Woodworm down there !

Installing new kitchen. Floorboards in places crumbling. Some joists crumbly on top with the usual wee holes made by our new found "friends". Reckon it is active as some newer boards have holes in too. How good is Cuprinol woodworm treatment ? The main chemical in it is not what is reccomemned on other web sites. My builder friend advises me to slap the stuf on and put new treated joists where required next to the old ones.
Over what period can the worms destroy a new joist .. years or months. To me it does not look as though you can wipe the worm out with one treatment due to the life cycle. D o Rentokil reckon they can?
Mike P
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Mike P wrote:

Most boring beetles only eat into damp wood. The solution is sort the damp problem. Chemicals are not a good solution.
NT
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On 22 Oct, 18:32, snipped-for-privacy@care2.com wrote:

Dear Meow Woodworm will affect dry wood as anyone with old furniture will tell you It is true that it survives much better in damp wood It is true that central heating controls the population quite well and has probably killed more woodworm that treatment but it is not true that most woodworm only eat into damp wood I shall be interested in any data or evidence you have to support the assertion that chemicals are not a good solution. In my experience IF it is active - which most reported ones are not - it is the only way to cure it in a house. chris
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Dear Mike You need to identify the problem first. Is it "woodworm" (Anobium punctatum) or any one of many other similar wood-destroying insects some of which cannot reproduce such as Bark Borer (Ernobis mollis). To do this you need either to get someone who has the expertise or follow certain tests with say the frass or size of hole If you were to take photos I would happily advise.
IF it is woodworm then the chances are that it is not active. I can explain if pressed but I don't have the time here. You do have one sound indicator of activity - viz "new" wood being attacked BUT how new is new?
There is one perfectly good test to determine activity but I suspect you dont have the time (it takes 3 years to be sure!) If you can keep access to these timbers then do the test - get some glue not containing a biocide - eg flour and water or a staple gun and stick lining paper to all the timbers affected. Wait till Sept 2010 and absent any holes in the paper your attack is dead. Any holes and you know where the activity is and can treat it where it counts.
If you cannot respond this way as you are covering up the timbers such as not to have access to treat then consider the following
All insecides permitted for use have an HSE number and none is classified toxic. The "worst" ie has the lowest LD 50 - is still only classified "irritant". I advise you to use a sythetic pyrethroid such as permethrin or cypermethrin. I would not bother with borates which are much in vogue with the ecologically challenged. You want it to be effective.
Back to your post Floorboards in places crumbling This is not an adequate description to conclude it is woodworm - it is equally true of fire, fungal decay and UV damage! WW normally leaves a spongy mass of tunnels and decay normally is crumbly
Joists crumbly on top It all depends where the sapwood is - send a picture
Usual wee holes Give size and spread age and texture
Deathwatch beetle Powder post House and Forest longhorn Bark Borer Pin and shot hole and many other insects all make holes
What is the frass like? is it gritty and have lemon shaped pellets under a x 10 lens?
How new is new? 50 years or 5 years?
How old is the whole house?
After 100 years most woodworm has died out
How good is Cuprinol
Well Which type? Almost any insecticide containing wood treatment has to have had efficacy tests and will be adequate It is how it is applied that will help. What is the main "active ingredient"? (the main chemical will NOT be the active ingredient which will be at 0.1 or less % concentration The main chemical will be the carrier fluid - proably kerosene or white spirit or pehaps water but unlikely
Wood worm very rarely "destroys a joist" I have personsally surveyed several thousand houses and only very rarely are WHOLE joists destroyed. Well under 0.5% at a subjective guess. What happens is the sapwood gets destroyed and the heart wood remains (generally). It normally takes 50 plus years if it is going to happen.
I have yet in 0ver 30 years to meet a builder that knows sufficient about insect attack in wood so my advice is to ignore any advice from a builder
Why do you think the life cylce affects the capacity to treat woodworm. I don't understand. It is perfectly possible to do so in one treatment and this is the way most treatments are done (except ~Death watch)
The answer to your last question is undoubtedly "yes"! but is of little relevance!
It seems to me that you will NOT want to be putting biocides in your new kitchen after a year or two if you discover it is active and so precautionary treatment is not unreasonable. If you are a professional you will have to do a COSHH assessment in writing to comply with the law If you are an amateur ( I suspect) you will be able to use Class A biocides and follow the instructions on the can. I suggest
remove all struturally unsound timber ( the hammer test is best) replace with pressure treated if joists (tanalised) and double vac (protim) if floor boards
Treat existing retained timbers after brushing down all dust etc on all six surfaces with brush or knapsack spray take all precautions on instructions eg no electrics open windows check for susceptible persons in this property and next door (elderly young asthmatics etc) clear them out for period of treatment and x hours after 8 to 48 depending on chemical use onoly the amount specified - dont over treat dont get it on the oversite if possible - protect with poly first etc etc Chris
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On Mon, 22 Oct 2007 12:16:35 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@atics.co.uk wrote:
.. >> Installing new kitchen. .. >> Floorboards in places crumbling. .. >> Some joists crumbly on top with the usual wee holes made by our new .. >> found "friends". .. >> Reckon it is active as some newer boards have holes in too. .. >> How good is Cuprinol woodworm treatment ? .. >> The main chemical in it is not what is reccomemned on other web sites. .. >> My builder friend advises me to slap the stuf on and put new treated .. >> joists where required next to the old ones. .. >> .. >> Over what period can the worms destroy a new joist .. years or months. .. >> To me it does not look as though you can wipe the worm out with one .. >> treatment due to the life cycle. D o Rentokil reckon they can? .. >> .. >> Mike P .. > .. >Dear Mike .. >You need to identify the problem first. .. >Is it "woodworm" (Anobium punctatum) or any one of many other similar .. >wood-destroying insects some of which cannot reproduce such as Bark .. >Borer (Ernobis mollis). .. >To do this you need either to get someone who has the expertise or .. >follow certain tests with say the frass or size of hole .. >If you were to take photos I would happily advise. .. > .. >IF it is woodworm then the chances are that it is not active. I can .. >explain if pressed but I don't have the time here. You do have one .. >sound indicator of activity - viz "new" wood being attacked BUT how .. >new is new? .. > .. .. >Back to your post .. >Floorboards in places crumbling .. >This is not an adequate description to conclude it is woodworm - it is .. >equally true of fire, fungal decay and UV damage! WW normally leaves a .. >spongy mass of tunnels and decay normally is crumbly .. > .. >Joists crumbly on top .. >It all depends where the sapwood is - send a picture .. > .. >Usual wee holes .. >Give size and spread .. >age and texture .. > .. >Deathwatch beetle .. >Powder post .. >House and Forest longhorn .. >Bark Borer .. >Pin and shot hole .. >and many other insects all make holes .. > .. >What is the frass like? is it gritty and have lemon shaped pellets .. >under a x 10 lens? .. > .. >How new is new? 50 years or 5 years? .. > .. >How old is the whole house? .. > .. >After 100 years most woodworm has died out .. > .. >How good is Cuprinol .. > .. >Well Which type? Almost any insecticide containing wood treatment has .. >to have had efficacy tests and will be adequate .. >It is how it is applied that will help. .. >What is the main "active ingredient"? (the main chemical will NOT be .. >the active ingredient which will be at 0.1 or less % concentration .. >The main chemical will be the carrier fluid - proably kerosene or .. >white spirit or pehaps water but unlikely .. > .. >Wood worm very rarely "destroys a joist" .. >I have personsally surveyed several thousand houses and only very .. >rarely are WHOLE joists destroyed. Well under 0.5% at a subjective .. >guess. What happens is the sapwood gets destroyed and the heart wood .. >remains (generally). It normally takes 50 plus years if it is going to .. >happen. .. > .. >I have yet in 0ver 30 years to meet a builder that knows sufficient .. >about insect attack in wood so my advice is to ignore any advice from .. >a builder .. > .. >Why do you think the life cylce affects the capacity to treat .. >woodworm. I don't understand. It is perfectly possible to do so in one .. >treatment and this is the way most treatments are done (except ~Death .. >watch) .. > .. >The answer to your last question is undoubtedly "yes"! but is of .. >little relevance! .. > .. >It seems to me that you will NOT want to be putting biocides in your .. >new kitchen after a year or two if you discover it is active and so .. >precautionary treatment is not unreasonable. If you are a professional .. >you will have to do a COSHH assessment in writing to comply with the .. >law .. >If you are an amateur ( I suspect) you will be able to use Class A .. >biocides and follow the instructions on the can. .. >I suggest .. > .. >remove all struturally unsound timber ( the hammer test is best) .. >replace with pressure treated if joists (tanalised) .. >and double vac (protim) if floor boards .. > .. >Treat existing retained timbers after brushing down all dust etc on .. >all six surfaces with brush or knapsack spray .. >take all precautions on instructions eg no electrics .. >open windows .. >check for susceptible persons in this property and next door (elderly .. >young asthmatics etc) .. >clear them out for period of treatment and x hours after 8 to 48 .. >depending on chemical .. >use onoly the amount specified - dont over treat .. >dont get it on the oversite if possible - protect with poly first .. >etc .. >etc .. >Chris
Thanx for all that !!
The "new" affected floorboard is about 18 months old.
Cuprinol product contains Flufenoxuron 0.02% Propiconazole 0.06% Hopefully more than just a irritant to make their noses itch !.
Floorboards when split are sort of griity in worst places and full of tunnels.. Some pin holes bigger than others .. on all sides. Fine sawdust on top of joists 2mm deep at worst spots . this is also where you can easily knock off the first 5mm of the joists. All very dry.
House built 1939
Amateur .. ish :-)
Mike P
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MMM Sounds pretty active to me - worth treating. I am not familiar with those particular active ingredients. The HSE appear to have approved them relatively recently see http://www.hse.gov.uk/pesticides/bluebook/approvals0904.pdf
You may find www.icipaints.co.uk/files/pdf/datasheets/CT683.pdf and www.icipaints.co.uk/files/pdf/datasheets/CT682.pdf useful
In a kitchen it is worth being sensible and following the instructions carefully
I use the 5 star when operating as an amateur. (ie in my house) rather than in my business when I was working as a contractor.
I do not rate the green stuff! I would as advised before replace STRUCTURALLY unsound timbers and not worry about holes in timbers that you can bash with a hammer and them not fall to bits Chris
Best wishes Chris
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On Oct 23, 6:45 pm, snipped-for-privacy@atics.co.uk wrote: Hi Chris,

Quick question, how do you rate the active ingredients, propiconazole 0.6% and flufenoxuron 0.02%?
Would they be good enough for external use where the wood is unprotected, or would some form of paint or stain always be required?

I recently noticed they've changed the formula of the green stuff to propiconazole 0.6% instead of copper napthenate >:( , and no longer recommend it for structural timber in ground contact.
<http://www.icipaints.co.uk/files/pdf/datasheets/CT680.pdf
That said, as I understand it copper based preservers were not intended to stop wood boring insects, only rot.
cheers, Pete.
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snipped-for-privacy@atics.co.uk wrote:

Hi Chris
That was a comprehensive, interesting and exhaustive summary of the problem and the approaches to dealing with it and thanks for that.
One question I have however... In the last sentence, I note that you suggest that it should not get onto the oversight if possible, even suggesting a poly barrier to prevent this. Is there a reason for this, apart from waste of expensive chemical, or is it a Health & Safety issue?
Could you expand on this please.
Steve
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Steve, Under the COSHH Regulations there is a duty of care to protect the environment. The oversite soil will drain directly into ground water and it is best to keep such active ingredients out of that! Modern buildings are required to have 100mm concrete on the oversite but this 1930s one may not. It would not be practical to collect and reuse the chemical - just let it stay there. Most eventually evaporate and are dispersed in minute concentrations. Chris
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snipped-for-privacy@atics.co.uk wrote:

Thanks Chris
All clear now!
Cheers
Steve
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On Wed, 24 Oct 2007 02:34:18 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@atics.co.uk wrote:
snipped .. > .. >Steve, .. >Under the COSHH Regulations there is a duty of care to protect the .. >environment. The oversite soil will drain directly into ground water .. >and it is best to keep such active ingredients out of that! Modern .. >buildings are required to have 100mm concrete on the oversite but this .. >1930s one may not. .. >It would not be practical to collect and reuse the chemical - just let .. >it stay there. Most eventually evaporate and are dispersed in minute .. >concentrations. .. >Chris
One more question.... well two actually
As the little blighters will not emerge until next spring ... what are the adults doing right now (chomping)? More importantly, after all my care brushing on the 5 Star, how long will the pesticide remain active in the wood ?
Mike P
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.. >Installing new kitchen. .. >Floorboards in places crumbling.
Snipped loads...
Today .... added plug sockets and moved plumbing, but more importantly I removed the joists that will run along under the new units ..... fortunately they run with the kitchen units. These joists will be hard to monitor compared to the rest. The sawdust was like deep yellow fine snow on one of the supporting walls. Even the cobwebs are yellow. Sole plates untouched ! Floorboards seem to be the location, location, location for the pests.
Some comfort though as the coal hole which became part of the kitchen in 1968, only has the burrowers at the outside wall end on only two boards. So perhaps infestation growth rate is pretty slow. I will lift them up and have a look what is going on down there. I am painting on the Cuprinol 5 Star on all surfaces as I go along .... it surly makes me feel better whether it helps or not.
As Chris advises, I am now being more selective with the joists as I move into the dining area. I will make areas with shorter floorboards and screw down rather than nail for future access and inspection. I will not do the lining paper trick as I do enough of this in my professional capacity :)
Cheers to Chris and others
Mike P
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