Wood borer treatment
Newcastle and Hunter Valley
Wood borers are not as common as termites but can still be a big concern for homeowners.
There are a number of types of borers, with each species having a unique life cycle and attacking different types of timber. Borers are insects that consume wood, creating extensive tunnels inside wood over months and years.
Borer can certainly cause a lot of damage and sometimes seriously weaken structural timbers and the safety of your property.
It’s important to correctly identify the borer species as it allows us to determine the amount and pattern of damage they may occur and also the treatment method.
How we get rid of borers > Professional Borer Treatments
- Identify the species of borer correctly
- Determine the extent of the infestation
- Remove any infested wood (where possible)
- Treat remaining infested wood
How we treat any infested timber depends on the species of borer present and the type of timber. Treatment often requires treating the timber with a residual insecticide or injecting holes with an insecticide. This does not always eliminate all the insects, due to the challenges in getting insecticide into the wood. Individual, high value items may be treated by fumigation or heat.
Replacement of infested timber is the sure way to eliminate a borer infestation.
What to expect from our borer treatments?
As the borer treatments depend on the type of borer present, and often includes the removal or replacement of infested timber, we will discuss the required program with you, so you understand the steps in the process, duration of treatment and the expected level of success.
What Our Customers Say
What are the signs of a borer problem?
The two main signs of a borer problem are the presence of small holes in the timber and piles of sawdust and frass (droppings) underneath these holes.
Holes in timber
Small holes a couple of millimetres in circumference indicate borer activity (both historical and fresh). These are the entry / exit holes of adult beetles.
Frass and sawdust
Sawdust and frass (droppings) can be ejected from the infested wood by the borer larvae, but often, more significant amounts of sawdust appear underneath the infested timbers as a result of the new adults exiting the infested wood.
Weak and damaged floorboards and furniture
Crumbling wood around the corners and edges of roof joists, floorboards and furniture. As the infestation progresses and the level of damage increases, in the case of furniture beetle it can be significant enough for floorboards or the legs of furniture to collapse.
Adults can emerge from timbers at any time, but more often in the warmer months. Depending on the species, the adults of some species tend to hang around the infested timbers to mate and re-infest. Others will try and get outside so may be found on window sills.
The larvae of borers are rarely seen, unless you break open the wood. They are a creamy-white colour and curved in shape.
How to prevent a wood borer infestation?
The two main steps to prevent a borer infestation are to check any new timber (both construction timber and furniture) coming into the house for signs of borer damage and for new structural timber make sure you use naturally resistant timbers or use pre-treated timbers.
Types of borers
There are three main types of borers, all of which are beetles:
Pinhole borers (ambrosia beetle)
The pinhole borer attaches to newly felled logs in the forest or timber yard, which have a high moisture level. This is because they don’t actually eat the wood but feed on the ambrosia fungus. Female beetles bore into the sapwood to lay their eggs and leave behind ambrosia fungal spores which germinate as food for the larvae. The new adults emerge through the same holes made by the parents.
Powder post beetle (Lyctus brunneus)
Powder post beetles only attack dry wood and only the sapwood of hardwoods that have a high starch level. They only attack hardwoods, as the female lays her eggs in the end pores of the timber, pores which are absent in softwoods such as pines. They continue to attack the timber in service until all the sapwood has been eaten. They produce very fine dust / frass.
Furniture beetle (Anobium punctatum)
The furniture beetle primarily attacks pine wood rather than hardwoods (except oaks). They will cause significant damage to flooring and wall panels. They are less of a problem in roof voids due the higher temperatures and lower humidity. The dust and frass are fine and gritty – coarser than the powder post beetle.