Australian Timber Borers Can Cause Minor to Severe Damage to Wooden Structures

Australia is home to all kinds of timber borers – some borers more serious than others. If you think you’ve got a borer problem, you certainly need to know what type of borer you have.

What are borers? They’re the larval form of various beetle families.

Despite the fact that adult beetles will lay eggs inside timber, the larval stage of the borer beetle is the one responsible for the destruction seen. After all, the growing grubs eat the timber.  Some beetles will spend years in this stage, resulting in major damage. However, this damage can’t be seen until the borer go through the pupal sage and become a winged insect. And, the damage is noticed by the flight holes they’ve created after they’ve left the timber.

4 Common and Not So Destructive Types of Borers

 1 – Auger Beetles



Auger beetle borers are rather innocuous, as they often don’t leave many flight holes and don’t flourish in the timber.



2 – Longicornspestcontrolsydneylongihorns

This type of borer will leave behind six to 10 millimetre oval-shaped holes that show up when they appear out of wall linings and framing timbers.  They are easily identified by the flight holes’ shape and sizes. Are they harmless or a cause for concern? Well, since they can’t breed in timber and don’t proliferate, they’re not seen as a problem for structures.


3 – Lyctus Borer (Powder Post Beetle)

This kind ofpestcontrolsydneypowderpostbeetle borer goes after the sapwood of specific vulnerable hardwood timber species. What is sapwood? It’s the living band of wood that outlines trees and is often seen with decorative timbers such as timber trees, small-dimensioned battens and skirting boards.   The powder post beetle can affect the timbers of a home within three to five years of being built.

This borer is recognised by the flour-like dust and two millimetre holes left behind. While not considered a problem in terms of structural damage, they can be unattractive.  If you notice any of the signs of this kind of borer infestation, you could replace the timbers that have been affected. No special treatment is warranted for this type of damage.

4 – Pinhole Borers pestcontrolsydneypinholeborers

Pinhole borers are unable to survive once timber has dried, which is why they’re often gone before wood is used in construction. They leave behind “flight holes”, which is how you can identify them.  Little borer dust is found around these holes because the insect is either dead or moved on.  Since they don’t leave very many holes, they’re not considered a destructive species like the Queensland Pine Borer and Anobium Borer.


2 Destructive Types of Timber Borers and How To Treat The Infested Wood

Anobium Borer and Queensland Pine Borer

These types of borers are far more destructive to wood, but especially to pine varieties. The Anobiumpunctatum, which is found throughout Australia, love to feed on Baltic pine, often seen with weatherboards and floorboards.

The borers often move through the wood grain, creating two millimetre pinholes and leave a significant amount of loose gritty dust – think fine table salt. They have the ability to consume food for years.

How might you determine if you have an infestation of this borer type? If your floorboards feel spongy, you can make a fair assumption that you’ve got these little buggers.  You may notice the spongy floor feeling at one side of a big room (living room, for example) because a large floor space will give way more easily.

Keep in mind that old floorboards and antique or second-hand furniture could have borers, which is why you need to take a good look at them before you bring them into your home.

How To Treat Borer-Affected Wood

You need to deal with all borer-infested timbers, which entail removing the timbers and replacing them with non-infected wood. Since borers love damp timers, you need to clean vents outs, eliminate debris and drain damp soil on a regular basis.

In order for wood infected by the Anobiid to be treated (with chemicals), you need to employ a currently licensed pest control business. You can use a chemical treatment to control and protect timbers from Queensland pine beetle or furniture beetle.  Keep in mind that while the cost is rather inexpensive, it’s not a very effective treatment. This type of treatment, if to be effective, will need to be completed over a period of time.

However, the best thing you can do is to replace all susceptible wood if you decide to sell your property. Failure to do so could mean an inspector is liable to note the borers as being active.