Identification of species is essential to determine if treatment is required and extent of infestation.

Borers will attack all susceptible timbers wether they are part of furniture or a building and older home are more likely to be attacked where timbers such as Baltic pine have been used for floorboards.

There are two species of borers commonly found in Sydney, these being Lyctus brunneus (powder post beetles) and the Anobium punctatum (furniture beetle).

Powder post beetles are not usually considered a major timber pest as damage is confined to sapwood of hardwoods, therefore treatment or the replacement of timber is not usually essential, however we recommend a building inspector be consulted regarding damage.

Powder post beetle  Powder post beetle damage

Furniture beetles require treatment and are considered active unless proof of treatment is available. Damaged timbers may require replacement and treatment is usually carried out annually for a 3 year period.

Furniture beetle  Furniture beetle damage

When borers are in the larvae stage they do most of their damage to timbers. Borers pupate in the timber when they are fully fed, just below the surface of the timbers and then penetrate through emergence holes after this stage and chew through the outer timber layer. Hole sizes will vary between species, but will be 1-2mm big (and pin head like in appearance) and frass (sawdust) is usually found in the area.

The female inserts her ovipositor back into a susceptible piece of timber, which can be the same piece of timber, or she may fly away in search of another where she lays her eggs and the life cycle recommences.


European house borers are extremely rare in Sydney, there have only been about 6 cases but if discovered becomes a quarantine issue and must be treated by wrapping the house in a plastic membrane and fumigating with a gas.