallet and coating boards. However, we can currently find some insecticide products that have been designed for surface application treatments, but have a greater scope compared to commonly used products. Of this type of treatment, the most popular of all is pressure injection by valves, which is generally applied to structural parts.
Strictly curative treatments
This type of treatment differs from the previous ones in that, although they help eliminate pests, they are not effective in preventing future infestations, and the most common methods for their application are injection, spraying and the application of gels.
Finally, when opting for one or the other type of treatment, it is advisable to contact an expert in pest control to make a prior evaluation and determine the most appropriate method according to the situation.
Home remedies to eradicate woodworm
If you are looking for a more natural and practical alternative to eliminate woodworm, these home remedies may help you reach your goal.
The smell of fresh acorns is quite attractive for these insects, so we can take a few fresh acorns and wrap them in a cloth, putting together a kind of bag. During the breeding season, adults will deposit their eggs on the cloth and their larvae will enter the acorns to feed on them. When the warm season has passed (time of reproduction of the woodworm) we can eliminate the bag along with its unpleasant tenants.
Although it is a rather slow method, it works very well as a complement to any other remedy that we want to use and even as a preventive measure.
More tricks to kill woodworms
In case you do not have acorns at home, do not stop trying these tricks that we have left here, so you can get rid of the woodworm once and for all.
Submit the wood at low temperatures
If you have an industrial refrigerator, you can take the piece affected by those bugs and subject it to very low temperatures for at least 24 hours. The larvae of the woodworm can not survive the low temperatures, so that, in this way, you can definitely eliminate them.
This is one of the most practical and effective homemade tricks to which you can resort, in fact, it is not necessary that congeles the piece to achieve results, it will suffice to subject it to a temperature of 5 °C for a day or two, and the matter of these insects will be solved.
On the other hand, if you live in an area with a cold climate and subzero temperatures, everything is a little easier, you just have to take out your furniture and subject it to the icy breeze for a couple of nights, and that’s it!
Coverage with plastic
Another of the tricks that work very well to get rid of woodworm consists of covering the furniture or pieces affected with a plastic, which will leave a small hole and by which we spray a little insecticide. It is a fairly simple technique but very effective.
Now that you know everything you should about these animals, we hope you can take them away from your life and your home once and for all.
Other interesting articles about woodworm
- 1 Woodworm: The definitive guide and how to eliminate it
- 2 What is woodworm?
- 3 Why does the woodworm appear?
- 4 How to know if I have woodworm?
- 5 Types or species of woodworm
- 6 Woodworm sting or bite
- 7 Is woodworm dangerous?
- 8 How to eliminate woodworm
- 9 Home remedies to eradicate woodworm
- 10 More tricks to kill woodworms
- 11 Other interesting articles about woodworm