Deathwatch Beetle: How to Spot and Treat an Infestation

a deathwatch beetle
(Image credit: getty images)

A deathwatch beetle infestation sounds like something you should be scared of, and in many ways it is. The tapping sound it makes at night during the mating season has historically been heard by those keeping deathbed vigils, and this has led to the insect’s reputation as a harbinger of death.

However, of more concern than any superstition should be the damage deathwatch beetles can cause when there's an infestation in your home. 

Hugh Metcalf

Hugh is editor of sister title and former digital editor of He has worked on a range of home, design and property magazines, including Grand Designs, Essential Kitchens, Bathrooms, Bedrooms and Good Homes. Hugh has developed a passion for modern architecture and green homes, and moonlights as an interior designer, having designed and managed projects ranging from single rooms to whole house renovations and large extensions. He's currently renovating his own Victorian terrace in Essex, DIYing as much of the work as possible. He's recently finished his kitchen renovation, which involved knocking through walls, and landscaping a courtyard garden, and is currently working on a bathroom renovation.