Wood Borer Species

Wood damaging pests can attack expensive antiques and even a building’s structural components. Knowing the type of wood boring beetles involved can help determine the most effective control methods.

House Longhorn Beetle

Hylotrupes bajulus

Appearance

  • Adult beetle is 8 – 25mm in length.
  • Black/brown colour with greyish hairs and 2 black spots on thorax which resemble eyes.

Lifecycle

  • Larvae tunnel between 3 to 11 years before emerging.

Habits

  • Flight holes between 3mm and 7mm.
  • Infests seasoned and partly seasoned softwoods; pine, spruce and fir most susceptible.
  • It is frequently timbers used in the roof space that are infested.
  • Damage can often be severe in timbers around the chimney area. The larvae produce large amounts of bore-dust (or frass) containing cylindrical pellets. Sometimes this is visible in the 'blistered' appearance of the surface wood.
  • Longhorn beetles will fly freely in hot, sunny weather which enables them to spread an infestation from one building to the next.

Powder Post Beetle

(Lyctus brunneus)

Appearance

  • Adult beetle is flattened and elongated with 1–7 mm in length. 
  • Reddish to dark brown in colour. 
  • Larva is white in colour, slightly curved and can measure up to 5mm when fully developed. 
  • Newly hatched larva is straight, extremely slender and less than 1 mm long.

Life Cycle

  • Under favourable condition, it takes 9–12 months to fully develop. 
  • Adult lives 1–3 months.

Habits

  • Usually attacks wood that is dry, untreated with chemicals and rich in starch, namely Rubberwood, Ramin, Jelutong, Penarahan, Merbau and Kempas.

Wood Boring Weevil

Appearance

  • Adults are 2.5 to 5mm in length.
  • The weevils are reddish brown to black. They have a long snout, a cylindrical body and short legs.
  • The larvae are a creamy white C-shaped, wrinkled and legless

Life Cycle

  • Adults are 2.5 to 5mm in length.
  • The weevils are reddish brown to black. They have a long snout, a cylindrical body and short legs.
  • The larvae are a creamy white C-shaped, wrinkled and legless

Habits

Damage is associated with damp and decaying wood, particularly timber already rotted by cellar fungus. Infestations can spread to adjacent healthy wood.

Common Furniture Beetle

Anobium punctatum

Appearance

  • Adult beetle is 3 – 4mm in length.

Life Cycle

  • Larva will live for 3 - 5 years boring through timber before emerging to breed.

Habits

  • They actively fly in warm sunny weather.
  • Within homes and other buildings the furniture beetle is an exceedingly common pest.
  • Despite its name this beetle can invade more than just furniture.
  • Infestations can damage decorative woodwork, musical instruments, wooden tools and on a more serious scale wood flooring, joinery and structural timbers.
  • These wood boring beetles consume hardwoods and softwoods.

Wharfborer

NACERDES MALAMURA

Appearance

  • 7–14mm in length.
  • Yellow brown with tips of elytra (wing case) black.
  • 3 ridges along the length of the elytra.

Lifecycle

  • Eggs are laid on damp, decaying timber.
  • Larvae bore through wood for about 9 months then emerge in Summer

Habits

  • Larvae require wood to be constantly wetted so that fungi break down the wood fibres.
  • Two main sources of infestation in buildings — structural timbers where rainwater leakage occurs, and pieces of timber buried below concrete foundations, paths and pedestrian precincts