DIY Deathwatch beetle fix

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Me!
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Joined: Wed 10th May, 2006 5:50 pm
Location: Suffolk

DIY Deathwatch beetle fix

Post by Me! » Thu 15th Jul, 2021 9:14 am

This probably won't be any use to 99% of people, but I just thought I'd mention it in case it helps somebody.

For many years, we have had a few of the dreaded tap-tap sounds coming from a couple of sections of wall during late spring and early summer. Nothing major, and over the years we've been here the noises have continued to reduce in most areas of the house as we've fixed leaks and dried things out, but these two sections of wall have continued to be problems. Then, on one section of wall we hung a pendulum wall clock. Nothing fancy, but wind it up once a week and it tick tocks quite loudly, and we noticed that by next year the beetles in that section had stopped. After a few years we still couldn't quite believe it so moved the clock to another wall, but still no return of the beetle tapping. We may have just got lucky, who knows, but I think a period clock is a nice thing to have in a period house anyway, so if it serves a dual purpose with pest control as well, then it's a winner.

And then onto my second section, and a possibly even more niche solution. This second problematic section is about 6' long and made of oak timber frame with poor condition wattle and daub that has been cement rendered on the outside and battened and covered with plasterboard on the inside. Now I know the full solution almost certainly involves removing both inside and outside unbreathable layers, and one day that is the plan but it hasn't got to the top of the things to do list yet. So, this spring as the tapping got annoying, I decided to take out a light switch in this section of wall and its plasterboard mounting box, and give the void behind a good dose of normal domestic aerosol fly spray and then replaced the switch. The next day there was only one beetle tapping rather than the three I heard the previous day, so I took the switch out again and sprayed again. And the next day, silence!
Now, a few months later, and it has still been silence ever since :D

a twig
Posts: 745
Joined: Sun 6th Oct, 2013 10:18 pm

Re: DIY Deathwatch beetle fix

Post by a twig » Thu 15th Jul, 2021 4:37 pm

Ha great work, similarly I used to play a recording of a deathwatch beetle from my phone, which would seem to lure them out and my eagle eyed wife would then spot them, swoop in and capture them into a jar for disposal later.

As our timbers dried out we had fewer and fewer each year - last spring was our first “tap free” one 👍

CliffordPope
Posts: 679
Joined: Tue 16th Nov, 2010 2:57 pm

Re: DIY Deathwatch beetle fix

Post by CliffordPope » Thu 15th Jul, 2021 6:24 pm

Brilliant!
Just a thought that perhaps they don't like vibration or buzzing - supposing you could contrive something that makes a noise like a mobile phone vibrating in your pocket, and clamp it to the affected bit of wall?

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