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The old-house borer (Hylotrupes bajulus) is a species of wood-boring beetle in the family Cerambycidae (longhorn beetles). Its larvae are pests of construction lumber and also infect dead wood in plantations. Originating in Europe, the old-house borer now has a worldwide distribution, including the Mediterranean, South Africa, Asia, USA and Canada, and Australia. In 1970, this pest was eradicated from Eastern Australia, but in 2004 it was found in Perth, Western Australia. A huge eradication campaign is underway and with hopes to contain the pest before it spreads with activities such as: door-knock surveys to locate potential pests, public education and report hotline, inspections of roofs in contaminated areas, trap pole placements, and training of detector dogs to recognize specific boring frequencies in lumber.

Only the old-house borer larvae feed on wood. Larvae prefer seasoned softwoods, particularly pine but also Douglas fir, and take two or three or more years to mature, depending on the moisture content of the wood. Larvae usually mature in the spring, and the mature adults then cut exit holes 6–10 mm in diameter. Because the beetle has a long life cycle and one generation is not sufficient time to cause major structural damage, containing the population in this first generation can be very effective for reducing loss. Treatment of building lumber is very important in reducing spread and infestation of beetles in structures. Adults are black or brown with grayish "hair" on their upper bodies and elytra (wing cases), and have shiny spots that resemble eyes. They are most active in the summer.

(Australian department of agriculture and food 2011; Wikipedia 2011)


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