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Woodworm beetles

The Woodworm beetle is an invasive eater of wooden houses, rafters, beams, and furniture. It can destroy wood even in winter in a heated house. So don't hesitate to find out the infestation signs and a method of highly effective sterilization. Let's deliver a microwave strike on the pest.

Species and lifestyle

While inside the log, the woodworm evolves and gnaws on the starch-containing part of the log. It is detected when mature imago beetles appear, leaving holes and wood powder piles. The diameter varies from 0.7 to 3.2 mm, depending on the species. Once the females lay the eggs, they re-infest the wood, proceeding with this cycle for several generations until they consume all the wood. Still, trees can be naturally immune, which manifests in very low starch content.
types of woodworms
Types and descriptions of woodworms

Cerambycidae

Cerambycidae, also known as longhorn beetle, represents a very big family of beetles, featuring extremely long whiskers that are longer than a maturing insect's body. There is also one curious fact: the scientific name is based on Greek mythology. After a dispute with the nymphs, the shepherd Kerambos was turned into a big bug with big horns and whiskers.

Xestobium rufovillosum - Deathwatch beetle

Xestobium rufovillosum. The adult insect is 7 millimeters long, and the larvae are up to 11 millimeters. They make poking sounds coming from rafters and beams in calm weather. These beetles are usually associated with a clock that's counting down to death. Indeed, the sound is very disturbing. They digest cellulose with their enzymes, assuming that preliminary fungal decomposition has already occurred.

Anobium punctatum

Anobium punctatum. During the larval stage, the beetle feeds on the xylem. The adult Anobium punctatum measures 2.7-4.5 mm. It has a brown ellipse-shaped body with a clump resembling a hood.
What's important to know!!!
Imago insects don't eat at all. They only reproduce.
The female lays eggs in log cracks or exit holes. They hatch after three weeks, and each egg releases a 1-millimeter creamy white C-shaped larva. They gnaw on the xylem for three to four years, growing to 0.7 cm. By the time they reach maturity, they move closer to the surface and turn into a pupa (up to 8 weeks). Once they leave the dwelling, they form a 1 to 1.5 mm hole and spill wood dust, the first visible signs of infestation. They feed on the sapwood, and it is easy to see in structures where one part of the timber may be intensely attacked while the neighboring part is left almost intact. It also depends on whether the wood is made of core or shell. Building standards say that wood with more than 25% of subdued wood cannot be used.
Woodworm larvae
Woodboring caterpillar

Extermination methods

Wood is the most popular material, and this is due not only to its practicality, durability, and aesthetics but also because of its sustainability. The woodworms will also taste the wooden log cabin.
To get rid of these pests, people try to use "folk remedies," starting with vinegar and ending up with formaldehyde. But in doing so, there is a problem - the agents do not penetrate the wood as deeply as they should (only 1-2 mm). Some of these remedies will not harm humans, but many methods will completely poison people's lives in an already infested house.
As a method of getting rid of woodboring beetles, the old industry standards advised cutting out the damaged part and burning it! Even material with old worm holes was rejected and could not be used anymore.
Modern agents are different in their use, action, and toxicity, but they all have one thing in common - to prevent the egg-laying process! Still, there are a few pitfalls. The difficulty is that treatment is required every few years - nothing lasts forever. It is also worth mentioning the habituation of insects to the drugs and the resistance of nature itself. But most importantly, xylophagus do not lay eggs on the surface but in cozy places such as cracks, corners, and wormholes. Apparently, it is physically impossible to treat in such places!
Aerosol insecticide sprays kill pests only on the surface but not the gnawing caterpillars inside the wood. Sudden freezing of the infected wood or heating to 55-60°C can provide efficient results.
In case of low-temperature treatment it is necessary to act quickly. Otherwise, the larvae will go into winter hibernation like flies, and they will proceed with an infestation when it gets warmer. Even hard frosts do not harm them because the thermal conductivity and heat capacity of wood give the insects enough time to reproduce. Bark beetle can also be killed by heating to critical temperatures. You can wrap the house in a dome on all sides and heat it for several days with special devices, but this method is very troublesome and expensive.
As a result, all the struggle against woodworms falls down to prevention, starting with wood control in order to minimize infestation, continuing with quality drying in heat chambers, and ending up with mandatory preventive insecticidal treatments.


What should I do in case of woodworm infestation?
Microwave equipment is the perfect choice for wood houses, antique shops, and restoration studios. Extermination is immediate, free of toxic residues, and safe for the operator. Microwave energy affects larvae immediately, containing up to 97% instant boiling moisture, plus there is steady heating of the surrounding material to a temperature above 55-60 degrees. This is enough to get rid of both eggs and adult insects. There must be a microwave emitter in every log cabin. Without waiting for the whole structure to be infested, the entire population is zeroed out. The homeowner always knows the location and treats the "infected" places first. It should be noted that the equipment perfectly controls the humidity of the wood and perfectly copes with mold, which often accompanies the pest.
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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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