Deathwatch Beetle Control: Effective Tips

Deathwatch beetle control is crucial due to its tendency to infest damp or decaying wooden components of buildings, flooring, and trees.

The capacity of these organisms to dig into these substrates and remain hidden for a period of 13 years poses a challenge in managing their population.

Therefore, it is imperative to promptly incorporate the utilization of the suggested products and tips as soon as any indication of deathwatch beetle activity arises.


Step 1: How to Identify the Deathwatch Beetle

Deathwatch Beetle Control
Picture of the Deathwatch Beetle
  • Deathwatch beetles are wood-boring beetles of moderate size, typically measuring between 1 and 9 millimetres in length.
  • In their mature stage, these organisms exhibit a body structure that is cylindrical in shape, characterised by a dark brown or red hue, and adorned with yellow scales on their wings. The head is not readily observable from an overhead perspective as it is situated beneath the thorax.
  • Eggs are typically white and have a slightly pointed shape. They frequently appear in groups, particularly in the dark wooden crevices and tunnels that once housed larvae.
  • Larvae are typically inconspicuous as they reside exclusively within the tunnels found inside wood. The objects exhibit a creamy white colouration and possess a curved structure resembling the letter “C”. Additionally, they are equipped with a total of six appendages.


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Step 2: How To Inspect For Deathwatch Beetles

Deathwatch beetles exhibit a preference for consuming soft, decaying, or moist wood, such as girders, beams, foundation timbers, wooden furniture, and hardwood floors.

This behaviour is commonly observed in aged structures or residential dwellings. In outdoor environments, evidence of this phenomenon can be observed in decaying timber, aged trees, and older wooden constructions found on one’s premises.

Similar to termites, the larvae of deathwatch beetles consume the wood in which they reside until they reach adulthood and develop wings.

In contrast to termites, deathwatch beetles only cause damage that is visible on the surface of the infested wood after they have stopped feeding.

After reaching maturity, the deathwatch beetle creates small holes, measuring approximately 2 to 3 mm in diameter, on the surface of the damaged wood. These holes serve as an exit route for the beetle to fly away and find a suitable partner.

Nevertheless, on an annual basis, the deathwatch beetle exhibits a tendency to revisit the identical structure or wooden items that were previously infested, with the intention of depositing their eggs.


Step 3: How to Carry Out Deathwatch Beetle Control

  • Apply Fuse Foam:

Fuse Foam is a readily available foam product that serves as a termiticide and insecticide. It contains two active ingredients, namely fipronil (0.005%) and imidacloprid (0.025%), which are non-repellent in nature.

This foam is designed to be directly injected into designated structures for the purpose of treating wood-destroying insects, such as deathwatch beetles.

This aerosol product, when applied, undergoes expansion at a ratio of 30:1. Its purpose is to effectively address the issue of deathwatch beetles in inaccessible regions.

By functioning as a non-repellent, it remains undetectable to pests, thereby preventing them from being driven deeper into the wood.

Although fuse foam is generally effective, it may be necessary to use a drill to create holes in order to access the hiding places of deathwatch beetles.

It is important to ensure that appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, is worn prior to handling or applying fuse foam.

To use the Fuse Foam canister, one must first gently agitate its contents. Next, proceed to insert the actuator straw or hose, along with the spray tip, into various openings such as crevices, cracks, wall voids, or holes.

Gently apply pressure to the trigger for approximately five seconds to provide ample time for the foam to expand and be released.

After the application of this product, it is recommended to keep the injector tip stationary for approximately 8 seconds following the release of the trigger.

It is advisable to delay the treatment of previously infested areas until a period of 30 days has elapsed since the submission of the last application.

It is advised to refrain from using this product in outdoor settings, on surfaces that are not covered, or in locations that can be easily reached by children.

This product should not be used on specific types of wood, such as linden, basswood, or other Tilia species, regardless of the application method.

  • Apply Tim-Bor Professional Insecticide:

After addressing all affected openings and empty spaces, the next step involves the application of a long-lasting insecticide to eradicate the emergence of deathwatch beetles.

The Tim-Bor Professional Insecticide is a product primarily composed of disodium octaborate tetrahydrate, an inorganic borate salt.

It serves as an insecticide, termiticide, and fungicide, effectively entering the untreated wood. Once this product is applied, it remains in the wood, eliminating the need for frequent reapplications.

It also offers preventive and residual control of deathwatch beetles.

To address the issue of deathwatch beetles, it is recommended to administer two treatments of Tim-Bor Professional Insecticide at a liquid concentration of 10%.

To accomplish this, it is recommended to utilise a volume of 5 gallons of liquid solution for every 1,000 square feet of wood surface area.

In order to utilise Tim-Bor Professional Insecticide, it is necessary to initially combine the product within a bucket using a paddle mixer. First, carefully pour the necessary quantity of hot water into the bucket.

Next, proceed to add the precise measurement of Tim-Bor Professional Insecticide as indicated.

After all the ingredients have been placed into the container, attach the paddle mixer to the power drill and blend until the mixture reaches a watery consistency.

Subsequently, transfer the completed solution into the tank of your handheld sprayer.

Apply the spray at a low-pressure setting until the exposed wood is sufficiently moistened, without reaching the stage of excessive liquid runoff.

It is advisable to allow a period of 48 hours to elapse before proceeding with the application of paint, stain, or a water-resistant product to the surface.


Where Can Deathwatch Beetle Control Products Be Purchased?

  • Fuse Foam
  • Tim-Bor Professional Insecticide


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Step 4: How To Prevent Deathwatch Beetle Controls

  • It is advisable to maintain low moisture levels within your structure, as deathwatch beetles tend to infest wood that contains specific levels of moisture.
    Moisture levels can be diminished by employing various methods such as enhancing air circulation within your residence through the use of a fan, employing a central air conditioning system, or installing a dehumidifier.
  • Conduct a thorough examination of the wood in and around your residence, and promptly replace any damaged sections to prevent infestation by deathwatch beetle larvae.
    Furthermore, it is necessary to remove the bark from firewood that is stored outside of your residence prior to bringing it indoors.
    This precautionary measure helps minimise the potential for these pests to spread further. Ensure that all fallen wooden debris and discarded construction wood are thoroughly cleared from your premises.
  • It is advisable to apply caulk to seal all wooden surfaces, cracks, and crevices both inside and outside your residence.
    To prevent the entry of deathwatch beetles and other pests into the inner structure of your home, it is necessary to fill larger gaps with Copper Mesh.
  • Given that the majority of damages typically occur below the surface of your residence, it would be advantageous to substitute previously infested wood with fresh timber and subsequently apply Tim-Bor Professional Insecticide to these exposed wooden areas.
    The 10% liquid solution is recommended for the prophylactic treatment of deathwatch beetles. Administer a quantity of 5 gallons of Tim-Bor Professional Insecticide liquid solution per 1,000 square feet.


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Watch an Explanatory Video on Effective Deathwatch Beetle Control



In order to eliminate deathwatch beetles, it is recommended to apply a non-repellent foaming insecticide, such as Fuse Foam, to any existing cracks, crevices, wall voids, or holes where the pests are present.

Subsequently, it is recommended to utilize a residual insecticide such as Tim-Bor Professional Insecticide in order to manage and deter the emergence of deathwatch beetles.

For more information, do well to reach out to us via the comments section below!

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