Home owners guide to wood borers and tree borers by Micropest pest control Sydney the furniture borer control specialists. Micropest pest control is safe and environmentally friendly and and pet friendly pest control company whose pest controllers are all fully licenced and insured.
Woods have proved to be a happy hunting ground for a great many insects - most of them being varieties of beetles. They have developed specialised preferences, some going for moist or green wood as found in the forest, some enjoying moist to dry timber and the ones of most concern to householders the dry timber borers.
Commonly known as “Pinhole borers" these attack standing trees and freshly felled timber in the forest. They make a hole about 1-2mm in diameter A critical part of their diet is fungus sustained by moisture in the timber When timber is dried this fungus cannot survive and the pinhole borers cannot feed.
As a result they are of little or no concern to householders and builders as long as the timber has been correctly dried and seasoned.
These are quite common, but in practice of little concern to humans. They may survive for a short time in structural timbers but they require a high moisture level to lay eggs and reproduce a next generation. Thus, although the signs of these creatures may be seen there is no cause for anxiety in seasoned timbers.
There are three most common varieties, the Longicorn named because of its long antennae, the jewel beetle named because of its often exquisite adult colouring, and the Auger beetle which gets its name from the very neat round holes it drills. None can survive for long without high moisture.
One is the Powder post beetle (Lyctus brunneus) - a common pest in joinery and structural timbers of houses.
The Powder post beetles feed on starch and infest the sapwood region of susceptible hardwoods. These timbers have pores or vessels in which the female lays her eggs. Attack usually occurs within a few years of sawing the wood. The Powder post beetle was regarded so seriously that State Governments have passed Timber Marketing Acts to protect house owners and other users against use of sap woods susceptible to their attacks.
For this reason, the sapwood percentage in milled timber is strictly controlled.
Lyctids have a 3-12 month life cycle and can be recognised by holes 1-2mm diameter on the surface of timber - little piles of dust may fall from these holes. The other serious menace to dry timber is The Furniture beetle (Anobiumpunctatum). It prefers older timbers and often attacks softwoods like Baltic pine flooring. This variety does not need high moisture, but it does thrive in badly ventilated under floor areas and is a serious problem with antique furniture.
It too can be recognised by small 1-2mm holes and little piles of dust.
In Northern Queensland, The Queensland pine beetle can add similar woes to the lot of the home owner
As it is difficult for the layman to tell the varieties of borers apart, a good rule is to contact your State Forestry authority immediately you discover signs of borers.
It may be expensive to treat timber, but it is cheaper than having floors and other structural timbers collapse. It is also advisable to replace infested timber with more resistant varieties. But, before you take such a step, get professional advice to make sure you really do have dry timber borers. Some firms offer a special service for treating infestation in valuable pieces of furniture.This article was written by Gerard Dallow. Email GerardDallow@micropest.com