Well with the colder nights settling in we’ve been getting the burner going. A fire for even 3 hours in the evening really warms the house as well as keeping us seriously toasty while watching telly, then just a quick hour on the central heating before we go to bed is just right.
A few weeks ago we noticed a few beetles coming out of the wood, looked them up as you do on the wonderful internet and worried ourselves somewhat…
I identified them as the common furniture beetle, for the uninitiated woodworm!
So we vacuumed up as many as we could see and crushed them as we sat by the fire, wondering whether they were going to start eating the lovely oak floorboards and getting behind our dry lining… Do they eat tanalised wood? After a few days we got a bit less bothered, the sheer volume of them we couldn’t get them all! We began thinking that whatever we did they were probably doing their worst already.
I mentioned the issue of woodworm beetles in the house to a tree surgeon at my singing group, wondering if the boards would have been treated as we only put them down, new 3 years ago.
He asked in a relaxed and positive way if we were burning ash? yes.
Had we felled the tree in February? yes.*
Were they coming out through the bark? yes.
To my enormous relief said that it was the ash bark beetle… Apparently very common and looking almost exactly like the dastardly woodworm beetle.
So now I just squash the annoying ones flying round the light and vacuum them up every few days, there was quite a rattle down the hoover tube when I did the lampshade, must have been a few thousand tiny beetles to make that noise!
*Well before the problem of ash die back came into my consciousness, we have a lot of ash being in Wales, and are dreading the thought of losing them, we need to think carefully about 2 massive ones. We’re a little concerned as they could easily hit the house if they fell this way, but also don’t want to lose them. A previous tree surgeon friend cut one nearly as large down leaving a 10 foot trunk, which sprouted very quickly and now is a lovely sized tree, so we may do that again…