Stuart M Bennett © 2011
Furniture Beetle .....Death Watch Beetle

Wood is a fantastic material to those who are capable of working it; from carpenter to your dedicated DIYer everybody likes wood. Having said that we are not the only animals on this planet that like wood.

In the wild there are many animals that prey on trees, some like the bark others the sapwood and heartwood, others the growth layer. Some attack healthy living trees whereas some will only live on dead wood. Here again some only like dry dead wood, but there are some that like wet dead wood. Prior to fumigation it was common for us to use timber which still had pests in it which were just eggs or larvae or pupating. The serious pests of timber are those which thrive in dry wood, these also had the best chance of survival as well. There are akso pests which occur in timber which has been damaged by damp or fungus.

With few exceptions it is the larvae that attack the timber, but these are difficult to find and even if you find them, some can be difficult to identify. The adult insect only appears for a short time usually in summer just to mate and for the female to lay her eggs in whichever substrate she uses. This being the case it is easier to identify different insects from tracks and the signs they leave in the timber. The types of tree and whether they are deciduous or coniferous also gives clues. The various species can also be identified by the shape and size of the adult exit holes in the timber, somtimes known as flight holes.

From Forestry Comission statistics wood product imports in 2006 were valued at a total of £6.1 billion. Pulp and paper (including recovered paper) comprised two thirds of this total, 19% was sawnwood, 12% woodbased panels and 2% roundwood. Wood product exports from the UK were valued at a total of £1.5 billion in 2006. This comprised 86% pulp and paper (mainly paper), 9% woodbased panels, 3% sawnwood and 2% roundwood. If you want to check out their website go to:

----------Wood pests