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How to prevent woodworm

We were called to attend for a s.160 probate valuation of contents near Devizes earlier this week. Some beautiful antique furniture but some, like this 18th Century carved oak open armchair, were badly affected by live woodworm. Such a shame and a reminder to us all to look after and maintain our antique furniture. 

What is a woodworm infestation?

Woodworm damage is created by the larvae of beetles, the adult beetle will lay eggs on or just under the surface of wood and the larvae will feed on the wood. When they are big enough they will exit the wood to mate, leaving small holes- usually 1mm-1.5mm in diameter. An infestation causes both structural and cosmetic damage to the wood, so it is important to protect your antique furniture!

How do I prevent an infestation?

You may not notice an infestation until the damage becomes visible at the end of the process- when the beetles exit the wood. If the beetles have recently left, there will be a light brown dust visible around the furniture or in the holes. To prevent them coming back and laying larvae, you should use a chemical woodworm treatment straight away. Meanwhile if you know you still have a live infestation, you can kill the larvae with a chemical insecticide or if the item is small enough, freeze it.

The most effective may of protecting your antique furniture is by damp proofing your home. Woodworm prefer cold damp wood, so to prevent an infestation you should make sure that your home is dry and warm!


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