If you have old timber plantation shutters inside your home, they may be vulnerable to attack by wood borer beetles. Fortunately, you can take steps to prevent this problem occurring. Read on to find out how.
How to recognise wood borer damage
Wood borers fly as adults from October to May, and it's during this time that they lay their eggs in fine cracks and crevices in wooden objects around your home where they will eventually hatch into larvae (woodworm).
Wood borers are usually seen as small, brown beetles that you might see in flight or dead on your windowsills. Something else to look out for is small piles of very fine powder near wooden objects. This is actually faecal matter and debris from where the beetle larvae have been feeding on wood.
Even if you don't see the beetles themselves, you could notice tiny holes appearing in the surface of wooden items, including your timber plantation shutters. Interior damage is caused to the timber by the wood borer larvae tunnelling around inside it, eating as they go, and the holes are made as the adults emerge, ready to fly off and breed.
How to protect your timber plantation shutters from wood borer beetle attack
There are two methods of treating wood borer infestation:
- The first method involves stripping any paint or varnish from the shutters, and then treating the exposed wood with a solvent-based borer insecticide that you can buy from good DIY stores. Applying the insecticide is a simple process; just wipe it onto all areas of the shutters using a cloth. The substance will soak deep down into the wood where it will kill the woodworm. Insecticide left on the timber's surface prevents adult beetles from laying more eggs. Once treated, you can re-stain or paint the shutters. This method of borer treatment is pretty long-lasting and shouldn't need repeating for a few years.
- If you don't want to strip the wood, you can treat the flight holes individually using a borer aerosol injector. The aerosol comes with a fine straw that you place into each flight hole to inject the product. The fluid will penetrate the wood where it will kill any larvae and eggs, as well as preventing further infestation via the flight holes. Although it does work, this method can be rather labour intensive and will need repeating periodically.
Wood borer beetles are particularly fond of wood that contains some moisture. This makes it easier for their larvae to move around inside the softened wood. You can deter wood borers by taking steps to lower levels of damp in your home, especially in areas around windows and external doors where repeated exposure to condensation can cause the shutters to become damp and vulnerable to borer attack.
If you live in an area with a particularly humid climate, it's a good idea to seal your timber plantation shutters with water resistant varnish or paint to keep the wood dry underneath.
You can protect your timber plantation shutters from attack by wood borer beetles by following the guidelines above. Inspect your shutters regularly for signs of borer activity and take the preventative steps suggested.