Wood Boring Insects

There are a number of species of Wood Boring Insects which have been found in the UK, including the House Longhorn Beetle, Common Furniture Beetle ad Deathwatch Beetle.

It is the larvae of these species which are generally the most troublesome, and may only be identified by small, regular holes in beams or furniture. Although the damage may appear trivial from the outside, wood boring insects which have been active in a property for some time will ‘hollow out’ beams, making them far weaker than they appear, and putting the entire structure of the house at risk.

For example, the House Lornhorn Beetle larvae can spend between three and eleven years burrowing through timber.

Some species will only truly infest living wood, making any sign of their presence in a home superficial. However, damp, poorly ventilated conditions, such as in roof spaces or behind walls, can be ideal conditions for others to thrive.

Treating Wood Boring Insects

A number of treatments are available, depending on the specific infestation and the scope of the problem:

  • Targeted use of pesticides or insecticides
  • Freezing or heat treatment (this may only be suitable for isolated timbers or furniture)
  • Fumigation of a property


It is strongly recommended that an expert surveyor or specialist be contacted prior to attempting any remedy. Improperly executed treatments can result in further damage, and in some cases, severe health problems. Some of these methods can be very disruptive, making the successful identification of the problem during a survey particularly useful. Any remedial work can then take place before you move in.

Post Author: Frances Traynor