In 2004, the European House Borer (EHB) was discovered in the Perth area. Extensive efforts were made to minimise the damage caused by these wood boring insects and to eradicate them from Australia all together.
Since then new regulations have been made to limit the spread of the EHB outside of the quarantined area. Untreated pinewood, in particular, cannot be moved from the Restricted Movement Zones unless certain requirements have been met.
If you are considering making any home improvements in Perth, be sure that your contractor is well versed in the necessary precautions to take to keep your home safe from EHB destruction.
Evidence of EHB Infestation
To date, only one home in the infested region has been impacted by EHB an infestation with only minimal damage caused. It is possible to mitigate damage caused by EHB if the infestation is noticed early. It can take up to 15 years for EHB to cause structural collapse, so catching them early is important to keep your house from being completely compromised.
A good builder or a pest control expert will be able to spot the signs of infestation. They will look for exit holes in the wood made by adult beetles as well as frass and beetle tracks left in the frass that has fallen out of the hole. Frass is a mixture of wood dust and excrement and can usually be found under the exit holes. EHB may also become trapped in spider webs. Adult beetles range in size from 8-25 mm and are brownish-black in colour. Larvae can grow up to 4 mm in length and are a creamy white colour. It is possible to hear the adult beetles chewing on the wood. The sound is a soft scraping sound. If you or your builder finds any or all of these signs on your property, it will be necessary to bring in an accredited EHB exterminator to properly fumigate the property in order to preserve structural integrity and to protect your house from future infestations.
The easiest way to avoid EHB is to be sure that in any pinewood used in home improvements in Perth has been properly treated to deter infestation or to use a different kind of wood altogether. A reputable Perth builder will know the regulations surrounding the use of pinewood in Perth and will take the necessary steps to help you to keep your house EHB free.