Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Wharf borer beetle (Nacerdes melanura)

Wharf Borer Beetle (nacerdes melanura) is a small wood boring beetle of the family Oedemeridae (which are also known as ‘false blister beetles’). It is destructive to piling and wood under wharves, wet flooring, wet boxes, wood lying on damp ground, buildings near the water, and sometimes telegraph poles. The timber is always damp and decayed when the wharf borer infestation occurs, but large numbers of the adult beetles can emerge from the wood, causing problems to operations and building projects.

As the name suggests they are often found in wharf timbers or other timbers that are submerged in water. In a property you will usually find them in cellars and very damp subfloors. It attacks both softwoods and hardwoods. Species attacked included oak, poplar, and pine.  These 'infestations' are not uncommon in coastal and riverside locations.

Wharf Borer Beetle

Wharf Borer Characteristics

Adult wharf borer beetles are up to 12mm in length. The beetles are pale reddish-brown with distinctive black tip to wing covers, detected on or around damaged timber in May and June. You will notice large, oval emergence holes, about 6 mm across, leading to irregular galleries.

The beetles are known to invade adjacent buildings in great numbers causing a nuisance. The larvae are up to 30 mm long and are slim and greyish-white. The larvae can be found all year round, on or in damaged timber.

As and example, the International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works reports that 2% of stored waterlogged timbers from the centuries-old Mary Rose ship were infested by larvae of the wharf-borer beetle, and that it had penetrated polyethylene sheet used to wrap timbers.

Woodworm Treatment

If possible, the important issue is to correct the dampness and water ingress. The effected timbers are likely to be of poor quality through dampness and rot and should be replaced.

Consult a woodworm specialist to diagnose the type of woodworm infestation and the appropriate treatment. Peter Cox Ltd will send an experienced surveyor to visit your property. They will describe the potential woodworm treatment costs and alternatives. Please contact us by completing our woodworm enquiry form or by telephone us on 0845 222 0404.