Borers, are wood boring beetles that are common in the coastal region of Australia. Not to be mistaken for termites, borers are beetles and cause damage to wood or timber in their larval stage. Borer pest control is necessary to avoid any damage to your home or business.
Borers lay eggs on timber and when hatched the pupae burrow their way into the untreated wood. The larvae live in the wood, continuing to eat and tunnel their way through until they reach the adult beetle stage of their metamorphosis. At that stage, they burrow to the surface of the timber and fly out. They leave behind a neat little round or oval hole. They can attack untreated furniture or the timber structures in a house, including floorboards, joists and weatherboards, causing stress for homeowners.
Wood borers can cause severe structural damage to your home and economic loss. As soon as you see signs of activity, we recommend immediate borer pest control treatment for a borer infestation. If you suspect you have wood borers, call 1300 270 019.
Furniture can be sealed and treated. However, if the damage is extensive, it may be recommended to remove and replace the timber, as borers weaken the wood from the inside.
Your borer pest control technician may apply a wood preservative to the timber. It is also a fungicide and insecticide and has no smell. Unlike many other insecticides, it lasts a long time in the timber and won’t break down. This means the beetle is treated before emerging from the wood.
Common Borer Questions
Where do borers live?
Borers are often found on the south side of buildings or floor timbers, as these areas are prone to dampness.
Interior areas, including door frames, windowsills, architraves.
Structural areas, such a timbers in roof void and sub-floor.
What are signs of borer activity?
Exit holes and frass are signs you may have borer activity. The beetles like to emerge from timber in low light. So, look for holes under or behind furniture. Check the subfloor or any other places where the light doesn’t hit the wood.
In extreme cases, the tunnels, also called ‘galleries’, weaken the wood causing it to break. Dead beetles or crumbling corners around the wood edges are also sure signs you have a problem.
Eggs may be hard to spot, even though females can lay up to 100 eggs. They love untreated, rough sawn surfaces but will also lay eggs in old exit holes or crevices.
When are borers most active?
Adult borers emerge in the warmer months between October and February when they mate.
How do I prevent borers?
Borers are attracted to damp wood, such as under the house. To prevent timber borers, make sure all leaks are sealed and the area is well ventilated. Don’t store material under the house, which can prevent air flow.
The southern side of buildings gets less sunlight, so are also more prone to borer attack. Keep an eye out for exist holes, especially if the timber stays damp on this side of the house.
If you purchase antique or second-hand furniture, check for exist holes before bringing it home as it could introduce borers to your house.
The best preventative for borers is to paint or treat the wood prior to use.
Oval shaped bodies, brown in colour between 2.5 – 4.5mm in length and is recognised by the prothorax, which looks like a hood on the head.
Average lifecycle of 3 to 4 years. Female common furniture beetle lays eggs in wood, which hatch in 3 weeks and spend 3-4 years as larvae, feeding on timber. When ready to pupate, larvae make their way closer to the surface and remain there for 8 weeks. Once fully grown common furniture beetles break out of the wood leaving exit holes 1-2mm wide and last a few days outside the timber reproducing, during this time they do not eat.
They are most common type of borer in Australia. The Common Furniture Beetle is an introduced pest of non-native pines and softwoods. However, they are not picky will attack hardwood timbers. They are occasionally found in pine timber buildings along the coastline of Australia.
Powderpost Beetle (Lyctus Beetle)
Similar features to the common furniture beetle. The adult powderpost beetle has a smaller prothorax and can range from 3 to 19mm in size.
Spend majority of their life as larvae inside wood, similar to common furniture beetle. Powerpost beetles leave exist holes ranging from 0.8 to 3.2mm in size.
Powderpost beetles feed mainly on the starch content of both hard and soft wood. If the hardwood is low in starch or the pores are too small for the female to lay eggs, the timber is considered safe from attacks by powderpost beetles. This type of borer doesn’t cause a great deal of structural damage to wood, and it can usually be replaced.
Queensland Pine Beetle
Adult Queensland pine beetle is 3mm long and 15mm wide, with an oval shaped body covered in tiny hairs and warm reddish brown in colour. They have a shiny exterior and antennae with a three-segment club. Queensland pine beetle usually have their legs tightly folded next to its body.
Queensland pine beetle has an average life span of just over 3 years, with 3-year-long larval life and living up to 4 weeks as an adult beetle. You will only find adults from October to February, and they leave 2mm wide holes when exiting the wood as adults.
Native to south-eastern Queensland and commonly found there. Almost exclusively infests hoop pine sapwood, mostly attacking wooden housing structures (floorboards and walls). Damage caused by Queensland pine beetles is easily recognised by its honeycomb appearance. Once a piece of wood is infested, it will continue to be reinfested until it loses strength and there is nothing to feast on.
Lesser Auger Beetle
Adult auger beetle has a long, cylindrical body averaging 6 to 13mm in length and 2 to 3.5mm in width. They are glossy red-brown or brown-black in colour, with visible prothorax. Males have two incurved hooks at the back end of their bodies.
Pesky in all parts of Australia except for Western Australia, and a often hard to detect. The lesser auger beetle loves hardwoods, wreaking havoc on timber with a high sapwood and starch content.
European House Borer (Hylotrupes bajulus)
Adult European House Borers grow between 8 to 20 mm in length. They are brown or black in colour, but tend to look ‘greyish’ due to the fine due that covers its body. The antennae and legs can have a reddish hue.
Complete lifespan can range from 2 years up to a decade, depending on the type of wood, amount of moisture, and temperature affect how long European House Borers live. The adult European House Borer leaves exit holds 6 to 10 mm in size and adults appear in summer months.
Known around Australia as the European house borer, longhorn beetle or an old house borer. European House Borers like timber structures found in newer houses, as they prefer the high resin content of fresh wood. However, they also attack older wood and damage can be more severe.
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