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Death watch beetle

- (Xestobium rufovillosum) a wood-boring beetle, so named because both sexes tap with their heads during courtship (the noise is not caused by them eating wood) and the sound was supposed to signify an imminent death. Larger than the common woodworm although related, it leaves exit, or shot holes, of around 3mm diameter. It can burrow deeply into the sapwood of hardwoods, but will not really attack heartwood unless rot is present. Can be very difficult to eradicate because of fears of chemical treatment and their inability to penetrate very far into hardwoods. Also, these treatments kill harmless predators such as spiders. A dry atmosphere and good ventilation is the best defence.