Some insects can be major threats to wood, and Oriental wood borers (Heterobostrychus aequalis) are undeniably part of this category. These wood-boring creatures sometimes are seen in wood items that are come from Asia. As far as habitats go, Oriental wood borers are particularly prevalent in both subtropical and tropical settings. Larvae and mature specimens alike feast on lumber.
India and Beyond
Oriental wood borers are native to India and nearby nations including Sri Lanka. Their range also covers the Philippines and Malaysia. Their United States entry has been obstructed on many occasions, although they now are found in Florida. Oriental wood borers also roam areas of Australia, the Caribbean, Central America and Africa, specifically Madagascar in the latter region. They adjust easily to different locations.
Presence in Florida
These tiny pests were first confirmed in the United States in the winter of 1967, as they were gathered from oak lumber. This occurred in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. These wood pests were later discovered both in St. Petersburg and Miami, too. Oriental wood borers are thought to currently have strong numbers throughout the state, although in lots of different pockets.
Oriental wood borers migrate to new locales by stowing away in cargo of wood furnishings, plywood, lumber or anything of that ilk from India and southeastern Asian nations. Small holes on the upper layers of wood are indicative of Oriental wood borer invasions. When the bugs are through feasting on a piece, sizable sections of it may turn into a powder, rendering the item unrecognizable from its pre-infestation state.
Identifying Oriental Wood Borers
Oriental wood borers generally grow to lengths of no more than a half-inch and are often a lot shorter than that. Their lengthy physiques are cylindrical. Oriental wood borers vary in coloration from blackish-brown to reddish-brown. They're somewhat glossy in appearance. If you look at a specimen from higher up, you won't be able to see its head, as Oriental wood borers' heads retreat into their pronata, the tough plates situated in back of their heads. Male and female specimens don't look exactly the same -- the males possess noticeably larger pronota. The species' larvae tend to be yellow or white with dark mandibles. They can easily grow and thrive inside wood products.
Slender Banded Pinecone Longhorned Beetle
Slender banded pinecone longhorned beetles (Chlorophorus strobilicola) are another Indian insect species with a fondness for munching on wood, particularly pine cones. These wood-boring creatures have been spotted in boxes of pine cones sent from India.
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: An Oriental Wood Borer
- PaDIL: Lesser Auger Beetle
- CORE: World Distribution of Heterobostrychus Aequalis
- CSIRO: Heterobostrychus Aequalis
- A Guide to the Beetles of Australia: George Hangay and Paul Zborowski
- UC Riverside Entomology: Wood-Destroying Insects and Fungi
- Pest Tracker: Slender-Banded Pinecone Longhorn Beetle
- Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey: Chlorophorus Strobilicola
- Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images