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The European House Borer (EHB) 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 pine timber.
The damage is done by EHB larvae that hatch from the eggs. EHB can live in its larval state for 2 to 10 years until it matures and emerges from the timber as an adult beetle to begin the cycle again.
There is a risk of infestation if you have untreated pine within an area where EHB has been found. In response to the threat posed by EHB an eradication program has been developed by the WA 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 zones, known as Restricted Movement Zones (RMZs), where the movement of susceptible material is restricted, this can include untreated pine. If your new house is being built within one of these areas you should use resistant construction materials. These include treated timber, non-softwood timber or steel. This will ensure protection from EHB infestation.
Existing houses 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. Homeowners should be aware of the signs of EHB and report any suspicious signs.
As part of the eradication programme, 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 resistent to EHB.
EHB Hotline 1800 084 881 (free)
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