On Tue, 5 Aug 2003 18:50:47 +0100, "David W.E. Roberts"
I'm currently battling a woodworm prob in my house and I'm treating
some of it myself. I can tell you what I've found out since I've been
researching this and it might help answer some of your questions...
Woodworm eggs/larvae can only enter through an untreated part of the
wood or through an old flight hole. The females lays in the flight
holes or the pores of the wood, so they won't get in through a
varnished or painted part (assuming it's a paint which coats the wood
rather than a stain which soaks in), but apparently they do like the
untreated ends of planks of wood for this purpose.
They don't have any problem exiting through a varnish or paint when
the larvae emerges (this is the bit that makes the hole).
I think it's hard to be sure whether or not the wood is infested until
next year's lot emerges, but everything I've read says an active
infestation will be marked by the presence of 'frass' (larvae poo,
etc.), but I suppose this is only going to be noticeable if the wood
has been stationary, and the beasties have only just emerged.
That said, they only emerge during a short 2-4 week season in any
year, my lot started flying around about six weeks ago. I don't know
how long you've had the wood out, but have you seen any flying beatles
around since? I don't know whether the season varies depending on
where you are ut I am in the North West of Scotland.
There are about six different kinds of woodworm, but they're all
beetles and mine were small (2-4mm), dark brown, about the shape of a
chocolate brazil nut, and stupid - very easy to catch when they
weren't flying. The Rentokil UK site has some info on identifying the
different types ifyou've seen anything.
Now, the good thing is, whether you're infested or not it'll be quite
easy to treat your planks at least. You can buy aerosol tins of stuff
made by Rentokil (I think Cuprinol make some too) which you spray on
and which will kill the eggs, larvae or adult beetles and stop the
wood from being reinfested. Now, it soaks right into untreated wood,
but if your wood is varnished or painted it comes with a wee injector
nozzle which you poke into the flight holes and it scoots in right
into the wood by way of the tunnels the little bastards have made when
they were chewing their way through. The tins come in at about a
fiver each and the injection part is really quite good fun.
How did it get there? Can't be sure, but as far as I know, these
things naturally live outdoors and just tend to fly into houses in
their adult stage. Apparently they like certain conditions and if the
temperature or moisture level is't right the infestation can die off
naturally. Mine have been thriving in a seriously damp part in the
back porch of my house.
Lastly, they work quite slowly, so your wood is probably safe enough
to use. Check your loft though!
Oops. I've written an essay. Anyway, hope this helps a bit.
Thanks, Kate - very useful.
I am not worried about the frame of the outdoor tenty thing - I have some
Cuprinol 5* which should nadger anything still in the wooden frame.
I am more concerned about having to treat my entire loft space because
(a) It is huge
(b) It is full to the brim with assorted crap which would have to be moved
elsewhere during treatment.
I guess I will have to wait till next year and see if any holes appear.
With ants you need to be scrupulous about cleanliness so they don't have
a food supply, sugar especially should be in airtight containers, jam in
the fridge. Then you get some proprietary ant killer and put lots of it
about as directed. They will travel a long way for food, if the only
stuff available to them is your poison then they will take that.
Welcome to the effects of global warming.
School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Scotland
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