Wood borers are insects which damage wood by tunneling at the larval (grub) stage for food or leaving an emergence hole on the surface of the wood as an adult (beetle). These emergence holes are quite visible and are usually the first signs of an active infestation of wood borer.
All wood boring insects, with the exception of termites, have a similar life cycle:
Eggs are laid in the timber during spring and summer and the larvae, which are pale creamy-white grubs, tunnel through the wood during the cooler months until fully grown. Pupation follows during which the larvae take on the adult beetle form. The onset of warmer weather triggers emergence of the adults from the timber whereupon they mate, lay eggs then die. It should be noted that once emerged, adult beetles do not cause any damage to timber. An exception is the Auger beetle which may occasionally bore a short tunnel into the timber to lay eggs.
Borers are known to attack old furniture and structural timbers such as flooring. Borers can be introduced into a house by bringing in old furniture so it should always be thoroughly inspected. Knocking a piece of infested timber usually causes fine borer dust to be dislodged from the emergence holes. The presence of holes or dust does not always mean borer are still active within the timber. To find out whether they are still active, mark all emergence holes with a pen or pencil. Check the timber monthly, the appearance of new holes will indicate that borers are still present. If the number of holes are too numerous to make this method practical, placing newspaper underneath the affected timber and checking on a regular basis for dust output can indicate activity. Dust however may continue to be dislodged from emergence holes by normal movement or vibration caused by human activity in the house for several years after borer activity has ceased. The pencil method is a more reliable indicator.
Contact Melbourne Pest Control if you believe you may have a borer problem.