Susceptibility of Sarawak timber to attack by powder post beetles

IRG/WP 01-10413

K Jenang, Wang Choon Ling

Degradation of timber by powder post beetles results in some economic loss to the timber merchants and end-users alike. The infestation is normally confined to the sapwood of some hardwoods due to the presence of starch that serves as food for the powder post beetles. This study was conducted to assess the susceptibility of commercial timber species of Sarawak, Malaysia to attack by powder post beetles with a view to compile a "Check List". Timber samples measuring 25mm x 150mm x 150mm3 each were neatly stacked and exposed to attack by powder post beetles for a period of at least 5 years inside a building. Additional information on susceptibility was also collected through casual observations at several locations. General observations were also made on the types of beetles as well as starch content of some randomly selected timber species used in the experiment. The severity of attack on susceptible species was rated visually and graded as "Highly susceptible", "Moderately susceptible" and "Rarely susceptible". To date, approximately 100 commercial timber species of Sarawak were confirmed to be susceptible to attack by powder post beetles. Minthea rugicollis was frequently encountered infesting timber samples compared to Bostrychids. In all cases starch was present in the infested timber samples randomly tested for the presence of starch.


Conference: 01-05-20/25 Nara, Japan

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