European house borer: management strategies

Page last updated: Monday, 18 June 2018 - 10:25am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.


Builders are expected to play an important role in EHB containment.

Builders are in an ideal position to identify infestation in renovation works, and can prevent future spread and infestation through the use of treated pinewood and other EHB non-susceptible materials in new construction.

Additionally, builders can help to minimise spread through care in the movement, storage and disposal of untreated pinewood timbers and products used on building sites.

Use of EHB non-susceptible materials

As of August 2009, non-susceptible materials, such as treated structural pine timber, must be used when building in RMZ.
This requirement was mandated by the Building Commission (BC) in August 2009 through Advisory Note 2009/002:

“Susceptible timbers (pine and other softwoods) used in areas infested with EHB must be treated to ensure durability, or non-susceptible materials must be used. An infested area is defined as a Restricted Movement Zone (RMZ).
Where pine is used as a primary building element in an RMZ, it must be suitable for hazard level H2 or higher (refer Appendix C of AS1684.2 for more information)”.

Advisory Note 2009/004 was also issued by the BC as supplementary information.

For further information the treatment options available for untreated pinewood, refer to our treatment page.

Recommended site works planning

Builders and sub-contractors should consider the following procedures before and during any building construction, in an effort to minimise EHB spread and infestation.

Pre-tender procedure:

  • verify site locality is, or is not, within a described RMZ
  • plan for impact of EHB restrictions on construction materials and sub-contractor use of untreated pine articles
  • develop EHB risk management plan (refer to business page for more information).

Pre-start procedure:

  • ensure risk management plan is part of ‘check list’
  • site supervisor to be advised that EHB Regulatory staff visit.

On-site procedure:

  • dispose of all untreated pine refuse through waste management service collection or direct to local government refuse facility
  • provide suitable storage building, enclosure or plastic wrap for untreated pine structural and non-structural pine articles; if not collected for refuse disposal.

Permit to remove untreated pinewood

If pinewood has been exposed to potential EHB infestation, business and residents cannot remove these articles from the RMZ without treatment or written authorisation from EHB Regulatory staff.

Signs of EHB infestation are not readily found and EHB life-cycle is at least two year period before adult borers emerge through the timber surface leaving exit hole(s).

A waste management service must have an EHB movement permit to remove untreated pine waste.

Fumigation must be undertaken by a licensed fumigator at an industrial facility.

Request a written movement permit by contacting call (08) 9368 3080 or email

Contact information

Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)
+61 (0)8 9368 3080