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lots of tick tick ticking going on here. i was advised to get a clock.. then the DWB wont bother me so much.....
Hi- I am looking for a death watch beetle infestation to film forthe BBC by the start of May, ideally in the Bristol area. If anyone has a current infestation with tapping they don't mind us filming, could they e-mail me on
We've got DWB in the walls of a house in France. Initially we found it all rather scary but having discovered that you can imitate their ticking by clicking your tongue on the roof of your mouth we have regular conversations with them. I imagine that they find it rather confusing as you can even start the conversation up! However we have found out that they are not awake until late afternoon when they will start replying.
Having spent my whole life in the building trade I have often workrd on older properties which have had or do have DWB. These beatles can cause serious damage and certainly cause massive structural damage to oak beams etc.They can eat their way through the heart wood of Oak timbers.Problem also is survery reports that we often have to have these days when selling a property. These pests can certainly de value a property
Reply to Oak Beams Thanks for your observations. I've often been asked to look at beetle specimens collected in old buildings, including several churches. They often turn out to be death watch. I'm then asked if the timber treatment companies can be made to return and rectify what they were called in to control in the first place. The trouble is that these old buildings, with inaccessible, giant wooden timbers, could be dunked in poison for weeks and yet the beetles could still survive at the impenetrable core of the beams. My only advice is to maintain the upkeep of old buildings by regularly checking for damage of all types and run a rolling schedule of repair and timber replacement.


Nettie, I have this right by my bedside every night and in the last week it has doubled in volume! I have a large rustic 'driftwood' looking mirror I bought from an auction which i thought was the culprit, but also a nest of 3 solid side tables which I think are oak. It sounds like a sort of pencil dropping noise described in this thread but also a bit like a mechanical clock part. It's very creepy having an invisible noise next to your bed! I wish I could post the noise of it on here to know for certain what it was. Can this be done at all ??
Also as per Nettie's comment, mine has moved around the house in the past too. We're in the South East corner of England.
I live in a 400 yr old barn with oak frame and timber cladding, thus presumably ideal housing conditions for dwb. I can hear knocking, but it appears duller in tone than the sharp, pencil-end tapping described here as being the sound of dwb. Do others think this indeed dwb, or is there something else which taps and could be making this somewhat duller sound? Grateful for any insights and suggestions.
Reply to Beetledrive Death-watch beetle seems the most likely explanation, but other wood chewers make noise too. On holiday on the Greek island of Lesbos (Lesvos) many years ago, I was kept awake by a rasping from the bedside table. Next morning I discovered that one of the legs had already been chewed to nothing and that one of the remaining three had several large exit holes. These were probably made by some other wood-boring jewel or longhorn beetle. Of course, old buildings creak and knock all the time anyway, as timbers expand and contract with the temperature outside and in.
i have just had a conversation with a DWB in my bedroom (i have a 300 year old timber framed house in suffolk) they used to wind me up so much but now im used to them. Sometimes I'd come home to find maybe 60 dead ones on the living room floor!
I stumbled upon your article when doing a cryptic crossword puzz. [needing deathwatch beetle] - & am charmed & fascinated with your story. I am unaware if we have this beetle in the S. Hemi. - on our island state we do not have the white ant! It is possible we do not have the fox - this is presently being investigated. Cheers & thanks

The ticking slows down before it stops.  Rather like a drip does.  This is around a concealed oak beam installed when 2 ground floor rooms were opened up into 1, in a Victorian terraced London house.  Could this sound pattern be a death watch beatle?



Am I living in some kind of parallel universe here? 



I've checked and every poster apparently is in Islington. Wonder when the spam for eradicating DWB will turn up!


I blame that Doctor Who, Sue...


You could be right Fairygirl!

Have sent the following to moderator:

Hallo, it seems that this Blog article and answers have somehow got onto the Forum, can you check it out, makes no sense on the Forum! Thanks.

Seems to be another glitch!

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