What is the European House Borer?
The European House Borer (EHB) is a destructive pest that targets 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 pine timber.
The damage is done by EHB larvae that hatch from the eggs. EHB can live in its larval state for two to 10 years until it matures and emerges from the timber as an adult beetle to begin the cycle again.
Is my property at risk?
There is a risk of infestation if you have untreated pine within a location where EHB has been found. In response to the threat posed by EHB a containment program has been developed by the Western Australian Government.
The EHB has only been found in the Perth metropolitan area (except for one site in Albany, which has been traced directly to a Perth suburb). Sites where the pest has been found are surrounded by a restricted zone, known as a Restricted Movement Zone (RMZ), where the movement of susceptible material, including untreated pine, is restricted. If your new house is being built in one of these areas you should use resistant construction materials. These include treated timber, non-softwood timber or steel. This will ensure protection from infestation.
Existing properties in RMZs may have been constructed with untreated pine, particularly if they were built after the late 1990s. There has been one case of EHB infesting structural timber of a house. Property owners should be aware of the signs and report anything suspicious.
The Building Commission requirements for resistant material use in RMZs
As part of the containment program, the Building Commission has advised local government and affected industries that the correct interpretation of the Building Code in RMZs is to use materials that are resistant to EHB.
If you believe that you have seen an EHB, or signs of infestation, contact the hotline on 1800 084 881 (free call).
Go to the European House Borer website