Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Story of Borer – Biology and Behaviour, Implications for Control

Borer beetle
  • Identification
    • Borer are also known as woodworm and furniture beetle.
    • Species – Common Borer, Native Borer, Two-Tooth Borer, Citrus (Lemon Tree) Borer and others.
    • Eat dead wood – dead trees, construction timber, furniture.
    • Common Borer (and Native) adult beetles are small brown beetles (2-3mm) that can fly. Often found on windowsills.
      • Small holes in timber – like drawing pin holes.
    • Two-tooth – not so common – larger black beetle (6-7mm)
      • Holes 4-5mm oval
    • Dust falls out of holes.
    • Clean wood inside hole means the hole is probably recent, meaning ongoing infestation.
    • Holes tend to be in areas of low light – i.e. more under floor than on top.
  • Breeding
    • Female beetles lay eggs on bare timber i.e. not on paint, varnish, polish etc.
    • But they will lay eggs in old flight holes.
    • Eggs hatch as larvae that burrow into wood.
    • After 2-4 years larvae pupate near surface.
    • Adult beetle emerges and eats its way out – flight hole.
    • Borer flight season October to March in NZ.
Protection is best by treating bare timer with long lasting borer fluid (NO Borer Conc) – up to 10 year’s protection. Solvent (turpentine or kerosene) move product deep into the timber; the deeper it goes the longer it lasts.
Borer Injector can be used to inject flight holes – kills borer larvae close to labyrinth and protects for eggs layed in holes.
Borafume Fumigators kill borer beetles. Does not penetrate far into wood and leaves little or no residue. 2-4 year life cycle means need to use fumigators every year (twice a year between October and March) for 4+ years to greatly reduce borer in wood.
  • Feeding habits
    • Larvae eat wood – digest cellulose with micro-organisms in gut.
    • Only eat soft timbers – sap wood.
    • Hard heartwood usually un affected.
    • Prefer wood with a little moisture – sub-floor, roof timbers near leaks, or with moisture holding terracotta/concrete tiles.
    • Because of slow growth it takes many years to do significant damage to timbers.
    • But many houses in New Zealand are over 50 years old.
  • Spread
    • Borer live in wild as well as in houses.
    • Fly from house to house, forest to house, in furniture moved from house to house.
Untreated timber is always at risk of borer damage.
  • Treatment
    • Fluids
    • Borer fluid on accessible timber – sub-floor, roof timbers, when GIB off internal walls etc.
    • Fluid will not be effective on paint or other coatings.
    • Borer Injector – flight holes.
    • If many holes close together, possible to use NO Borer in sponge and sponge ito holes. (wipe off excess).
    • Smell from solvent (turps or kerosene) can last several days. Only use in good ventilation.
    • Spray or brush on. If spraying, use coarse spray to reduce mist in atmosphere.
    • Fumigators
    • Kiwicare NO Bugs Borafume or Bug Bomb
    • Fumigators for places where timbers cannot be treated – hard to reach, painted areas, etc. Need to be used on 4+ consecutive years.
    • Fumigate October to March (NZ).
    • Borer fluid any time.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't heard of this particular beetle before; so, I found your article insightful and informational. Thanks so much for sharing!



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