The House Longhorn Beetle (Hylotrupes Bajulus) is also sometimes known as the ‘Camberley Beetle’, due to its prevalence in Camberley but it can also be found in other areas of North-West Surrey and in some areas of London.
The beetle feeds on softwood roofing timbers and, as with most wood-boring insects, the majority of the timber degeneration is caused by the larvae of the beetle burrowing out of the timber. The adult beetles do bore exit holes in the timber but, unfortunately, once these are visible it is likely that there is already extensive damage within the timber.
One of the reasons that the damage within the timber is so dramatic is that the House Longhorn beetle spends the majority of its life as larvae. 2-3 weeks after eggs are laid in crevices in wood the larvae hatch and begin to bore into the wood; they then spend between 3 to 11 years eating away at the internal areas of the timber, leaving oval tunnels, before eventually transforming into a beetle. The beetles then leave flight holes large, oval, often ragged, 6-10mm in diameter as they eat their way out of the timber and then fly off to mate and lay more eggs. This transformation usually takes 3 weeks and tends to be during the warmer summer months. The dust filled tunnels can causes blisters on the surface of the wood, with the bore dust being cream coloured, sausage shaped pellets.
Infestation with House Longhorn Beetle is Legally Notifiable in certain areas due to the rapid deterioration; you need to act quickly if you suspect that you have an infestation to prevent serious structural damage, particularly to roofing timbers.
Although Woodworm treatments usually involve surface treatment of timber with an application of insecticides/fungicides, Longhorn beetle differs in that the larvae are deep inside the timber hence a surveyor will need to inspect the area to determine the extent of infestation and any signs of structural weakening and decide on the best course of action. In some instances, areas of timber may need to be cut away and replaced and in others internal injection and repeat visits by a qualified surveyor, to check for further signs of infestation, may be required.
If you suspect that timber in your property is affected by House Longhorn Beetle why not call a specialist, such as Preservation Treatments, so they can give you their expert advice?
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Tel: 01276 66466