Borer Control

The more common types of Wood Destroying Pests Encountered

(This list is by no means complete and new wood destroying pests are continually finding their way into New Zealand).

Annobium punctatum: (the Furniture Beetle, Borer Beetle, Common House Borer)

Annobium punctatum: (the Furniture Beetle, Borer Beetle, Common House Borer)

A small brown beetle approximately 3-4mm in length with its head facing down. Its life cycle is 3-4 Years in sap timber, emerging as an adult in Spring. It prefers timbers with a moisture content range from 5-7%, up to approximately 20%.

This beetle is very common in untreated sap woods Including Rimu, Matai, Pinus Radiata (Pine), and Kauri..

However this beetle has also been known to attack untreated ply-woods Chip Board,and Pinex Panelling. Chemical Free Laser Frame Pinus Radiata Pine (Common in houses 1996 - 2003) is also attacked once the moisture reaches 5-7%.

Timbers not usually attacked include, all heart timbers and the likes of Macrocarpa, Cedar,and to a degree Oak (due to its high tannin Content) plus Douglas Fir.

This is by far the most common economical wood pest introduced into New Zealand.

Rule of Thumb for timbers : 6 holes to the square inch (2.5cm Square) the timber is half eaten.

Look a Likes:

Found in the kitchen, food cupboards and looking very similar to Borer only slightly more Reddish-Brown in colour is the Drugstore Beetle (Stegobium paniceum). This is found infesting Breakfast cereals, Grains, Seeds and Dry Pet Food. This beetle also has the ability to bore through sheet lead.

Ambeodontus tristis (The Two-Toothed Long Horn Beetle)

Ambeodontus tristis (The Two-Toothed Long Horn Beetle)

This Beetle is native to New Zealand, one of the most destructive beetles of Wood Structures.

The Adult Beetles are between 12 - 25 mm long, slim and between medium brown and dark brown in colour.

The Two- Tooth Long Horn Beetle prefers timbers with a moisture content of at least 15% or higher, so substructures of homes where untreated timbers have been used, are more likely to be attacked.

Roof trussses, are generally dryer and less likely to be attacked. The main exceptions being houses in damp shady areas, with leakey roofs or houses with the earlier styles of clay tiles (These become quite porous with age, and let moisture through, if not recoated, or replaced), These are also commonly attacked.

Two Tooth Long Horn Beetle's damage in weatherboards can be an indicator of leaks in the wall cavitys of a house. Improving ventilation in the subflloor and attic areas can greatly reduce infestation levels.

Two tooth damage should be regarded as serious. Estimates are that it is approximately 140 times more destructive than Common House Borer. Exit holes are a distinctly oval shape, and between 6mm and 15mm in width.

Kalotermes brouni  (New Zealand Dry Wood Termite)

Kalotermes brouni (New Zealand Dry Wood Termite)

The New Zealand Drywood Termite is much more common in New Zealand than the community is aware.

Like the Two Tooth Long Horn Beetle it prefers area of reasonably high moisture (15% and above). This Termite is more likely to be found in poorly ventilated substructure timbers in buildings. It is also found in untreated wooden fencing. Colonies can exist for years before people become aware of them.

Adults emerge around February and look like grains of rice with wings. The young nymphs are also similar (yellow to rusty brown colour, and look like grains of rice with legs.


Boric Treatment was introduced in the 50's to treat Pinus Radiata (pine) internal framing, and to a lesser extent rimu flooring, to prevent borer. Boric has some great features, it is odourless, has no skin irritability or respiratory problems and it is a flame retardant. It will also kill rot, and to a degree prevent rot as well. Boric is naturally mined out of the ground, and an essential element (boron) in soil.

This method of treatment is used on exposed framing timber only i.e. substructures, crawl spaces, Ceiling cavities etc. due to it leaving a very fine crystal residue on the timber.

For timber that is varnished, painted, waxed or coated we use a solvent based insecticide called Borer- Strike TM and we pressure inject it into the timber to provide enough residual protection and kill any infestation. this is a very difficult treatment method.

A common misonception is that borer is only found in old homes, its not.

A common misonception is that borer is only found in old homes, its not.

We are finding borer showing up in homes built in the 1980's which were considered treated. There are some photos of the floor of a house on the right that was riddled with borer and was only 25 years old. The borer was right through the chipboard floor and staircase. People have often believed that borer does not attack chipboard. Here is evidence to prove it does.
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