Despite their name, woodworm aren’t worms at all. In fact, woodworm is the collective name given to many wood-boring beetles. Female woodworm beetles lay their eggs on wood. After these eggs hatch, the larvae tunnel inside. They burrow into and eat the wood, ingesting it to survive.
Woodworm larvae spread throughout the wood by tunneling. In this form they are unable to fly, but they can fly once they mature into adult beetles. However, they have a very short lifespan as adult beetles. This means that some will never fly in their lifetime.
In most cases, you will notice the signs of woodworm before you ever see the insect. If you do manage to spot beetles emerging from the timber, you may be able to get a good look at them. Then you will be able to tell what type of beetle it is.
You’ll usually notice the woodworm beetle in the summer months when the temperatures are a little higher.
Do Common Furniture Beetles fly?
The Common Furniture Beetle is the most common of all woodworm beetles. In fact, this beetle is the most common cause of woodworm damage in the UK.
Common Furniture Beetles can fly, and wherever they land, one beetle can lay up to 40 eggs at a time. Due to this, there is the potential for an infestation to spread if left untreated.
The Common Furniture Beetle is 3mm-5mm in length and brown in colour. It is also noticeable for the regular lines that run down along its wings. It is usually found on common European hardwoods, and softwoods.
The signs of Common Furniture Beetle infestation are round holes. These are approximately 1.5mm-2mm in diameter. Frass is the excrement of woodworm beetle larvae. It’s a sure sign of a woodworm problem. This is the fine powder of perforated wood caused by boring insects. The frass evident from Common Furniture Beetle activity is gritty in texture.
Do Deathwatch Beetles fly?
The Deathwatch Beetle is one of the most destructive of all woodworm beetles. They like to attack oak, are around 8mm in length and chocolate brown in colour.
Deathwatch beetles can fly, but it is rare, as they are not very strong fliers. This means they are more commonly seen running across the surface of timber. The Deathwatch Beetle lays eggs in small clusters. Although oak is its most common victim, it can sometimes attack softwoods.
Do Powderpost Beetles fly?
The Powder Post Beetle is mid-red in colour, with a flat shape and around 9mm in length. Unlike other beetles it infests timber while it is being stored and treated before it is taken to a property. The Powderpost Beetle only attacks sapwood’s, such as oak that is less than 15 years old. This means that it is sometimes found in oak units and oak flooring
Like other woodworm beetles, they can fly but rarely do. Live beetles are often found around breakout holes. They produce a smooth frass with a consistency like flour.
Do House Longhorn Beetles fly?
The House Longhorn Beetle is much larger than other woodworm beetles. It is 15mm-20mm in length. It only attacks softwoods but to its size it can bore at a rapid rate.
This beetle can fly and has oval flight holes that are around 6mm by 9mm. It is local to the southeast of England and is only found in this region. The House Longhorn Beetle often causes extensive damage to properties.
When do woodworm fly?
Only adult woodworm beetles can fly. As adult beetles only have around 3 weeks to live, they don’t tend to do so very often. Indeed, some will not fly at all during their lifetime. Dead bodies with closed wings will show whether the beetle has flown or not.
Flight season is between May and September. This is the period woodworm beetles are most likely to leave the wood and mate.
Woodworm beetles can fly. But it can be difficult to spot when they are in flight, as they are so small. You are far more likely to see woodworm beetles crawling on wood or around the edges of the holes that they create. The best chance of catching a woodworm beetle in flight, is the moment they fly out of a hole.
Woodworm beetles always fly towards a source of light. This explains why woodworm beetles are often found crawling on windowsills, as they look for a mate. Unfortunately, this is usually a clear sign that there is an infestation.
Dead beetle bodies are another sure sign that infestation has taken place. If the woodworm frass is visible, this is usually a sign that the woodworm is still active.