Host pine trees for EHB can be in commercial plantations or scattered across the metropolitan area. Adult borers will generally remain at the one site until over population forces flight to nearby trees.
Untreated pinewood has been a popular choice for roof framing in WA since 2000. In 2009 the owner of a Perth house reported borer infestation and further analysis confirmed it was EHB.
Buildings and houses containing untreated pine roof structures, such as those in the newer suburbs of Perth, will have an increased risk of infestation without ongoing steps to prevent further EHB spread.
The WA Government has introduced strategies to prevent further infestation, and in described RMZs areas, restrictions under the Agriculture and Related Resources Protection (European House Borer) Regulations 2006 apply.
Maps of EHB restricted movement zones indicate affected locations. These may be viewed to check your particular suburb.
The effectiveness of these restrictions and guidelines relies heavily on the support of residents and the building industry. Only through compliance and early action can homeowners reduce EHB spread and infestation risk, and minimise damage should infestation occur.
Owners should ensure any home built with untreated pinewood in EHB RMZ is annually inspected by an EHB accredited pest controller. Accreditation for borer inspection is through completion of the European house borer online TAFE course.
- when building in a RMZ, use treated pine or other non-susceptible materials (as per Building Commission (BC) Advisory Notes 2009/002 and 2009/004). Contact the BC on 1300 489 099 for more information
- pine furniture (including outside furniture and furniture that has been in storage) should be broken so it is unusable before placing on the verge. This reduces the risk of the furniture being taken and reused.
- pine furniture may be placed outside a few days before a verge collection. Furniture should not be placed outside weeks in advance.
- small quantities of pine furniture may be placed in council green bins for disposal.
- council waste facilities will also dispose of pine furniture.
- regulations for pine furniture removal only apply to within RMZ zones however residents outside RMZ are also encouraged to dispose of pine furniture as per guidelines.
- burning of unwanted pinewood must be in accordance with local government permit
- do not leave untreated pinewood materials exposed to the environment for more than 72 hours
- store any untreated pinewood materials that you want to keep indoors
- residents’ furniture always kept indoors should be inspected for signs of borer exit holes before removal from an affected RMZ
- know what to look for - EHB descriptions
- collected suspect insects should be placed in a sealed container and taken to the department reception office at 3 Baron-Hay Court South Perth for further entomological analysis.