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There are 2 main types of borer in this country.

1: The Common Borer

2: The Two Tooth (or long horned borer).


The main borer we tend to come across is the Common Borer which makes small round exit holes about the same size and shape as a pinhead and lives for up to 3 years in the timber.


The Two-toothed borer makes much larger, oval-shaped holes and lives for up to 11 years in the timber. You won’t see an entry hole, only an exit hole. 

 To treat borer effectively in a building, you really need to be considering some kind of renovating. Unless of course, the borer is only in the subfloor.

We have a few different treatments for borer, depending on how thorough a job you want.


To treat borer in the ceiling cavity may take some work on your behalf before we arrive.


The insulation needs to be removed before treatment.


Access to cavity needs to be arranged or holes may need to be drilled to obtain access. These will need to be plastered over later.


The treatment may discolour the ceiling, in which case it would need repainting (with oil-based paint).


The treatment may leak from the ceiling and damage anything not protected below.


If borer are in the walls, unless the wall linings have been removed (and they would need to be removed if the walls are insulated), small holes (approx. 10 mm) need to be drilled between each nog so that a 360 degree sprayer can be inserted to treat the framing timber.

These holes need to be plugged and painted or papered over.

Excess spray inside the wall is likely to run out from the base plate and could have an adverse effect on the flooring material e.g. soak into carpet.


Also, you need to ensure that electrical wiring is protected from being wet to prevent fuses shorting if spray was to interfere with wiring.


For borer in the floor, there’s nothing special needing to be done unless you want both sides of the floor treated.


If that were the case, you need to have all the floor coverings removed and if the floor is sealed, you need to have it sanded as the treatment will not penetrate a painted or polyurethaned surface.


If only the underside of the floor is able to be treated, the topside may still be susceptible to infestation until the boric treatment has time to soak through to it.


THE TREATMENT WE USE is a boric treatment called disodium octaborate tetrahydrate.

It is the latest and safest of the borer treatments available.

Previously we used a synthetic pyrethroid with paraffin as the carrier. That is still an excellent treatment as it stays active in the timber for many years and is far superior to most water-based sprays which are only active for a few months. However, it did have the drawback of the odour which could be smelled for many weeks after treatment.


Boric treatment however, is safe to use, virtually odourless, and we can warrant the treatment for 10 years provided the timber is kept dry.



This is what the boric treatment needs to be dissolved in just before it’s sprayed onto the timber.

Note. Painters have informed us that it is usually about 3 weeks after treatment before they are able to paint the treated surfaces and that oil-based paints must be used. 


1.      Up to 800 sq ft (approx 75 sq m)

          Subfloor                                                                                               $750.00

          Ceiling cavity                                                                                       $750.00

2.        Up to 1000 sq ft (approx 95 sq m)

          Subfloor                                                                                               $855.00

          Ceiling cavity                                                                                       $855.00

3.        Up to 1500 sq ft (approx 140 sq m)

           Subfloor                                                                                              $1120.00

           Ceiling cavity                                                                                       $1120.00

4.       Up to 2000 sq ft (approx 185 sq m)

          Subfloor                                                                                               $1295.00

          Ceiling cavity                                                                                       $1295.00

5.        Walls and Wall cavities: Regardless of window and door space           $7.00 sq m.

6.        Doors:          Minimum of 3.                                                      approx $40.00 each

7.        Piano (upright): must be shifted by customer into garage.         $300.00

8.        Average piece of furniture: e.g. Wardrobe                                    $100.00

 9.        Minimum Borer Charge:                                                                    $400.00

Prices include G.S.T. but do not include travel expenses or any extras which may be required e.g. gaining access to "hard access areas"


This treatment is usually used for houses that have been moved, that the Council have requested a certificate for borer treatment, but don’t actually have borer.


We have heard of several people being in this position over the years. They have had an old timber house moved onto their land and been told by Council to have the house professionally treated for borer, even though they don’t appear to have borer. So they have taken this much less expensive option with a treatment of synthetic pyrethroid with water as the carrier.


With this treatment there is no need to remove the insulation or to drill any holes but the treatment is not warranted so is not recommended for long-term protection for borer. ($700 for a whole house)


Go to your local hardware store, buy a borer bomb, let it off in the house and pretend all the borer are dead.


Seriously though, borer bombs are a waste of money and time.


If you look at the fine print on the side of the can you will see that it says “for borer on the wing”.

This means that it is only going to kill the borer that have come to adult stage, that have come out of the timber, and are present in the room where you let them off.

They send a small amount of insecticide throughout the room and when it settles there will be a small amount of powder residue on top of the timber.

This offers a small amount of residual action for any adult borer that may fly in and land on top of the timber to lay eggs.


It doesn’t affect any borer that doesn’t land on it and it has no effect on the borer which is dining on your timber.


Remember that I said that the Common Borer lives for up to 3 years in the timber and the Two-toothed Borer for up to 11?


So a borer bomb is pretty much as much use as a can of fly spray for getting rid of borer inside your timber.


If you’re serious about having borer treated there’s really only the thorough job or FUMIGATION TREATMENT.


Fumigation treatment can be organised but that is really expensive and involves a heap of hassle.


The fumigants used are so dangerous that Council approval has to be obtained and the Health Inspector has to oversee the job.


A huge tent has to be erected over the house and perfectly sealed so as to keep all the gas in.

Some fumigants destroy copper wiring and others can affect foam rubber so they may not be wise to use in your house.


But the two main factors against fumigation would have to be the cost, which would be prohibitive to get all that done and the main thing against fumigation is that there is no residual effect. It may kill all the borer in your house this week, but nothing is left there to stop it being re-infested next spring.


Whereas the boric treatment and the pyrethroid with paraffin treatment keep borer at bay for many years.

Phone Larry & Jos on 0274927035