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European house borer in Western Australia

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Formerly known as the Forest Research Institute, Scion has been a leader in research relating to forest health for over 50 years. The Rotorua-based Crown Research Institute continues to provide science that will protect all forests from damage caused by insect pests, pathogens and weeds. The information presented below arises from these research activities.

From Forest Health News No. 219, September/October 2011.

In mid September John Bain attended a meeting of the Scientific Advisory Panel for European house borer (EHB) (Hylotrupes bajulus) in Perth, Western Australia. EHB is a very serious pest of untreated softwood timbers, particularly pines. It was first detected in Western Australia in 2004. Following the discovery immediate action was taken to determine the extent of EHB infestation, and to prevent further spread. Initially the plan was to attempt eradication of the borer and action taken resulted in big reductions in EHB populations in affected areas and containment of the pest to defined Perth locations.

Recently it became apparent that eradication was not feasible. The response to the incursion is now in a transition from eradication to a management programme, changing its focus to the implementation of an interstate regulatory system. As part of this transition, new legislation will be introduced by other states and territories that place restrictions on the movement of pine wood (including timber, pallets, packaging, dunnage and furniture) out of Western Australia.

John Bain


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(Scion is the trading name of the New Zealand Forest Research Institute Limited.)


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