Timber pest inspections are not just about termites

14 Jan. 2020

The below article has been sent out across the Pest Industry from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Developments - Biosecurity.  We are proud that our team made this and followed all correct procedures to ensure it was investigated and all relevant actions taken. It's reminder to us all though just how important annual Timber Pest Inspections are, not just for termites but other Timber pests as well.

Suspect holes well spotted!

A vigilant pest control technician from Termico Pest Management spotted 30-40 holes suspected of being European house borer (EHB) in a single timber roof beam during a routine inspection of a 24 year old house in a Perth suburb late last year. The company reported the suspect find to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS), where experts also assessed the holes as possible EHB exit holes (oval shaped and running with the grain).

EHB.jpg

As no insect specimens were found, DPIRD staff were initially unable to confirm or exclude the very serious pest. By submitting a small sample of splinters from the affected timber to a wood identification specialist however, we were able to exclude the possibility of EHB by identifying the affected beam as a hardwood (Spotted Gum). EHB is known to only infest some species of softwoods, mainly pine in Western Australia.

Visual on-site identification of the species of the affected timber beam was not straightforward in this case as there was a mix of hardwood and softwood timbers in the roof. In addition, the Spotted Gum was much lighter in colour than the most commonly used hardwood at the time, Jarrah. Given the serious implications of possibly having EHB in your structural timber, going through the process of having a wood specialist professionally identify the wood species was a valuable step.

Pest control operators doing timber pest inspections are the only professional group with the opportunity to inspect inside a roof space for EHB – so please continue keep your eyes peeled for signs of this serious pest!

For information about EHB go to the DPIRD website at www.agric.wa.gov.au/ehb
Report suspect EHB via MyPestGuide™ Reporter (download the app or make an online report) or contact PaDIS on (08) 9368 3080 or email: padis@dpird.wa.gov.au

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