Night of the Living Death-watch beetles.

       Oy, my entire house/shed is on ‘vibrate’. Uninterrupted rattles/buzzes from inside every piece of wood. I’d noticed it last year also, about this time of year, and researched the fabled ‘Death-watch beetle’. Problem is that the buzz-frequency on the Wiki audio clip and on a Video is so much slower than ‘my’ guys. Here, they go on at about 30 beats per second. About the same sound you can easily make by forming a ‘T’ with your tongue and blowing out. Try it, just to know what I’m going through.
      No, I fear not for the reputed Omen of Impending Deceased Status often associated with this insect. It’s just a sense of being violated, the mindless robotic vermin inhabiting my tables, chairs, bookshelves, door and window frames.
Wiki, and several other experts say they eat almost exclusively oak. (?) All I got here is white pine. Is there some other boring creature, the males of whom have vibration all-star buzz-offs every Passover?



Big late-breaking Update: I just this second noticed a bunch of ‘exit/entry holes in a set of high-quality 3/4 inch plywood cabinets, right here in front of my face as we speak. Oak veneer. Exactly 3 millimeter holes, just as they are supposed to be. So yeah, looks like a bonfire of the vanities might be in the offing. I really can’t sleep with the sound of my life ticking away coming at me from 20 directions./ Sleepless in Tel Aviv

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22 thoughts on “Night of the Living Death-watch beetles.

  1. murisopsis

    Yikes. Don’t they have exterminators that specialize in that – Death to the Death-Watch beetle?? I’d be tempted to just burn the place to the ground and start over somewhere else. But that’s just me and my bug phobia. At least they stay hidden and aren’t rollicking across the floor like cockroaches at a rhumba contest.

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  2. jsolberg

    @Roadkill_Spatula – http://www.buildingconservation.com/articles/beetle/beetle.html is a good article I found. He does recommend heat (and dryness) as a remediation regieme. 5AM and they’re still loud as hell. Of course I have a trance party nearby in the woods and some religious nuts screaming into Mr Microphones a couple hundred meters up the hill, so it all washes out into a pool of insect/human ignernz (sp)They are esp active outside my window,in a big old protected Tabor Oak. But also inside all my furniture (cheap hand-made utilitarian white-pine stuff. Thinking of fighting fire with fire, ie: gluing vibrators to all wood surfaces and letting ’em run till the batteries die. But I’d have some explaining to do during the purchase.

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  3. Lovegrove

    Those damned Midianite Beatles Johnny,Pauly, Geordie and Ringy.You’d have thought Moshe would have got rid of ’em all in the day of the short daggers. That’ll teach ‘im not to have spared the virgins for unspecified purposes. Some of ’em survived in the wood(s).

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  4. elgan

    There are all sorts of “natural” cures for unwanted insect pests, like diatomaceous earth or cayenne pepper sprinkled around the afflicted areas. Maybe one of those would help? Or, you could take advantage of the vibrations and strategically position your La-Z-Boy rocker so that you get optimum benefit from the effect.

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  5. jsolberg

    @elgan – El, I’m almost thinking of Learning to ‘Love the Bomb’. To embrace the deamons as a part of primordial Nature. They remind me of the Chilean miners, trapped inside. That was a just awful episode, but with a fortunate ending. I couldn’t have faced a day thinking that they were doomed.I do still have the problem of an official entomological ID. Their frequency of buzz is so much faster than the audio clips I’ve heard.

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  6. twoberry

    I just ordered an oak casket for my funeral (after reading this).  As a claustrophobe, it seemed the only reasonable course.  Just color me a defeatist, in more ways than one.

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  7. ZSA_MD

    I am so phobic about all bugs. I wish you silence in your home. I think I would run out of my home if I found bugs like the ones you describe.

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  8. jsolberg

    @ZSA_MD – I actually caught one, and so have a specimen to compare to the literature. Won’t sleep until I know with whom exactly I’m dealing, Lineaus-style.It does seem that their ‘signalling for a mate’ is a short-lived episode. Ha, either they all found heart-throbs… or gave up in embarrassment. It’s been eerily quiet the last few days.

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  9. jsolberg

    @sleekpunk – looking in vain for any public mention of my turning 63 on April 17th. sharp eyes then, youngster.The cactii are blooming as we speak but I’m so overwhelmed with my 4 orphan (secret gift) kittens, (2 weeks old) that I haven’t time to do anything but keep them alive. They’re sweet as all get-out… but still, leaving them here on the lawn in the middle of the night was an irresponsible act of cowardice by someone. I’m gonna find him, cut off his head, then ask questions of the torso, I’m that mad.

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  10. twoberry

    @jsolberg – The leaver of the kittens deserves whatever punishment you mete out to him.  When ya gonna blog about the kittens?  I miss kitties, but we can’t have ’em in our house because four or more dogs turn into a pack, however nice they start out being, at the moment we have seven underfoot.  One’s an 11-week Jack Russell that’s going home today and tother’s Daisy Mae who will probably be with us at least another week while her owner recovers from thyroid surgery.

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  11. jsolberg

    @twoberry – I’m teaching the kittens to bite and scratch. If all four survive we may go door to door some day and find the culprit. It’s two weeks now, that’s 84 feedings X 4 mouths X 4 eyedroppers each = *some big and tiresome number. Oy

    Reply

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