Wood weeds: woodworms and termites

The control of wood pests and the conservation of cultural heritage is a topic to be addressed correctly with a series of multidisciplinary skills possessed by professionals in the various specializations (entomology experts for monitoring, which must also concern thermo / hygrometric aspects, restorers and exterminators) such as those selected by the Ecopiakos company for their ability, seriousness and reliability. The main ones are woodworms and termites (there are mainly only two species present here, in the central south and islands). The woodworms that attack the wood in work (carpentry, boiserie and furniture) in Italy they are basically divided into 3 large groups:
  • Anobidae (more frequent but less harmful to wood)
  • Lictidae
  • Cerambicides (rarer but more harmful to wood in operation) of massive infestations, they can also sting people. In this case, therefore, it is advisable to provide in addition to the protection of the wood, also the disinfestation against these parasites.


Termites feed on the cellulose present in wood and need a humid and dark environment, therefore they establish their nest underground and to move outside in search of food they build tunnels formed by earth and excrement within which they move. from the ground they penetrate inside the buildings through the passages existing in the colonized environment: crevices in the foundations, interstices in masonry, floors, electrical, hydraulic and telephone channels. Mainly wooden frames, load-bearing beams, parquet, mezzanines, wooden artifacts but also paper material are attacked. The attached wood is recognizable by its characteristic peeled appearance, with various overlapping layers interspersed with gaps covered with the typical cement (called replacement wood). The colony moves in the tunnels dug in friable materials or in the characteristic earthy walkways, built with a special material to proceed on hard or exposed surfaces.

Fighting an infestation from woodworms and termites

A definitely green method is to focus on prevention. Try not to have leaking pipes and avoid water stagnation, especially if near the foundations and in contact with the ground: they could attract termites outside or inside the house. Then you have to seal windows, doors and cracks. Another important step for prevention is to keep firewood, logs and branches away from home.First of all we need to understand if these insects have already settled in our home, leaving around in points such as cellars, attics and in the cavities of cardboard soaked in water and stacked on top of each other. Termites love cellulose and are very fond of it: if these 'baits' are filled with pets, the signal is clear. Burn them in a safe place and repeat the operation several times to understand where they come from.But this is only a very mild and temporary do-it-yourself remedy: if you want to solve the root problem, it is absolutely mandatory to contact companies specialists in the sector like ours. Surely one of the solving methods is heat treatment.

Exterra solution

The Exterra System is a modular and patented procedure for monitoring and controlling underground termites (Reticulitermes lucifugus), it is applied by our network of qualified and authorized technicians for the installation of the plants. Exterra ™ represents a solution for the control of termites, effective and respectful for the environment. It is able to control infestations through the total destruction of underground termite nests, offering lasting protection and preventive action.Its implementation represents a complex operation, The basic concept is represented by bait food baiting natural wood, monitored periodically; the insecticide product is used only in the final control phase. The use of chemicals is therefore significantly reduced.

Damage caused to humans

Wood, woodworms and allergic dermatitis are closely related elements. But are woodworms really causing allergic dermatitis in humans? It can happen, unfortunately, especially in summer, to find yourself with itchy insect bites on the skin. Identifying the cause is not easy, because it is a seasonal period in which the windows are left open, from which the most varied insects can enter, or you frequent outdoor environments. Most of the time, in fact, we tend to attribute the responsibility for those bites to tiger mosquitoes, now very common in our country, ignoring, however, that the real problem is already present in the home and does not come from outside. Such fury, in fact, cannot be provoked by a tiger mosquito that arrives occasionally. So what are we talking about? We are talking about stings and bites from woodworm mite, or a very small arthropod, which, as an adult, has four pairs of legs and a stinging and sucking mouth apparatus. In fact, these dermatitis, specifically called "woodworm dermatitis", are developed by those who have stayed or live in places where there are antique furniture or wooden beams, heavily infested with Anobid woodworms.

But then do woodworms sting man?

Woodworms do not bite humans at all: in fact, they do not have quills or mouthparts capable of stinging or biting. They are, however, the indirect cause of the skin bites. An extensive infestation by woodworm Anobid, especially Anobium punctatum and Oligomerus ptilinoides, causes the development of parasites, which feed on the larvae of the woodworms themselves. These mites sting the woodworms and inject poison into them for paralyzing and digestive purposes. When the tissues of the woodworm are liquefied, the parasite sucks them up, feeding on them. This is the mechanism undergone by man when he accidentally comes into contact with these parasites. Two very common woodworm mites are Pyemotes ventricosus and Scleroderma domesticum.