Timber Borers & Borer Control

Learn about the options for Timber Borer
Control in Furniture and Buildings

Timber borers can be real pests ....

Borers are a major pest species of certain timbers. In severe infestations of Anobium Borer attack of Baltic Pine timber flooring, the timbers may be rendered totally useless and require replacement of the flooring timbers with another type of timber that is not susceptible to Anobium borer attack.
Antique furniture is often subject to damage from borer infestation, which may not become apparent for many years later.
A variety of borers will attack a range of timbers in various situations, such as (1) borers in living trees or freshly felled timber (2) in moist timbers, and (3) borer attack of dry seasoned wood, such as, timber flooring, structural or decorative timbers or furniture, where constant re-infestation may occur, depending upon the circumstances.

Timbers Borers - where they live and multiply ...

Generally the majority of the damage to timbers is caused during the larvae (grub) stage of the borer lifecycle. An adult female borer (a beetle) will lay her eggs within the susceptible timbers.
The eggs hatch into a grub (larvae), which will feed on the starch content of the timber and bore it's way through the grain of the timber, creating a network of tunnels.
When the larvae is fully-grown, it will pupate sometimes over a long period of time to become an adult beetle, which exits the timber through a hole made in the timber surface.
The size of the hole and the dust (frass) the borer leaves behind will help the pest controller to identify the species of borer and therefore its potential to cause severe damage to the other timbers in the property.

Timber Borer Pest Control Methods

Lyctus Borer attack of Hardwood Timbers
Lyctus Borer Lava Lyctus Brunneus Borer Various State Governments have enacted a Timber Marketing Act, which prohibits timber being sold for use in buildings if it has more than 25% as sapwood content.
It is the sapwood portion of felled timber (logs) that is susceptible to attack and damage by the Lyctus Borer (also called the Powder Post Beetle).
Therefore, any damage from this borer to such timbers will be structurally insignificant. However, if the timber you purchased has Lyctus Borer damage it should be returned to the place of purchase and exchanged.

Lyctus Brunneus

Anobium Borer attack of Furniture or Baltic Pine Flooring

Anobium Punctatun Lava Anobium Punctatum Anobium borers (also called the Furniture Beetle) can cause severe damage to timber flooring made of Baltic Pine, particularly in houses of 20 years of age or older.

Anobium borers are also often found in antique furniture of various timber types, sometimes even after years of their transport into a home.
Anobium Punctatum

Treatment of Anobium Borer infestations in Baltic Pine Flooring

(1) in severe cases the removal and replacement of all damaged and infested timber with highly resistant or chemically treated timbers or particleboard, which can be a very expensive undertaking.

(2) in slight or moderate infestations, the application of a registered insecticide to the underside of the flooring on an annual basis over a three year period to cover the life cycle of the Anobium borer. We recommend the use of Permethrin insecticide due to its low toxicity profile and its excellent penetration ability into the timber to a depth of around 1mm. The Permethrin application will kill the adult beetle as it emerges, provided the beetle has contact with the treated surface. This will break the life cycle as the emerging Anobium borer as it will prevent the Anobium borer (beetle) from laying its eggs.
In any case, you will need professional help contact your pest control professional for a quotation and further advice on this service.

Treatment of Anobium Borer in Antique Furniture

It is essential that such furniture be fumigated in a Government approved fumigation chamber using methyl bromide gas. This gas will penetrate the timber and kill all insect life therein. The good news is that the gas later breaks up into harmless molecules. Most furniture and foodstuffs for import/export into/out of Australia are fumigated using methyl bromide. Contact your pest control professional for a quotation and further advice on this service.
The cost of such fumigation is fairly inexpensive provided a fumigation chamber is near you, as the delivery costs are separate and usually paid for and organised by the furniture owner.

Borers found in Living Trees

Borers holes found in living trees, fresh logs, moist timbers (not in a building) can be injected with an insecticide specifically registered for this purpose. Such products are available at the larger hardware stores or garden shops.

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