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Treating wood worm infestations

How to arrest an infestation of wood worms before they migrate to other furniture. 1998.

by Professor Gene Wengert

Q.
I have several antique clocks that are constructed of different kinds of wood. All were purchased in Europe. Several are infested with Wood Worms. In Europe I was able to purchase a product called "Holz Worm" that treated the wood and killed the pests. It was applied liberally with a brush. I have been unable to find a similar product here in the states. Do you know of, or have an idea where I can find, a similar product?

A.
We do not have an environmentally approved product to do what you want. Further, the product does not kill the worms in the wood (it does not penetrate into the wood), it merely kills the worms (beetles) as they leave the wood. As a result, there will be no reinfestation. The easiest way to get rid of the bugs is to heat the wood to about 140 F for 24 hours. This kills the insects, the eggs, the larva, etc. The wood could also be fumigated professionally. (As the holes you see are exit holes, the bugs are leaving the clock and usually won't return--they will go into some other piece of hardwood and show up two years later.....you need to take action now.)

Professor Gene Wengert is Extension Specialist in Wood Processing at the Department of Forestry, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Click on Wood Doctor Archives to peruse past answers.

If you would like to obtain a copy of "The Wood Doctor's Rx", visit the Wood Education and Resource Center Web site for more information.

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