Types of Wood Beetle

Types of Wood Boring Beetle

Wood boring beetles evolved by consuming dead wood in forest habitats, so the grubs typically required the wood to have a reasonable amount of moisture content, and sometimes some decay. In the case of the death watch beetle in particular, a good level of dampness (more than 14%) is required as they feed off the fungus created on damp wood.

Thus a building requiring treatment for woodworm in the structural timbers, may well also have an issue with excess damp, and this needs to be considered during the survey and when deciding on the best way to get rid of woodworm. Some species of wood boring insects, such as the wood boring weevil, are only found in instances where fungal rot has already begun to occur.

Adult wood boring beetles can fly, although woodworm is more likely to be brought into the home through the purchase of second hand furniture, or firewood.

Furniture Beetle Treatment

The Furniture Beetle - Anobium punctatum

The Furniture Beetle

The smallest and most common timber pest in the UK is the furniture beetle. Ranging from about 3-5mm in length, it damages furniture, musical instruments, decorative woodwork etc. Adult beetles are active in late spring and early summer. Larvae usually live for 3-5 years in the wood.

The furniture beetle likes the sapwood of softwoods like pine and hardwoods like ash, beach and elm, although not sound oak. However in all cases wood needs at least 12% moisture content. Prime areas to find furniture beetle damage including damp loft timers and joists, old furniture where varnish and paint has worm off or never been applied, damp floorboards. Usually tunnels with the grain of the wood.

How To Identify The Furniture Beetle

  • Small – usually less than half a centime in length
  • Light greeny-brown back
  • Frass is sandy and brown and wheat shaped under microscope
  • Emerging adult beetles create round holes about 1-2mm in diameter
  • Head not visible from above
  • Frass can be found beneath holes in active infestation
  • New holes look fresh and sharp, old holes dark and dirty

For a free, no -obligation consultation, please call 0800 524 4291 or email  including your name, phone number and post code.

Death Watch Beetle Treatment

Death Watch Beetle -Xestobium Rufovillosum

The death watch beetle is a slightly furry reddish-brown wood boring beetle that kind of puts in in mind of a bee. Adult beetle is about 7mm long – the larvae around 1cm long.

Its name comes from the ‘ticking’ mating call it makes at night by knocking it head or jaws against the sides of the tunnels as it bores, which was said to be counting down the seconds to a person’s demise. When disturbed they often pull in their legs and ‘play dead’.

Particularly likes heavy hardwood like oak and elm and chestnut that is beginning to decay, more rarely softwoods. Larvae can live in wood for up to seven years. Extensive tunnel builder that can create severe structural damage, but may emerge after one year.

How To Identify The Death Watch Beetle

  • Small, brown and furry
  • Creates small, neat holes around 3mm in diameter with sharp edges
  • Leaves bun shaped frass in its bore holes, usually clearly visible
  • Makes a ‘ticking’at night, especially in summer

For a free, no -obligation consultation, please call 0800 524 4291 or email  including your name, phone number and post code

House Longhorn Beetle Treatment

House Long Horn

House Long Horn

The house longhorn woodworm beetle, also known as the house borer, is a serious timber pest that may require specialist treatment. It is dark brown to black in colour, although can appear more grey due to a light fur on its head and back. Most active in the summer, with adults living about 3-4 weeks, this wood boring beetle definitely prefers the sapwood of softwood timber like pine, fir and spruce, and thus can readily attack the framework, joists and rafters in new houses. The larvae stay in the wood for anything from 2-10 years. The adults can vary in size from about from just under a centimetre to around 2.5cm in length. Larvae can be quite large also at 2-3com long. House Longhorn beetle larvae are voracious consumers of the right sort of wood and by the time the adults emerge, they may have already caused quite serious structural damage to the timber.

ow To Identify The House Longhorn Beetle

  • Makes oval tunnels around 3-9mm in diameter
  • Larger beetle, up to 2.5cm in length, large larvae, up to 3cm long
  • Long, curved antennae or horns
  • Dark brown to black, but with grey ‘fur’ on its head and back
  • Creates compact, cylindrical bore dust
  • Can have to light spots either side of its wing case, which resemble eyes

For a free, no -obligation consultation, please call 0800 524 4291 or email  including your name, phone number and post code

Powder Post Beetle Treatment

Powder Post Beetle - Lyctoxylon dentatum

Powder Post Beetle – Lyctoxylon dentatum

The powder post beetle is a flattish, elongated red/brown coloured wood boring beetle that needs a diet of starch, sugar and protein from the sapwood deciduous trees, and is often present in hardwoods. Adult powder post beetles are quite small at 3-6mm in length. Larvae are white/cream coloured with dark brown heads. Often found in hardwood panelling, crates, door frames and antiques. Hardwood floors made from oak, ash, walnut, cherry and hickory are particularly attractive to power post beetles. Can also infest bamboo and can be a real problem in timber yards. Gets its name because over time and when given the chance, it can reduce wood to a fine, powdery dust. Homeowners are more likely to see the damage and the bore holes than the insects, because this beetle is mainly active at night. Prefers moist or damp wood (over 12%) and rarely wood older than five years. Normally has a one-year lifecycle. Adult beetles live about 2-4 weeks once they emerge.

How To Identify The Powder Post Beetle 

  • Small round exit holes around the diameter of a pencil lead or smaller
  • Very fine, almost flour-like dust beneath holes (other wood boring beetles produce more grainy frass)
  • Larvae white and shaped like the letter ‘C’ with dark brown heads
  • If problem is active, holes will be light coloured inside
  • If your flooring or panelling is ‘riddled with small holes’, the powder post beetle may be the culprit

For a free, no -obligation consultation, please call 0800 524 4291 or email  including your name, phone number and post code

Wharf Borer Beetle Treatment

Wharf Borer Beetle - Narcerdes melanura

Wharf Borer Beetle – Narcerdes melanura

So called because the larvae is very often found in the pilings and timbers of wharfs and boat yards on both freshwater and coastal areas. So from that you can deduce that they need wet or very damp and decaying timber which is already being attacked by fungus. Partly submerged posts often attacked. Elongated and slender with long, pronounced antennae and easily distinguished from the black bands at the end of the wing casings, and at top of legs nearest body. Adults about a centimetre or a little longer. When wharf borer beetle adults emerge, they often do so in large numbers, and in this situation are commonly mistaken for cockroaches. Development from eggs to adult usually takes 12 months, although can be two years, with the adults emerging from June to August. June is a particularly active time.

How To Identify The Wharf Borer Beetle

  • Likes very damp or even wet, decaying timber
  • Larvae 12-18mm and have jaw like mandibles and are creamy white
  • Tunnels bored out by the larvae can be 30cm in length
  • Elongated, slender and quite easy to identify if you find an adult

For a free, no -obligation consultation, please call 0800 524 4291 or email  including your name, phone number and post code