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How to identify signs of borer

You may not realise that you have a wood borer problem until the resulting damage becomes visible, so early identification is key before they cause more harm.

Have you spotted wood borers?

Call Rentokil today for advice and to schedule a wood borer inspection of your home or business or contact us now.

What does a wood borer look like?

There are four stages of wood borer development

  • Egg
  • Larva
  • Pupa
  • Adult beetle

Adult beetles will lay their eggs in cracks in wooden objects, floorboards and timbers.  

When larvae hatch they immediately burrow through the timber, making it very unlikely they would be seen. They’ll be hungry and your woodwork will be their only food source. Safely inside the wood they continue to tunnel and feed for several years.

As the larvae mature and increase in size, they bore towards the wood surface to pupate and emerge as adult beetles.

Fact: Different insects prefer different woods, which will help you to identify what sort is causing your problems. Some prefer softwoods like pine, spruce and cedar while others like hardwoods such as eucalypt, oak, ash, and mahogany. Whatever the species, all of them will leave some signs, if you have an active wood borer infestation. Find out more about the different species.

Signs of wood borer

  • Fresh exit holes in timber - round or oval shaped with sharp edges, the holes will appear clean and fresh.

  • Tunnels in the wood - also known as 'galleries' which are often hard to see.

  • Bore dust - (also known as frass) caused by emerging adult beetles, usually visible below the infested timber.

  • Weak and damaged floorboards - in extreme cases, a foot or chair leg going through the floor can indicate a more serious problem.

  • Crumbling wood - around corners or edges to roof joists or floorboards.

  • Dead beetles - usually found near the infested timber or around nearby windowsills.

  • Adult beetles - emerge from timbers at various times.

  • Eggs - these vary in size depending on the beetle, but all are difficult to spot with the naked eye.

  • Wood borer larvae - usually a creamy-white colour and curved in shape.

Dealing with a wood borer infestation

If left untreated, wood borers can seriously weaken timber - this may lead to structural failure of timbers.

Our professional, experienced surveyors will carry out a thorough inspection to assess the extent of any problem and the type of wood borer involved. They will also determine if the infestation is active, check for associated problems such as wood rot or damp and if any timbers need replacing. Based on this detailed evaluation they will then recommend any appropriate wood borer treatment.

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