What Do Woodworm Beetles Look Like?

Spotting Woodworm Beetles & Larvae

Actually spotting woodworm in any form can be tough because they’re seasonal. You might see the beetles, though, between March and September (the “flight season”). And you won’t usually see them on the wood, but near windows and on window sills – like many insects, they fly toward light. You’ll almost never see the larva, since it lives deep within infested woodwork, and never emerges. There are a number of different types of woodworm beetles. Here’s how to tell them apart!

Types of Woodworm Beetles

Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium Punctatum)

The Common Furniture Beetle is small, only about 3-5mm in length. It’s reddish in colour, and it has regular lines running down its wings, although you might have some difficulty picking those out since it’s so small. It’s by far the most common woodworm beetle, and it goes after sapwood in all kinds of softwoods, and also European hardwoods.

Deathwatch Beetle (Xestobium rufovillosum)

The fantastically named Deathwatch Beetle is chocolate brown in colour, mottled with patches of yellowish hairs. It grows to about 8mm in length. It mostly goes after oak and other hardwoods, but it will transfer over to softwoods if they’re in contact with hardwoods it has already infested.

Wood­boring Weevils (Euophryum confine and Pentarthrum huttoni)

The Woodboring Weevil is small and either brown or black. It has a peculiarly distinctive long snout, with antennae about one third of the way along, as you can see in the picture above. It grows to about 5mm long. It prefers wood – of any kind – that has already been softened by decay, so you see it in damp skirting boards and joist ends. It’s particularly fond of the places where wooden joists are inserted into damp walls.

Powder Post Beetle (Lyctus brunneus)

The Powder Post Beetle is a mid-reddish brown, rather flat, and grows to 8-9mm. Unlike most other woodworm beetles, it goes after timber that’s being stored or cured, and doesn’t emerge for years afterward. It likes hardwoods like oak. Unlike all the other beetles, it can sometimes be found around its emergence holes on timber.

House Longhorn Beetle (Hylotrupes bajulus)

The House Longhorn Beetle is bigger than most of the rest, growing to 15-20mm. It’s black to dark brown, has long antennae, and has prominent grey hairs on its wing covers. Because it’s so big, it bores very wide holes, sometimes nearly a centimetre wide, and can cause severe internal damage in timber. If you spot these, or the big holes they leave behind, call us immediately – you don’t want these loose in your house!

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