Insect pests in houses

Date Published

16 August 2022

Document Type




Insect pests are a common sight in houses in the UK. Many of these can be ignored without consequence however there are several insect species which are known to attack timber.

This Wood Information Sheet is a guide to the most common insects seen in UK houses, including how to recognise the 16 most common types of insect pests, whether they pose a threat to either the structural or superficial elements of a timber structure, and finally details on how to treat against them.


General guidance on dealing with insect pests
Plaster beetles
Wood lice
Biscuit, bread or drug store beetle
Flour beetles
Larder or bacon beetles
Carpet and fur beetles
Wood wasps
Forest longhorn beetles
Ambrosia or pinworm beetles
Bark beetles
Lyctus or powder post beetles
Common furniture beetle
House longhorn beetle

Key Information

Although there are a large number of insects found in houses, many of these do not attack timber but are associated with other materials, such as fabrics and foodstuffs.

Insects that attack timber include wood wasps, forest longhorn beetles, ambrosia beetles, bark borer beetle, powder post beetle and house longhorn beetles.

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