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Wood Borers – The Other Wood Pest

When you hear about wood damage to a home’s structure or flooring you immediately think of termites. Whilst these soft bodied creatures can cause a mess and create physical damage to many varieties of timber, they are not alone in the realm of all things tasty in wood. Another insect known as a wood borer, a common enough looking beetle ranging in size from 3mm to 5mm, can cause just as much damage to a home’s integrity.

There are many varieties of wood borer and, as such, their menu and habitat can vary. Our inspection experts at Twinspectors Building and Pest Inspections are trained to seek out and identify these pests and their habitats.

Indicators revealing a possible invasion may include such things as small holes, namely, flight holes and can vary in size from 1mm to 7 mm, depending on which variety is detected. Another clue to their detection is the accumulation of the faeces and dust created from their boring, referred to sometimes as frass. This soft, sometimes talc-like sometimes gritty substance may appear in conical piles on the floor or create a blistered effect to paintwork.

For some though, it may be years before they discover that they have been housing a wood borer colony in the walls or ceilings of their home as they work from the inside out and can live within the linings of timber, leaving a thin shell to protect them from prying eyes.

Common Colony Names and Locations

Different wood borer breeds possess different food likes and habits. Some prefer furniture, some prefer bark and some will hide undetected in your roof cavity feeding on your soft pine trusses.

There are five types of borers most commonly found in Australia. They are:

  • Lyctine borers, which are the most common and they love dry seasoned sap wood timbers in South East Queensland, hence the need to kiln dry some timbers.
  • Anobium punctatum the common furniture beetle, which will devour seasoned soft woods or damp wood outdoors.
  • The Queensland Pine Beatle Calymmaderus incisus that thrives on hoop and bunya pines.
  • Ernobius mollis that feasts only on bark, so will rarely need attention as it adores the outdoors.
  • Hadrobregmus australiensis, which will attack damp or dying hard woods and soft woods so may invade your home but is rarely found in Queensland or Northern Territory.