WOOD BORER SPECIES

Wood damaging pests can attack expensive antiques and even a building’s structural components. Knowing the type of wood-boring beetles involved can help determine the most effective control methods.

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Longhorn Beetle

(Cerambycidae)

longhorn beetle

Appearance

  • The adult beetle is 10–25 mm in length.
  • Black/brown colour with greyish hairs and two black spots on thorax which resemble eyes.
  • The larva is greyish white and can grow up to 35 mm when fully developed.

Habits

  • Female lays eggs in cracks and crevices of wood.
  • Larva tunnels between sapwood and bark; subsequently move deeper into the wood as it matures.
  • Larva creates a hole before it pupates and leaves wood fibres out of the hole.
  • Often found infesting dying trees or abandoned logs.

Powder Post Beetle

(Lyctus brunneus)

powder post beetle

Appearance

  • The adult beetle is flattened and elongated with 1–7 mm in length.
  • Reddish to dark brown.
  • The larva is white, slightly curved and can measure up to 5mm when fully developed.
  • The newly hatched larva is straight, extraordinarily slender and less than 1 mm long.

Life Cycle

  • Under the favourable condition, it takes 9–12 months to develop fully.
  • Adult lives 1–3 months.

Habits

  • Usually attacks dry, untreated wood with chemicals and rich in starch, like Rubberwood, Ramin, Jelutong, Penarahan, Merbau and Kempas.

Pinhole Borer

pinhole borer

Appearance

  • The adult beetle is tiny, 1–2 mm in length.
  • Elongate, cylindrical shaped and predominantly chestnut-brown or dark brown.
  • The mature larva is creamy white, cylindrically shaped, with a yellowish head.

Habits

  • Digs into the wood to construct galleries where they produce fungi for its larva to feed on.
  • Often found infesting wood such as logs and timbers when it is still ‘green’ before it has been dried.

Jewel Beetle

jewel beetle

Appearance

  • The adult beetle is 2–20 mm in length.
  • Bright metallic colours with flattened bodies and an elliptical outline.

Life Cycle

  • The larva usually takes 1–2 years to mature.
  • Adult beetle has a short life span, usually living 3–5 months.

Habits

  • Larva burrows into the heartwood of living or freshly felled trees.
  • Larva creates a hole before it pupates and leaves wood fibres out the hole.
  • Often found infesting abandoned trees and logs.

Shothole Borer

shothole borer

Appearance

  • Adult beetle length can go up to 3 mm and cigarette-shaped.
  • Dark brown to black with reddish-brown legs and antenna.
  • The larva is white, curve-shaped and can grow up to 3 mm long.

Life Cycle

  • Female lays up to 50 eggs.
  • Larva takes 6–8 weeks to develop fully.

Habits

  • Often attack logs and timbers.