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In this instalment of A-Z of Atlantis Damp Proofing & Timber Specialists, K is for Kinds of Wood Boring Beetle (Woodworm).

How can you tell your Common Furniture Beetle from your Death Watch Beetle? Your Powderpost from your Long Horn? In our next blog, K is for…… Kinds of Wood Boring Beetle we help you identify one little nasty from another.  Fortunately, if you do think you have an issue with a wood boring beetle, we are the experts and can help you eradicate them from your home.

Signs of wood boring beetles:

To assess if you’ve got a live infestation or not, you need to look out for the following tell tale signs:

– New flight holes created by insects eating their way out
– New holes in any under-carpet paper floor backing
– Small wood dust build up outside bore holes – this is actually woodworm droppings, known as frass
– Presence of damp in the room or in the timber itself (woodworm thrive in damp conditions)

Which wood boring beetle is in my home?

Once you’ve identified that some of the tale tell signs are present in your property, its important to identify which species it is. ‘Woodworm’ is a general trend that refers to the larvae of wood boring beetles, that feed on wood and create a network of tunnels in structural and decorative timber. But attacks vary, depending on the type of timber and their life span in the larval stage. The larval https://www.atlantisdamp.co.uk/wp-admin/stage can range from 10 months to 11 years.

Common Furniture Beetle:


The adult beetle is approx 3mm long and chocolate brown coloured. It is able to fly. Up to 80 eggs are laid and the life cycle averages 3 years. A relatively small insect, it is still capable of causing structural damage to your property.

Preferred timber: 

The sapwood of both hard and softwood.

Type of damage:

Responsible for about 75% of all woodworm damage to UK property, attacking both soft and hard woods. Bores extensively creating rounded tunnels, usually going with the grain of the wood – and will fly to find new wood sources.

Telltale signs:

 The droppings or frass of the Common Furniture Beetle are sandy, oblong pellets. The insect emerges from 2 mm diameter boreholes.

Death Watch Beetle:

The most damaging wood borer in old buildings, attacking hardwood and often found in timbers also suffering from fungal decay. Larger than the Common Furniture Beetle at 6 to 8mm long and greyish brown in colour. Its life cycle averages 5 to 6 years. The adult emerges from 4mm diameter round holes and is now known to be capable of flight. Eggs are laid in small clusters.

Wood Boring Weevil:

Established in post war Britain but already widespread and associated with wet rot decay. The adult is 3-5mm long, blackish brown and identifiable by its long ‘snout’. Normally associated with damp timber and appears to have two overlapping life cycles in the year. Flight holes are small 1mm diameter and ragged.

House Longhorn Beetle:

This large insect is found mainly in the southern Home Counties. It attacks only softwood but because of its size and ability to bore extensively through sapwood and into heartwood, the damage caused is rapid and severe. It is greyish brown to black, has a life cycle of 5-11 years and can reach 25mm long. Flight holes are oval up to 9mm by 6mm. Up to 200 eggs are laid.

Bark Boring Beetle:


 There are many types of bark-borers, but the most common have either dark-brown or light-brown colouring. They can cause major damage to the surface level of timber if left to do their worst.

Preferred timber: 

The Bark Borer exclusively targets softwoods with bark, and they fly locally to discover other timber sources.

Type of damage:

 Although the rounded tunnels this beetle creates are kept near the surface of the timber, this insect can still cause significant amounts of damage to all types of softwoods.

Tell-tale signs: 

Flight holes are around 2 mm in width, and its frass is rounded in shape and either light or dark coloured depending on the wood source.

Now you know a bit more about self diagnosis if you see holes in your timbers at home and remember to contact us for friendly, professional, expert advise to see how we can help you.