European House Borer (EHB) Hylotrupes bajulus Linnaeus is a destructive pest of seasoned coniferous timber including pine, fir and spruce. If allowed to become established it can cause major structural damage to buildings.
The adult beetle lays its eggs into cracks, holes and joints in dead pine trees, dead branches or other dead parts of living trees and untreated manufactured articles derived from pine timber.
The damage is done by EHB larvae that hatch from the eggs. European House Borer can live in its larval state for 2-12 years before it matures and emerges from the timber as an adult beetle, to begin the life cycle again. Although, it is only when 2-3 generations have infested the same piece of wood that serious structural damage can result.
In the hot temperate climate of Perth, Western Australia, research has shown the larval life cycle to be closer to 2-5 years.
Main timbers in use in Western Australia, likely to be affected are:
- Pine (Pinus spp)
- Oregon (Douglas fir – Pseudotsuga spp)
Timber manufactured articles are less susceptible to damage when treated with suitable preservative chemicals.
The pest is able to live in a wide variety of climatic conditions however it prefers temperate habitats.
EHB has become a serious pest of seasoned softwood timbers in all countries where it has become established.