Before we bought our house in Lonlay l'Abbaye, it had been used only periodically as a secondary residence, was a bit neglected, and subject to some moisture problems. Unfortunately, these are ideal conditions for insects like the deathwatch beetle to attack the wood. Our timber surveyor found evidence of deathwatch beetle on the ground floor (circular exit holes), and common furniture beetle had attacked most of the timber walls and floors, which all needed to be replaced. The common furniture beetle is not nearly as entertaining as the deathwatch beetle, but it can be even more destructive. It is commonly referred to as "woodworm." Fortunately, our main beams were only lightly affected. They will be fine. But the wood floors were done for, and all had to be torn out and burned.
We did not see any live capricorns, or deathwatch or furniture beetles, but we could see how ruined the woodwork was in November. Our wonderful builders have taken all of the bad wood away now, and treated the beams and remaining unaffected wood for good measure. When all of our renovation is done, we hope to keep the former "condo" residents away by keeping our place warm and dry. We are done with them, no matter how colorful their names or literary lineage!