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killing wood worm


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. Portugal Wood worm infestation, insect attack, what is woodworm, killing wood worm, preventing wood worm

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 Email


wet rot and woodworm not ideal to put into your refurbishment project 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.  info@casteloconstruction.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  or 00351 927168247

About Castelo Construction Lda

Castelo Construction Lda are builders in Central Portugal. If you need an English speaking builder for renovation or new build work we will provide free estimates and carry out your work to a very high standard. Central Portugal builders, Central Portugal construction. New Construction and Refurbishment of Portuguese Property Its exciting for both our team and of course our clients to mark out on the earth the site of a new home. We will have been with them during the design process and have spoken to the architect many times so we will be comfortable with what we are about to do. For many clients this stage is a little daunting as it’s hard to see without experience just where the house is going to be in relation to other things on the property. Once the foundations are dug out the house normally looks smaller that they thought, As the pillars and foundation wall start to go you get a much better idea of scale. You can see with your mind’s eye the location of the kitchen, bedrooms and so on. Once the walls are up and the first floor is in place the rooms start to looks smaller again (something to do with the light absorbing properties of the bricks) once the walls are plastered the rooms look a lot larger and it starts to feel more like the home our clients imagined building. Many of our clients are not in the country full time so rely on our regular photographic updates and written reports. They are always surprised when they make inspection visits. As the build progresses we are involved with many specialist sub contractors and it is our job the get them on site at the right time so that the trades do not overlap and time is not wasted. Once the roof is on and tiled it is traditional in this area to have a dinner on site. Everyone who is involved in the build is invited to share a suckling pig dinner with local bread, oranges and of course wine. This is a great way for the clients to enjoy some local hospitality and meet the craftsmen who are building their new home. We also invite the near neighbors so that they get a chance to see what’s going on (when the house is at a very basic stage) and it gives our clients a relaxed opportunity to make their acquaintance. As we always accompany our clients to choose, kitchens, tiles, bathroom fittings or whatever they want. We can help with translation and of course negotiation! As the house is coming to completion we always have them professionally cleaned so that when we hand over the keys it feels more like a home than a building site. 2 months after the house is finished we are back to check for any small faults that may need attention and of course we are available to help and advise should that be needed.

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