A wood-boring beetle whose grubs eat old hardwood structural timbers. Practically common in stately homes in which the beetle family has probably lived since they were built.
Adults rarely fly, so infestations are diminishing as old buildings are either treated or demolished. The Death Watch Beetle does not like modern softwood house timbers.
Grubs live up to ten years inside timber, emerging as mottled grey/brown beetles about 7mm long, through exit holes about 4mm in diameter. When an adult, they produce a rapid tapping sound by beating their heads against the wood as a mating call.
Persistent and thorough use of a proprietary woodworm killer will deal with small outbreaks in pieces of furniture. If found in structural timbers then we would strongly recommend contacting a professional pest control company or a wood preservation company.
A trained professional will have the technical knowledge and access to a range of professional use products and equipment which are not available to the public. Not all pest controllers deal with these pests, so if you can’t find one then we recommend looking for a specialist who is associated with the Property Care Association.