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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.

Longhorn Beetle

(Cerambycidae)

Appearance

  • Adult beetle is 10–25 mm in length. 
  • Black/brown colour with greyish hairs and 2 black spots on thorax which resemble eyes. 
  • Larva is greyish white in colour 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 moves 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)

Appearance

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

Life Cycle

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

Habits

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

Pinhole Borer

Appearance

  • Adult beetle is very small, 1–2 mm in length. 
  • Elongate, cylindrical shaped and predominantly chestnut-brown or dark brown in colour. 
  • Mature larva is creamy white in colour, cylindrical shaped with yellowish head.

Habits

  • Digs into 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

Appearance

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

Life Cycle

  • Larva usually takes 1–2 years to mature. 
  • Adult beetle has 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

Appearance

  • Adult beetle length can goes up to 3 mm and cigarette-shaped. 
  • Dark brown to black in colour with reddish brown legs and antenna. 
  • Larva is white in colour, curve shaped and can grow up to 3 mm long.

Life Cycle

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

Habits

  • Often attack logs and timbers.