Of course, fight woodworms

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The most common wood pests, commonly referred to as woodworms, are the common or common weevil (Anobium punctatum) and the domestic hock (Hylotrupes bajulus). The latter has already brought down entire roof trusses through his feeding activity. Woodworms are mainly the worm-like larvae that feed on the wood. The winglets of the gazelle have a rough row of dots, the last three segments of the probe are greatly extended. The head of the adult beetle is hidden under a throat shield. The domestic buck can be 8 to 26 millimeters long. He also has long feelers and a very flat body. The basic color of the Chitinpanzers is brown to gray with usually one to two bright Haarflecken pairs. The larvae of both beetles hidden in the wood are difficult to combat - especially if you want to do without chemical insecticides.

Life cycle of woodworms

The females of the woodworms lay 20 to 40 white, lemon-shaped eggs in wood cracks and cracks. After about two to three weeks, the first larvae hatch, which first eat through the early wood. After several growth cycles, they pupate. After the change, the so-called metamorphosis, the sexually mature beetle hatches from the pupa. The excursion holes of animals from the wood are round and have a diameter of about one millimeter. By beating the head, adult beetles make a special noise at mating time, in order to attract sex partners. After a successful Dating and Fertilization, the female again lays her eggs in cracks, crevices and old feeding holes in the wood and the cycle begins again. The eggs are often found where the mother has grown up. However, as bug beetles and domestic goats are fundamentally airworthy, they can also look for new places to lay their eggs.
Under favorable conditions, the development of woodworms takes about a year, but can go to pupation a maximum of eight years. The duration of development depends not only on factors such as temperature and humidity but also on the protein content of the wood.

Meaning as a pest

The two mentioned woodworm species are widespread throughout Europe. The common rodent beetle is primarily concerned with furniture and wooden utensils. He finds his optimal living conditions in places with high humidity and moderate temperatures. Very often it can be found in old, often agricultural buildings and cellars. In centrally heated rooms, the pest occurs only rarely, as he prefers a minimum wood moisture of more than ten percent. The Hausbock prefers fresher softwood and often attacks roof trusses and wooden ceilings made of spruce or fir - therefore, it also represents a certain danger for new buildings.

Larva of the common rodent beetle

Larva of the common rodent beetle

These woods like to eat woodworms

All woodworms especially like to feed on the sapwood, ie the younger wood directly below the cambium - it is softer and more protein-rich than the usually darker heartwood. The colored heartwood of larch (Larix), pine (Pinus) and oak (Quercus) is often not affected. Hard hardwood species such as beech and oak are generally less endangered than softwoods. The feeding ducts initially form a so-called lamellar structure in the wood, which leads to a low strength. The woodworm generations usually make their way over the same piece of wood for many years until it almost completely dissolves.
In general, woodworms infest only processed or built-up wood. Incidentally, the age of the tree does not matter: the new garden bench can be infested just as well as a centuries-old roof truss. Completely fresh naturally damp wood is usually not on the menu of the pests. In the wild, woodworms are rare. They are found mainly on dry deciduous and coniferous wood, often under ivy (Hedera helix).

Recognize woodworm infestation

The activity of the woodworm can be seen in the 1 to 2 millimeter large holes in the wood and fine wood flour deposits. To make sure that there is an acute attack, you can do the following: Put dark paper or foil under the suspicious spot. Find it after a few days of wood dust, drives the pest here his mischief. The period of a few days is required because the young larvae occasionally pause with the feeding. A high number of holes usually indicates an advanced destruction inside the wood. Since the woodworms hide in the holes, you hardly get to see them. The more debris you find, the stronger the infestation.

Preventive measures

To prevent a woodworm infestation, there are several possibilities. It is especially important that the lumber used is well dried. Because with increasing humidity also increases the risk of woodworm infestation. Never store your wood outdoors directly on the ground, but always place a few piles or beams under it, so that the boards, planks or slats have no direct contact with the ground. Otherwise, the soil moisture prevents drying and, of course, also increases the risk of fungal attack. It is best to store wood in a drafty, sunny spot under a canopy so that it is protected against moisture from above.

Domestic goat (Hylotrupes bajulus)

Domestic goat (Hylotrupes bajulus)

In addition, wood installed outdoors can be treated preventively with weatherproofing agents. Although the glazes contain no defenses against woodworms, but often have a water-repellent and light-protecting. Check your truss regularly for moisture and housebug infestation. As soon as you notice any damage, you should not hesitate and consult a specialist.

Natural control of woodworms

If you notice any signs of woodworm infestation, you should start fighting the pest immediately. The sooner you take appropriate action, the greater the chance of getting rid of the weevils. As biological agents are better for health and the environment, these remedies should be the first choice when fighting woodworms.
As mentioned earlier, woodworms love a humid environment. In order to combat the animals naturally, infested furniture should be placed in a centrally heated room for a long time, where the wood can dry through in peace. The woodworms die as soon as a residual moisture of ten percent is clearly undercut. Furthermore, woodworms are particularly sensitive to heat and cold. Insect larvae die at temperatures around 55 degrees Celsius. Small pieces of wood are simply placed in the oven, larger ones for a few hours in the sauna - it is important that they are completely heated. But be careful: Do not put damp wood in the sauna, otherwise it may cause drying cracks when heated.
If you do not have a sauna available, you can simply put large pieces of furniture outside in the blazing sun in summer. If you prefer to pack the affected wood first with a black foil, the corresponding piece heats up to the desired temperature even faster. Like heat, cold weather also works against woodworms: Smaller objects are placed in the freezer, and larger ones can be left outside overnight in the event of frost. However, it should be at least minus ten degrees cold. Only then can you be sure that all woodworms are successfully destroyed.

Another measure to tackle the pests is the spreading of acorns. Woodworms love acorns and can barely resist the smell of tree fruits. Just put a few acorns around the holes. The larvae leave the infested furniture after some time to drill into the acorns.
The use of boron salt also works against woodworms. The mineral salt acts preventively and also combats the pests. However, since the salt often can not penetrate far enough into the wood, the existing larvae will cause further damage for a certain time until they come into contact with the salt as insects. As an old home remedy, onions have proven themselves against woodworms. However, are only suitable for a weak infestation with the common woodworm. To do this, grate the wood with a halved onion - the smell dispels the pests. If entire parts of the building, such as roof trusses or wooden ceilings, are attacked by wood worms, it is hardly possible to combat them with the measures mentioned. In this case you should consult an expert.

Video Board: This is what active woodworm infestation looks like.

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