Lyctus brunneus (Powderpost beetle) does not require treatment. Unless written proof is provided Anobium punctatum (Furniture beetles) and Calymmaderus incisus (Queensland pine beetle) must always be considered active, since, unless the timber is ground up one cannot determine conclusively if activity has ceased. If active, treatment, or preferably timber replacement is required.
Borer activity is usually determined by the presence of exist holes and/or frass. Since a delay exists between the time of the initial infestation and the appearance of these signs, it is possible that some borer activity may exist that is not detectible at the time of inspection.
Borer treatment recommendations: Replacement of the affected timbers with a resistant species of timber is always preferred since, in the event of selling the property in future it is probable that the inspector will report the borers as active. A treatment to control and/or prevent furniture beetle and/or Queensland pine beetle can be considered as a lower cost option. Before considering this option you should consult with a builder to determine if the timbers are structurally sound. Following an initial chemical treatment an additional three treatments are needed and additional inspections are recommended to be carried out every twelve months.
The commonest insect attacking some construction timbers and older furniture, the Common Furniture Beetle will attack all softwoods and some European hardwoods but are very rare in tropical hardwoods.
Damage is found typically around floor boards, ceiling battens, timbers in contact with solid walls, under stairs and places affected by damp. A severe infestation often relates to damp.
Adult insects are 3-5 mm long, dull brown in colour. The beetle has a " hooded " appearance and may be found near damaged timber or attracted to windows or white surfaces during warm weather.
The flight holes of the emerging adult are usually 1.5 - 2.0mm in diameter.
The larva is pale cream in colour with a dark band over the mouth part, has three small pairs of legs and is up to 6mm in length. It may be present in affected timbers for up to 3 years.
Tunnels 1.0 - 2.0mm in diameter are extensive. They will be of random orientation but mainly in the direction of the grain. These maybe exposed on the floor by general wear or when polishing floor boards.
Borer dust, cream in colour, is made up of lemon shaped pellets, gritty when rubbed between the fingers.
Found world-wide, this insect attacks the sapwood of hardwoods such as Oak, Elm, Ash and Eucalypt, although woods with low starch content such as Beach and Birch are generally immune. Woods such as Cherry and Lime are also considered immune, as their pore size is too small to accommodate the egg laying requirements of the female. Softwoods are not affected.
Damage usually starts prior to the delivery of timbers to the site and can continue after being incorporated into the building. Common in products manufactured from susceptible timber such as furniture, roof rafters and flooring. Damage may be missed in early stages. In later stages the damaged timber may be reduced to a powdered mass inside a thin intact skin of wood.
Adult insects are 4-7mm long and are reddish brown to black in colour. They are flattened and elongated, compared to the "roundish" shape of the furniture beetle.
The flight holes of emerging adults are usually 1.5-2.0mm in diameter.
The larva is pale cream in colour with light brown oval spots on either side of the body. It has three pairs of legs and is up to 6mm in length. May be present in affected timbers for up to 2 years. Tunnels 1.5-2.0mm in diameter are of random orientation mostly parallel to the grain.
Bore dust is cream in colour, fine and talc like and may accumulate in piles under flight holes. Easily shaken out of tunnels.
Changes to building practices have decreased the risk of attack to timber-in-service and reports of damage have become less frequent.
Not commnly observed in the Sydney region, more commonly found in Northern NSW and Southern Queensland.
A beetle that is similar species to the Furniture Beetle.
Adult insects are 3 mm long.
The flight holes of the emerging adult are usually 1.5 in diameter.
Appears to prefer Hoop Pine used as timber flooring, timbers normally attacked are those that have been unpainted or have not been varnished or oiled. Not comonly observed to furniture or finishing timbers.
Damage advances slowly in the timber, honeycombing of timber continues to point of collapse eventually, use of alternate timber species when replacing damaged timbers or painting/sealing of existing timbers is considered to be the best mode of repair.
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Office of Fair Trading (NSW)- Building Inspections - A Home Buyer's Guide PDF Reader
Office of Fair Trading NSW - Home Building Service - Includes Licence Check
Institute of Building Consultants
AEPMA - A Code Of Practice - For Prior To Purchase Timber Pest Inspections - Stephen Koelewyn - participant Drafting Committee
AEPMA - Australian Pest Managers Association I am no longer a member of this Association
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