The Termite and Death Watch Beetle treatment has begun!

Our house has Death Watch Beetle eating away at it, I posted about it previously here.

We have decided to go ahead with injection treatment before they cause any structural damage, the treatment comes with a guarantee which will offer further peace of mind and will be an important selling point when required.

The two man team has just arrived, right on schedule, I have no idea what to expect in terms of disruption/progress but as it may be of use to some of you who have similar infestations I will keep you up to date with the whole process!

Do you have an infestation?

Have you had this kind of work done?

Let us know in the comments below!

March 2016

James, I hope they haven't come back to haunt you? You should have a 10 year guarantee minimum.

We're (March) just getting into the mating season of the DWB, that's the excited male seeking some printemps jiggy jiggy.

Therefore if you're thinking of doing woodworm treatment, now until July is the best time to do it, as more beetles, eggs and larvae are on or near the surface.

Oops hahello jAmmes have al9k at thids you wont be xizsapointedg

With timbers that you want to keep that have been treated and had time to dry out from the chemicals, I paint over them with a slightly diluted (no more than 10%) epoxy resin WITH NO CATALYST. Acetone will do to dilute it. I give it at least two coats without hardener, leaving plenty of time to soak in in between, then give it a coat with the correct ratio of catalyst added. That seals it, and the un-hardened stuff will go off inside the wood eventually but keep soaking in for quite a while.

It adds a bit of extra strength to the timber and I've had no problem painting over it later - if you want to; it doesn't look bad as it is anyway.

How do you go about finding a reputable company to come and inspect? We were visited by a company a few years ago saying they were authorised by the mairie to contact property owners in an infestation area (later discovered that was not true). Now find we have a dodgy looking beam but don't know how to choose between experts or indeed which experts to call. All advice gratefully received. Thanks

Heard this one eating an off cut in the workshop today.

Marie -Claire, my OH has stopped sales because vendors have not revealed termite presence or done anything about it. In our case we just had to have the plugs rechecked/replaced as a condition of sale, it was the notaire who insisted on that. She still does with my OH's clients. She has one at present where the termites were there well over 20 years ago, cleared and still they had to have somebody go to check from a reputable company (who gave the all clear).

What I meant is that there are the usual, and apparently too many, 'experts' not working for the companies who specialise. They claim to be cheaper, do the work, which may actually be good, then give a worthless 'guarantee' and run with the money. It is not a problem we had, but have heard about far too often. Nonetheless, too many people have talked about capricorn infections, then when you hear more it is obviously DWB. Since capricorn are silent, if they hear tap-tap-tap its is not capricorn. That is bad information if after clearing the people do not know better.

Actually Brian, to answer your question concerning companies "preying on ignorance and fear", each official site concerning termites warns home owners against unscrupulous termite eradicators. As you say, not only expats can get taken for a ride.

I got caught in a shower with my dogs a while ago this morning. I took shelter in a small barn conversion for an English couple where the builder was working today. I asked the British builder working on the conversion about the state of the beams in the place. I asked because James has put this post up and it is in mind rather than normally ignoring it. He said it is capricorn, in fact I think the holes are far too small and many so that it is most likely to be DWB. Either way, he says that his mate will bring a big pot of xylophene in a while to paint on the old and newly installed wood once that is all done. Now, what disturbs me is that even though the man says he has been in France for quarter of a century or thereabouts, he clearly does not know the difference between the two. I am wondering how widespread that is?

The holes in the wood seem to be very old anyway, no apparent dust and grey in as far as I could see. It is just that there is a terribly large amount and I am wondering just how sound the wood is. I am not going to ask him anyway, I would expect a curt reply. The great capricorn beetle is protected under the EU Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC and classed 'vulnerable' on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, so I think careful treatment rather than simply killing because it is there, if it is. DWB has no protection status. Hear them tapping on the wood and that is a mating call, so act immediately. Capricorns do not tap-tap. I think, and having looked on several sites since talking to the guy round the corner, it needs real expert guidance before doing anything. When James put this up I went around checking because we have had termite treatment before we were here, re-treatment as part of the term of sale when we bought and have some very badly damaged beams to be replaced. I wanted to see if there are holes rather than termite galleries in the damaged wood, nearby or on any other wood, which there are not, however it has made me think and at the same time wonder how often people are taken for mugs with treatment and not just expats. I have heard of eye watering sums of money being paid by local French acquaintances and simply wonder if some of the companies are not simply preying on ignorance and fear.

The only 10 year guarantee us that they will keep your file and intervene again (and again) if the termites raise their ugly heads again as they do here:

The 10 year guarantee is only on wood which hasn't been infected. I'm surprised that you aren't expected to leave your home as recently I was talking about a termite problem with a realtor who had a sale fall through as the house needed to be treated and then left empty for a year before getting the all clear! I suppose it's different when you put a house on the market. I found more information in the following links:,13413.html

Best of luck!!

Never heard anything like it! If the wood is knackered it might not last 10 years so it should be replaced but nobody would offer a 10 year guarantee on the "sauf que" basis. Rest assured James, the treatment they are doing will protect your wood, I just question the process (IMO) and their method of application.

file:///C:/Users/robert/Downloads/FDS%20PERWOOD%20SUPER%20COMBI%2008-02-2013.pdf this is the safety data sheet of the stuff I use, it clearly statis "nocif" and full body protection is essential. Damage to lungs during application etc. Surface spraying takes about 2 hours to dry, after which, ventilate the room and it's safe to enter. I assume injecting is not much different.


There is another half day to do which will require some clearing of furniture before it can happen. Marie-Claire, where did you get that information? Robert, do you have any knowledge of this?


I'm back now! Thanks Myles for pointing out my error, I hope I haven't incurred the wrath of Chris Luck for getting it wrong!

Health and safety was indeed lacking, but hey, we're in France!

With regard to the chemicals, permethrine can be used on woodworm (and their family) wasps, hornets, ants etc, depending on it's composition, powder, PAL (ready to use), that's not saying you should spray hornets with woodworm treatment!

We digress, How's the treatment going James?!

I'm a little surprised to read that you were promised a 10 year guarantee, to the best of my knowledge, you do get a 10 year guarantee if the woodwork is brand new and treated, but only a 2-3 year guarantee once the wood has been infested and then treated.

Beware of salesmen masquerading as government officials doing a survey.
Talk to a trusted local builder or ask at the Mairie before undertaking this kind of treatment.

Thanks, James. I’m going to listen carefully today.

Hey.. it's good to see they're taking great care when spraying the toxic chems.. I thought they would be using a full NBC suit and packing you off for a few days holiday?.. at least you won't suffer from termites or woodworm in the noggin.. lol..

Seriously tho.. I thought the chems were quite toxic and good H&S and environmental had to be considered.. but it love that spraygun..he's a dab hand with it..

Comes with a 10 year guarantee against death watch beetle, but watch out for ants in the spring as they can eat away at wooden beams too and are not deterred by the chemical used for the beetle.

I think that last post should have said

Fixed the link, thanks Myles (ed.)