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Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.


Poor management of untreated pinewood waste can lead to increased EHB spread and infestation. Pine waste includes firewood, off-cuts, dead tree trunks, branches, and disused furniture and other materials.

In areas already affected by EHB, exposure of untreated pinewood waste materials to the environment for more than 72 hours may result in infestation. In turn, unrestricted movement or subsequent use of this timber could spread EHB to non-affected areas, and lead to infestation of other host material, such as roofs built with untreated structural pinewood.

Proper management of pinewood waste is an important issue for all members of the community, including residents, local governments and industry.

EHB larvae can live undetected in untreated pinewood from 2-12 years. It is only when EHB emerges as an adult beetle that visible exit holes are formed. This covert nature means all untreated pinewood waste must be treated as potentially infested.

Recommended guidelines

In summary, the following guidelines should be followed when dealing with untreated pinewood waste.

  • do not leave untreated pinewood waste materials exposed to the environment
  • do not re-use untreated pinewood waste materials
  • do not keep pinewood waste. Dispose of in local government waste bins, or at EHB approved refuse facilities
  • do not move pinewood materials from verge side collections or plantations.

Local government

Local governments should ensure their domestic waste programs use facilities with approved disposal procedures in place, to prevent the survival of EHB in timber waste. Additionally, the movement of untreated pinewood waste to facilities located outside of EHB infested areas may also require authorisation. Waste must be:

  • chipped so the volume of pieces are less than 100cm3
  • burned
  • buried more than one metre below the surface of the ground
  • stored in a suitable building or enclosure, or wrapped in plastic or another authorised material.

Permit to remove untreated pinewood

If pinewood has been exposed to potential EHB infestation, business and residents cannot remove these articles from RMZs without treatment or authorisation. This requirement also applies to pinewood waste.

Contact information

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