New Zealand is home to a variety of wood-boring beetles known as borers. Borers are beetles that, in their larval stage, cause damage to wood or timber and should not be confused with termites.
Borer females will lay eggs on wood, and the growing larvae will bore into the wood if it hasn’t been treated. To complete their transformation into adult beetles, the larvae must spend their whole lives in the wood, where they will continue to eat and bore until they have consumed all of the available nutrients. They then escape from the woods by tunnelling to the surface. Their exit is marked by a neat small round or oval hole. They can cause a lot of trouble for homeowners by eating through untreated wood and furnishings or by damaging the joists, flooring, and weatherboards in a house.
Damage to your home’s structure and financial losses might be caused by wood borers. Borer infestations should be treated as soon as any signs of life are discovered. If you suspect you have wood borers, call 0800 710 010.
The wood could be treated with a preservative by your specialist. In addition to being odourless, it also kills insects and fungi. It does not degrade like many other insecticides do in wood, thus it can be used for a long period without worry. Because of this, the wood is treated before the beetle emerges.
South-facing walls and floor joists are common borer habitats because of the high humidity there.
Interior spaces such as door frames, window sills, and architraves.
The skeleton, including the subfloor and any timbers in the roof.
What are signs of borer activity?
Evidence of borer activity includes exit holes and frass. Breakout of the beetles from wood is more common when light levels are low. If you want to find borers, check behind and beneath the furniture. Look for damage in the subfloor and other dark spots on the floor.
The tunnels, often known as “galleries,” can eventually cause the wood to break. You know you have a problem if you find dead beetles or if the wood is disintegrating at the edges.
Females can lay anything from zero to one hundred eggs, although these eggs may be difficult to find. While they prefer untreated, rough-sawn surfaces for nesting, they will also use other nooks and crannies, such as those left by previous occupants, for this purpose.
When are borers most active?
Borers reach maturity and begin mating between October and February, when the weather is milder.
How do I prevent borers?
Borers prefer wet wood, such as that found in the subflooring of a home. Seal any cracks and increase ventilation to avert timber boring insects. Don’t block off the crawl space with clutter.
Since less sunlight hits the south side of a building, it’s also more susceptible to borer infestation. If the wood on this side of the house tends to retain moisture, you should be very vigilant about checking for wormholes.
Before bringing that antique or used couch home, be sure there are no worm holes in it.
Treating or painting wood before using it is the greatest way to keep borers away.
The prothorax, which resembles a hood, is used to identify these insects, which have brown, oval bodies and measure between 2.5 and 4.5 mm in length.
Three to four years is the typical lifespan. The female common furniture beetle will lay her eggs in wood, where the larvae will remain for three to four years. Larvae spend around 8 weeks near the surface before emerging as adults. Common furniture beetles leave exit holes 1-2 mm wide when they emerge from the wood after reaching maturity and then spend a few days reproducing outside the timber before returning.
Infesting only non-native pines and softwoods, the Common Furniture Beetle is an invasive species. They prefer softwoods, but will also damage hardwoods. Pine timber houses along coastline are a potential habitat.
Powderpost Beetle (Lyctus Beetle)
Noticeably similar to the common furniture beetle in appearance. Powderpost beetle adults can be anywhere from 3 to 19 millimetres in length, with the shorter prothorax accounting for much of that variation.
The majority of their lives are spent as larvae, much like the typical furniture beetle, within the wood itself. Existing holes made by powerpost beetles might be anything from 0.8 to 3.2mm in diameter.
The starch in both hard and soft wood is the primary food source for powderpost beetles. Hardwoods are secure from assault by powderpost beetles if they are poor in starch or have pores too small for the female to lay eggs in. Most wood damaged by this borer is not structural and can be easily replaced.
Queensland Pine Beetle
The adult Queensland pine beetle measures 3 millimetres in length and 15 millimetres in width. Its warm reddish brown body is coated in microscopic hairs. Shiny on the outside, their antennae are club-shaped and comprised of three segments. The legs of a Queensland pine beetle are often folded closely near to its body.
The adult stage of the Queensland pine beetle can last up to four weeks, although the larval stage can last up to three years. Adults are only spotted from October to February, and they leave behind 2mm wide exit holes as they depart the wood.
The south-east region of Queensland is its native habitat, and you may easily find it there. Attacks timber constructions almost solely made of hoop pine sapwood (floorboards and walls). The honeycomb pattern of Queensland pine beetle damage is distinctive. Once a piece of wood has been infested, it will keep getting reinfested until it dies from lack of strength and food.
Lesser Auger Beetle
Adult auger beetle has a long, cylindrical body measuring 6 to 13mm in length and 2 to 3.5mm in width. Visible prothorax, shiny red-brown or brown-black colouring. At the very end of their bodies, males have two curled hooks.
The lesser auger beetle does extensive damage to hardwoods, especially those with a high percentage of sapwood and starch.
European House Borer (Hylotrupes bajulus)
Apartment for Mature Europeans Length might range from 8mm to 20mm for borer adults. Despite being either brown or black, they often appear “greyish” due to the fine due that covers their entire bodies. The legs and antennae can sometimes be a ruddy colour.
The whole lifespan of European house borers can vary from 2 years to 10 years according to environmental factors such as wood type, moisture level, and temperature. Adult European House Borers emerge in the summer, leaving behind exit holes that are 6-10 mm in diameter.
Commonly called a longhorn beetle, an old house borer, or the European house borer. European house boring beetles favour the high resin content of new wood, which is why they choose wooden structures in modern homes. The harm they cause, however, is much more serious when they attack older wood.
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