Perth pest your family home should know about

By The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, 20 Jun 2020

European House Borer

Burn season is the perfect time to take action on your own property to stop the spread of European house borer (EHB)!

EHB is a pest of seasoned (dry) pinewood which has been established in some areas of Perth since 2004. It is most often found outside in dead pine trees, dead parts of living pine trees, and in pine logs and debris. It is occasionally found in pine furniture and at worst has the potential to infest and damage untreated pine timbers inside your home. The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) is working with the community to stop the spread of this serious pest.

The simplest way to make sure EHB is not attracted to your property is to destroy any unwanted/dead pine wood which could host EHB. To break down pine material sufficiently to be unable to host the pest, you need to either chip it to a volume smaller than 100cm3 or fully burn the wood to the ground. As many of us don’t have easy access to a chipper, a winter bonfire could be an appealing option. Note that EHB have been known to survive in a charred stump, so you must burn all pine wood remnants completely to make sure it is EHB-proof.

While the cooler weather is a great opportunity to make your house and property as unattractive to EHB as possible, the most important thing is to do it safely. Your first step is to check your local government website for their specific fire-related regulations, guidelines and permit requirements (different local governments may vary slightly). If unsure, ring your local government to talk to a Fire Officer for advice. In some situations Volunteer Fire Officers in your area can manage the burn on your behalf for a negotiated fee or donation. You may also need to arrange a tree lopping contractor for safe felling of standing dead pine trees.

As well as meeting local government requirements, it is a good idea to register your proposed ‘hazard reduction burn’ with the Department of Fire and Emergency Services prior to lighting (on 9395 9209) in case a helpful member of the public sees smoke and thinks it’s a bush fire.

If you suspect your dead pinewood is infested with EHB, please make a report using the MyPestGuideTM Reporter app, or contact DPIRD’s Pest and Disease Information Service on 9368 3080 or padis@dpird.wa.gov.au.

For more information about EHB, please go to DPIRD’s EHB webpages

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