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I used to hear death-watch beetles in my 1820s town terrace house. I'd only hear them in March and April and was told that the tapping was one seeking out a mate. I haven't heard them for the last couple of years - maybe they've moved further down the terrace, or maybe my hearing's deteriorated!
I too have some death watch beetles but how do you find them when they are in some inacessable spot that cant be reached without tearing parts of the house apart?Any handy hints?
Fasinating! I wondered what the noise was when I was in a similar situation in a holiday house! At least I don't have to worry about it falling around my head...
I put my hoover on 'max' and try and suck the adults out from between the cracks in the wood using the hose attachment.
We have recently converted a barn and have Death watch beetle in the old oak beams. The knocking was eerie at first back in March hearing the mating calls but then the beetles appeared and died on exit from the oak. I am told this is normal because our heating will dry out the oak and the beetles will not survive. I am also informed that because of this we will not need to use insecticide. Does anyone know if this is so?


Reply to Evs and Irene Central heating has done much to control death-watch. The beetles are associated with fungal growth in the timber when it is felled and cut into beams. Outdoor seasoning will firm up many timbers ready for building use, but once indoors, the constant drying effect of radiators probably alters the microhabitat in which fungus and beetles are developing. Added to this, once adult beetles emerge into the air, they rapidly dehydrate and die. The best place to find 'active' death-watch in a building is not to examine the timbers looking for beetles, but search around the carpet where it meets the skirting board for dead ones. Reply to Nicky The trouble with death-watch is that they DO live in inaccessible timbers, often in the very centre of structural beams and supports. This makes them difficult, or perhaps impossible to eradicate completely. The main thing is to monitor the situation year on year, and carry out the invasive building repairs only when really necessary. In the mean time, your central heating will be doing its bit to control them.
Thank goodness for central heating,after having some scirting board attached to the wall I suddenly found a pile of sawdust appear on the floor, I thought straight away of woodworm so quickly dashed out to buy something to rid the place of the evil little beastie, only hope it worked, must say I haven't come across any more so keeping my fingers crossed.
As a long term viewer of GW I do wonder why the BBC I have looked forward to Friday evening where I can sit down and look at an informative relaxed gardening programme.Whilst time moves and there may be a need to reiew things, I do not see any advantage in the current programme format,this terrible 'whats hot or not'section - this is a waste of expensive air time, as I'm sure after speaking to friends and neighbours we all now feel the new style programme has lost the plot and we miss the warmth, humour and sound advice given by both Alan T and M Don.
just found some orange beetles very much like a ladybird but more oblong and coloured only orange. has six legs and two antennae. They were feeding on a green leafed plant, unidentified. any clues??? location garden not far from river, stapleford nottinghamshire.
Reply to Captain Haddock I'll need a bit more of a description to identify your orange beetles. Length and width (in millimetres), any markings, colours of legs and antennae. Oh, and some description of the foodplant would help.
I am in 4th grade and i am doing a proget on the death-watch beetle.This was great to learn off of.
do you only hear the death watch beetle when it is mating then, and when is that ? cause i can hear a tapping now and its sept? also how loud will it be by the knocking i can hear it must be enormous!!!!!!! and is it always in the same place at skirting level and half way up the wall(would they be half way up the wall? im going mad
Reply to Going Mad To mimic the sound of a death watch, drop a pencil, point down, onto a hard wooden table top, from a height of about 3 cm. The multiple taps made by the pencil's bounce is a very good approximation of the beetle's noise.
hi Two years ago I made a magazine 'book case' out of old slate pallets. For the past year I have heard a 'ticking' noise from the side of this 'bookcase' I have taken out the magazines and inspected it carefully - no dust and no holes, so I put the magazines back again! I can still hear the 'ticking' noise each evening - Is it a death watch beetle?? or something else? - by the way, we do not have central heating, only a wood burner (and wooden floors!)


Reply to carol b Deathwatch seems unlikely since pallets are usually made of the cheapest soft-wood available. However, you may have something else in there. Unfortunately, only waiting and seeing is probably your only option. Deal and pine are sometimes home to the larvae of the large 'golden' jewel beetle, Buprestis aurulenta. The larvae are deep in the wood when it is cut and used for furniture, foorboards or maybe even pallets. A native of North America it has emerged from timber all over the world, inclusing Europe, Australia and Hawaii. You may have a long wait. There is a record of larvae being uncovered by someone sanding floorboards, 51 years after the building was put up.
Help! At night I can hear a rhythmic whirring, clicking sound which I had assumed was a death watch beetle, but after reading descriptions of the sound it makes, I don't think it's a death watch. It was upstairs in my house but has migrated down to the living room. I can't find the culprit but I'm pretty sure it's an insect of some kind. I first heard it about three weeks ago-any idea what it could be?!
Reply to Nettie Sorry, I'm mystified. Could it be some flying moth or beetle. You'll have to start moving the furniture about and rolling back the rugs.
i have been hearing the tick,tick,tick for weeks now,its been driving me mad,thought it was mice in the floor,but after research i came to con that it was dwb.I have found one in a box on the floor,after lots of tracking down!I have told my landlady,hope the house isnt going to crumble?
Reply to nix You probably have 50 -200 years before the house falls in. Fighting against woodworm attack used to be part of the regular work done on a house to stop it falling down, as beams, lintels and joists were repaired or replaced piecemeal as large dangerous infestations were discovered. There was never any attempt to rid a house entirely, this is a modern idea created in a world of plastic replacement windows, vinyl floors and double glazing.