Wood worm infestation, insect attack, what is woodworm, killing wood worm, preventing wood worm, wood boring insects, furniture beetle, house long horn beetle.
We all like to see the traditional chestnut, oak or olive beams in old houses and clients often want to re use or incorporate them into their new home or refurbishment project to add a rustic homely feel.
These large chestnut beams are actually tree trunks that were cut down a couple of hundred years ago and cut roughly into shape with adzes and axes before being installed as a main floor supporting bean in old stone houses. As you can see in the photograph the ends of the beams look worn away. This is a mixture of woodworm and damp decay from where the beams were inside the stone walls. The wood worm cut holes in the wood which helps harbour the moisture and the rot start to eat away the wood even more.
We have heard many people say when showing us around an old house that they are trying to sell, “this beam has been in place for a hundred years it will last another 100 ! “– Absolute nonsense.
The wood worm holes that you see on the surface are only the exit holes of the mature wood worm beetle which is flying off to mate and lay eggs on the same beam in a few days time re starting the cycle of destruction.
It’s easy to prove with simple mathematics and common sense that if you have a woodworm problem it’s only going to get worse each year unless its professionally treated.
Please don’t be tempted to use “local wisdom” old engine oil will not prevent woodworm it just hides the holes for a while. Whitewash has a similar non effect. There are excellent wood worm killers and preventatives out there which will kill the insects in the wood surface, when they come out to breed and the eggs that any lay on the timber. THEY MUST BE APPLIED PROPERLY
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Let’s look again at the chestnut beams mentioned previously.
As you can see they have been taken out of a stone building to be properly treated for wood worm and be straightened a little before being put back into a stone house which we are in the process of refurbishing. This way we can insure that every part of the old timber we re use or recycle is not going to infect all the new wood that we are putting into the house. The finished ceiling will look something like this.
Wood Worm in Portugal
Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium punctatum). Despite its name, Common Furniture Beetle is just as likely to attack building timbers (joists, floorboards, etc….) as it is to attack furniture in fact any wood is food to this little monster.
This species of woodworm can be identified by the small, round holes that are left on the surface of the timber (approx. 1.5 – 2mm diameter) and the bore-dust that it leaves behind – showing up as lemon-shaped pellets under magnification and feeling “gritty” when rubbed between the fingers.
The adult beetle (see below) is typically between 3 and 5mm long. A key identifying feature is the head – with the appearance of a Darth Vader helmet.
If your worried about woodworm contact Castelo Construction for a free quotation. email@example.com www.casteloconstruction.com
A brief introduction, Castelo Construction Lda. We carry our all types of construction work to a high standard, we project manage and help source items that you may require to be added you your new home.
Most of our new build or refurbishment clients are living outside Portugal when the work is being done. We understand a client’s need for regular and clear communication. We send frequent reports with photographs detailing work done, suggestions and questions.
We can be contacted on www.casteloconstruction.com
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