Borer is also known as Bora or woodworm. There are up to 7 species of wood- boring insects in New Zealand that might attack the timbers of your home or other buildings.

The most common of these is the Common House Borer (Anobium punctatum) also known as Woodworm in the UK. A close relative, a lavomaculatum is rarely distinguished from the Common Borer and may be the more common in Canterbury. The life cycles of these insects are similar. Adult females lay up to 100 eggs on bare timber or in old flight holes. The eggs hatch after 4-5 weeks and the larvae bore through the wood, eating it and using yeasts in their stomachs to help break down cellulose in the wood. After 3-4 years the larvae pupate in a chamber near the surface, then 4-8 weeks later the adults exit the wood by eating their way to the surface. The adults fly to find a mate and begin the life cycle over again. The females lay their eggs on bare wood, the flight holes are approximately 2mm in diameter for Common Borer and 3-4mm for native borer. It is important that a thorough survey is carried out to ascertain the extent of any infestation. It is frequently the case that a few flight holes are visible on the exterior of painted weather boards, however when the boards are examined more closely the interior of the timbers are badly damaged and many flight holes are present on the interior surface. joists and beams.

Borer larvae prefer the softer sap wood timbers to eat and damage. It is often seen in weatherboards or floor boards that some are heavily attacked and others untouched. The untouched timbers are likely to be harder heartwood. It is also the case that attack is more likely on the south side of a house and in the floor boards and joists. This is because borer prefer the cooler damper areas where the relative humidity is higher.

How to reduce the risk of infestation