Extermination methods for woodboring beetles and woodworms

Human beings hardly coexist in harmony with plants and animals. Not to mention a quiet living in the same house with the wood-boring insects. Therefore, wood protection against these pests is a must.

Woodboring beetle in a wooden house

Most homeowners face this widespread problem caused only by the fact that wood serves as food for these insects. However, there are still several ways to limit the damaging effects and ensure the durability of the building. A wood-frame or glued laminated timber house; a bathhouse, a sauna made of logs are also exposed to the destructive effects.

First of all, the quality of the wood is key. Do not use dried wood since it is most likely already infested with woodworms! You should only choose live wood that is free of pests. No mold or worms are acceptable. Make sure that the raw materials are carefully checked during construction as well.

Secondly, timber drying should be carried out using dedicated drying chambers in compliance with all technological processes. Such a treatment ensures that the timber is completely sterile. Natural drying of timber often represents the first step towards a pest infestation. Impregnation also stands as the most advanced and, at the same time, the most expensive way to treat the wood before construction.

The next step is the bio-protection of the wood. This includes applying different chemical agents against wood pests. They are aimed at preventing the emergence of bark beetles and mold in the finished material. Such products act on the surface and do not penetrate the wood. Therefore, if you face the bark beetle infestation, these agents won't be of any help.

Never underestimate construction errors, either. Insufficient waterproofing of the lower boards will lead to the overwatering of logs, so be sure a woodworm like the Capricorn beetle will certainly settle its offspring. The large and thick larvae will gnaw on the wood until they have eaten it all. The same goes for toilets and bathrooms, where high humidity and insufficient ventilation will create ideal conditions for the woodboring beetle.

Usually, wooden houses feature fireplaces, and that is where the danger lurks. It is not just the fire that puts you at risk, but the logs that are dropped in for the furnace. Old firewood is an excellent carrier of woodboring beetle. The larva won't migrate from the wood, but an adult imago insect will develop in a warm environment after pupation and will lay its eggs wherever it wants. Therefore, never keep the firewood inside! Preferably keep it somewhere outside the house.

We should also consider natural infestation

In fact, a female woodworm can fly many kilometers in search of food and shelter for her offspring. It can also fly from the nearby forest, a neighbor's firewood, or another wooden house. The first infestation points are window and door openings. Their life is extremely short and is mainly devoted to the rapid egg-laying cycle. Adult insects do not eat wood and do not make holes but lay their eggs in log cracks or in old holes. In case the house is inhabited and heated, the woodboring beetle usually settles on the warm inside side (during the cold season), where it can evolve all year round, so you will most likely face the woodworm beetle infestation in such a house.
This is an endless process that cannot be ignored.

How the larva looks like

How to identify pest infestation?

There are both direct and indirect signs of a woodworm infestation. These include the presence of dead bugs on windowsills and floors of the house. You can also notice wood powder on the floor near the walls or between the wreaths. Another marker includes different holes in the logs or zigzag paths. In this case, you should also note whether these paths and holes are recent. Finally, the most important but not necessary sign is the squeaking sounds crunching from the walls. Woodworms are nocturnal insects, so you can hear them better at night. These are the places to mark for further priority treatment.
How they sound

Woodboring beetle in the rafters

Anyone wants to be the boss in their own home. Indeed, the roof is often made using a wooden rafter system, which can be a real delicacy for the new attic owner, the woodboring beetle. Warm attic spaces with lots of wood provide near-perfect conditions for them year-round. But there are no happy endings: as time goes by, the roof and rafter system lose their strength, sagging under its own weight, and the seal breaches. Assuming that this situation is not detected on time and is not fixed, the roof will collapse.

It is necessary to check the quality of the wood used during the construction as well as supervise the preventive fire and bioprotection treatment, which should be repeated every few years to avoid disaster. Replacing the rafters and the entire roof is a very expensive process. So it is better to prevent it.
Woodboring beetles in the beams and rafters

Wood boring beetle in inter-floor ceilings and parquet.

Inter-floor ceilings are a crucial part of building construction, providing strength and support for vertical loads.
They are often made up of wooden beams or joists which are often hidden behind the subfloor. They are covered with chipboard, OSB or simply rough boards. There will be vapor, sound, and heat insulation material inside. On the top you can see the parquet. A year-round warm and nourishing place for woodboring beetle!
Wood treatment can require partial or complete disassembly of the structure and even replacement of elements. The replacement of supporting structures can be particularly expensive. This would be a highly frustrating situation in a house that is already in use.

Woodboring beetle in furniture and museum pieces

Old, dry wood is affected by the woodworm beetle, so there is a great risk to furniture and antiques. Infestation cases in wooden icons are quite common.
Furniture is subject to structural damage and weakening, cracking, and shape changes. Furniture and museum pieces often have historical and artistic value. Woodboring beetle infestation can cause irreparable damage and loss of such items, including original decorative elements and details.

Even books can be destroyed by the wood boring beetle.
Woodboring beetle in furniture

How to exterminate and get rid of woodboring beetle

These pests can easily destroy entire buildings, not to mention turning furniture to dust. The following methods are used to fight wood pests:

  • chemical - treatment with various organic or non-organic chemicals, found in solid, liquid, or simply gaseous state;
  • thermal – the destruction of insects by both high and low temperatures;
  • microwave technology as a method of controlling woodboring beetles.

The vast range and ongoing updates in the pesticide industry have rendered insects immune to the poison. The use of chemicals is likely to make woodworms immune to insecticides, though the chemicals are effective only in the surface layers of the wood. Existing standards confirm that there is no effective chemical for exterminating woodworms. According to the guidelines, if some section of wood is affected by mold or bark beetle, such a wood part should be cut out and then burned, while a new metal prosthesis should be inserted in the place of the cut-out one.

Gas disinfestation is a rather time-consuming and costly procedure that requires thorough and painstaking preparation as well as protection of the workers involved. By the way, this procedure can be carried out only at the appropriate ambient temperature, which means that gas disinfection cannot occur in winter, during the off-season, and simply in poorly heated houses. Once again, it does not give 100% results.

It should be stressed that such chemicals are extremely toxic to humans and warm-blooded animals.
Let's look at modern DIN standards and thermal methods of woodworm extermination.
In turn, the thermal method is also extremely difficult. If it is necessary to disinfect the whole house, such a process is even more complicated in terms of technology since it is impossible to simultaneously achieve such a high temperature (56°C) required to kill the woodworms in all parts of the building and across the thickness of the wood. But still? Human intervention in nature leads to terrible consequences for flora, fauna, and people. Therefore, a new method of coping with woodworms and wood pests has been created and introduced.

Microwaves are the most effective protection against wood pests.
The microwave method of bark beetle and other woodworm eradication makes it possible to successfully deal with such a problem even in winter at low temperatures. Exposure to the microwave field destroys all unwelcome guests without causing any damage to the timber and the surrounding area. In contrast to conventional thermal methods, the microwave field directly affects the treated material without heating the surrounding air. Devices generating electromagnetic waves excite vibrations of water molecules both in insects and in wood. Motion, oscillation of molecules, and therefore, thermal energy. This allows the wood to warm up to the temperature we need at 56°C, sufficient to kill Xylophagous (such wood pests as woodboring beetle, bark beetle, and other woodworms). Microwave field heating processes of materials proceed better where there are more water molecules. Living organisms (insects like in our case) contain 70-90% of water and being exposed to the microwave field, are heated much more intensively than the wood they used to develop in, providing an absolute guarantee of quick and complete destruction.
The targeted action of microwaves, as well as the high mobility of our equipment, provide 100% efficiency of the equipment. Microwaves are also environmentally harmless, which means that people and pets do not have to be "evacuated" from their homes when the unit is in operation.
It is not a problem if the logs are coated with varnish or paint.
Insulation materials, such as foam or mineral wool, are radio-transparent materials and do not affect the quality of the treatment.
If there is excessive humidity, the Shashel® Microwave will also eliminate it. It will gently dry to acceptable values. Small dimensions with maximum treatment area will make the procedure easy and fast. No matter where the insect is, just put the device in front of the infected place and turn it on for a few minutes. By the end of this time, there will not be a single living creature in the wood. The device will dry the fungus mold as well, which often occurs in symbiosis with some species of bark beetles. The woodboring beetles will be exterminated in an instant.
This includes all kinds of plastics, glass, clay or ceramics, etc., none of which are an obstacle for Shashel®. As with electrical wires, it is sufficient to simply de-energize them and only when they enter the treatment area directly below the emitter. The penetration depth of the microwave field varies depending on such factors as humidity, wood species, and even the direction of the fibers, reaching up to 25 cm. What if it is a wild log with large-sized logs? In rare and exceptional cases, double-sided treatment may be required, but we should say that the core is not eaten and logs of 50-60 cm are successfully disinfected.

The devices are distinguished by high-quality industrial components, the emitter is made of special alloys and is properly calibrated for maximum efficiency. The design and ergonomics make this equipment easy and simple for every homeowner.
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Irritating and playful, slowly devouring the furniture bequeathed by his grandfather, the woodworm gnawed, gnawed, continued gnawing, as if it were a clock devouring time... © Alves Redol
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