The adult beetles are smaller than a fifty cent coin, but they can be an expensive problem. If this declared pest infests susceptible pine timber in houses, it has the potential to cause major structural damage.
European house borers can be on the move this time of year, with the brownish black to greyish black beetles that have distinctive white patches on their wings potentially emerging from infestation sites to take flight to find some other dry coniferous softwood to call home.
Between September and April, the beetles can be seen flying around, looking for a mate and a new food source to continue the life-cycle of this pest species.
If you suspect European house borer, report to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), so you can help stop the spread of this pest and protect your home and others. The signs to look for are larvae or exit holes in the wood, or the beetle itself.
Pinewood is one of the softwoods these beetles like and, in Western Australia, the European house borer is known to lay eggs in dead pine trees, logs, debris and dead parts of living pine trees, or susceptible structural pine timber, furniture, pallets, crates and boxes.
To avoid being a flight season victim of this pest, regular timber pest inspections by a licensed pest controller are recommended, but it’s also wise to keep an eye out for the beetle, in case it’s resting somewhere on a wall or near you between flights.
DPIRD project manager Jenny Crisp said being alert to the potential serious risks of the European house borer during its flight season was important for all householders.
“Make sure there’s no exposed dead pinewood or timber in your yard to attract the pest, check your eaves for gaps that might allow a flying borer beetle access to your roof space to lay eggs,” Ms Crisp said.
“At any time of year, you should also look for any signs of larval infestation in nearby, untreated softwoods – oval exit holes, running with the grain of the wood are a tell-tale sign.
“It’s also important not to take pinewood from parks or plantations to use for firewood or woodworking projects, because a piece of pinewood may look fine from the outside but inside may be infested with European house borer.
“And, in new buildings, use H2 treated structural pine or a non-EHB susceptible alternative.
“European house borer has been established in parts of the greater Perth area since 2004, but it is a good idea for property owners everywhere be aware and be vigilant, in case the pest has spread further than we think.”
More information is available on the department website at agric.wa.gov.au/ehb.
Report any signs of EHB using the MyPestGuide™ Reporter app, available free from Google Play and the Apple Store, or via online mypestguide.agric.wa.gov.au or contact DPIRD’s Pest and Disease Information Service on (08) 9368 3080; email@example.com.
Media contacts: DPIRD media liaison +61 (0)8 9368 3937