Woodworm can appear in any part of your home that is made of timber. And skirting boards are no exception. So, if you are worried about woodworm in your home, don’t forget to check your skirting boards for the signs and symptoms of those pesky furniture beetles and their larvae.
But can you can you get woodworm in skirting boards? It is possible to get woodworm in skirting boards as they are made of wood which can be vulnerable to any wood-boring insects. Woodworm anywhere in the home is inconvenient.
But there are worse places to get woodworm than in your skirting boards.
Why are we being so positive? Simple!
As long as the woodworm in your skirting is not a symptom of a wider woodworm problem in your home, skirting boards are far easier to treat or cheaper to replace than structural timber.
Knowing what to look for, though, can help you prevent or deal with woodworm if you suspect your skirting boards have been affected.
What Does Woodworm Look Like In Skirting Boards?
Woodworm in skirting boards looks like it does in any other type of timber. But the most obvious clue that you have a woodworm problem is in the tell-tale exit holes that adult furniture beetles produce as they leave the wood.
The problem with this clue, though, is they are exit holes. And they are a classic sign that your timber has had and may still have woodworm.
But they are also a sign that woodworm has been in your timber for several years. Yes, you read that correctly – years! It takes woodworm larvae an average of between 2 and 5 years to reach maturity.
So, by the time furniture beetles are at the stage of making holes in your timber, they have gone through the egg and larval stages of their lifecycle and are now potentially out and about in your home looking for a mate to start the process again.
Besides the holes, they have already done damage to your timber beneath the surface as that was their main diet during the larval stage.
Frass or Dust
There are other signs that could help you catch an infestation a little earlier. One of those is the frass or dust that is produced by the burrowing larvae as it eats its way through the wood.
It is very hard to see but sometimes collects at the base of the skirting board or in any small crevices.
To spot it, you’ll have to get very close to the timber skirting and check cracks and joints and even the grain of the wood. If there are any little piles or lines of ‘dust’, it might indicate woodworm larvae eating their way through your wood.
If your skirting is showing signs of woodworm, read on to find out ways you can treat the problem.
How Do You Get Rid of Woodworm in Skirting Boards?
Luckily, there are a number of ways of treating woodworm-infested timber. And, as we’ve mentioned, if the problem is isolated to your skirting then it’s less difficult to treat than some other types of timber.
Check your woodworm is active
Before you treat your timber for woodworm, though, make sure the infestation is active. Just because your timber has holes doesn’t mean you have a current case of woodworm.
The holes might indicate a historic infestation.
To check if your skirting is currently infested with woodworm, you could set inexpensive traps to catch the adult beetles as they fly.
But, if you suspect a case of woodworm in your skirting but aren’t sure, you’ll save time, money and your woodwork by calling in an expert who can confirm it for you.
DIY Woodworm Treatment
The best way to make sure woodworm treatment is penetrating deep into your skirting board, is to inject insecticide.
By injecting, you’re getting closer to the core of your timber which is the place that the larvae could be eating. Injecting the fluid every 50 to 100 cm should be enough to ensure all of your timber is treated.
After you have done this, paint (or spray) your skiting with the fluid on the surface to ensure you’ve protected it for the long haul.
Once the treatment has dried, paint your timber with a couple of coats of gloss paint – it’s an added deterrent. And remember, you could remove the skirting and treat it outside the home to make it more accessible and safer.
By hiring a professional pest control expert, you’re almost certainly going to get a better job done than you could do yourself.
They’ll have better equipment and more experience in making sure every last bug is eradicated.
Some professionals may use a mist insecticide, even for a localised area such as skirting. This may mean you’ll have to vacate your house for a short time to ensure the treatment does no harm to you or your pets.
While this may seem costly you’re not just paying for the skill of the pest control professional, you’re paying for peace of mind.
If the woodworm infestation looks like it may affect other areas of your home, especially structural timber, your best option may be to remove the skirting entirely.
This may sound drastic, but skirting is relatively cheap. Replacing it may save you both the expense of treatment and worrying that the woodworm may spread to more essential timber.
Woodworm and Skirting Boards
Woodworm treatment can be bought relatively inexpensively at most hardware or home improvement shops or online.
Insecticide is usually toxic so if you are going to apply the treatment yourself, make sure you follow the safety guidance on the container.
But as always prevention is better than a cure. So, to prevent woodworm from occurring or spreading into skirting boards, make sure your home is well ventilated, any damp is treated and you have improved your home’s insulation.
Woodworm love damp, and luckily, a warm dry home is not only a perfect atmosphere for humans but it will keep unwelcome woodworm at bay.