The term woodboring beetle encompasses many species and families of beetles whose larval or adult forms eat and destroy wood (i.e., are xylophagous). In the woodworking industry, larval stages of some are sometimes referred to as woodworms. The three most species-rich families of woodboring beetles are longhorn beetles, bark beetles and weevils, and metallic flat-headed borers. Woodboring is thought to be the ancestral ecology of beetles, and bores made by beetles in fossil wood extend back to the earliest fossil record of beetles in the Early Permian (Asselian), around 295-300 million years ago.
In the UK, up to 50% of the homes are' believed to be infested with woodworm. In the case of the common furniture beetle (Anobium punctatum), which causes up to 80% of the damage, it lays eggs on unplaned joists and floorboards. The grub bores for three years and then pupates and flies away. The many other kinds of wood-boring beetle cause the remaining 20% of the damage.