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Thread: common south african pests

  1. #11
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    The diversity amongst cockroaches is astounding - there is even a Table Mountain cockroach with a distribution only in the Cape Town area.

    When it comes to beetles, the range is even bigger. There is one thing I can say it is not - and that is a woodborer beetle. This one has eaten the paper.

    Type of food is pretty specific, it takes some pretty special digestive abilities to eat and obtain nutrition from dry, seasoned timber. When it comes to woodborer beetles, it's the larva stage that does the damage.

    A hole in paper caused by woodborer does occur, but only because it's in the way and not for nutrition. The result tends to be a clean hole straight through.

    A fairly accurate measurement of length would help.

    And for any other pest control types taking this one on, the area is Cape Town. (That eliminated a few of my hot prospects).
    Last edited by Dave A; 27-Oct-06 at 08:18 AM. Reason: We now have a clear photo
    Seeing opportunity changes nothing. Seizing opportunity and running with it changes lives.

  2. #12
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    A fairly accurate measurement of length would help.
    Approx length is 7-8mm (based that on the photo of the one on the paper, may bot be accurate enough for you). Just a side note on the paper eating - the hole was through the envelope, through the bill (if you fold it the holes align), and the postbox is plastic, not wood.

    Quote Originally Posted by dsd View Post
    Anyway, more important for me is what I should keep my eyes open for to avoid wood damage to floors, roof trusses and other wooden items, and what preventative steps I should be taking, and at what intervals.
    Just to reiterate this point - the most important thing for me as a home owner is to know what to look out for, and what proactive steps can be taken to minimise the chance of damage. A resource with photo's, pointers, and advice could be really useful.
    Last edited by duncan drennan; 27-Oct-06 at 08:41 AM. Reason: added some info

  3. #13
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    The closest I could pin it down to is the Family Curculionidae - Weevels, snout beetles.
    The write up in Field Guide to Insects of South Africa is as folllows:
    Small to very large (body length 1-60 mm), showing enormous diversity in habits, shape and colour. All have a snout with mandables at the end, ranging from short and broad to long and thin, sometimes three times length of body. Antennae characteristically elbowed and clubbed, and attached to the side of the snout. Elytra tough, often with a sculptured surface, and sometimes fused. Legs usually short and stout, with strong claws and adhesive pads on tarsi, giving grip on smooth leaf surfaces. (skip a bit). The family is widespread in most habitats and includes many pests of crops and stored products, most plants host to one or more species. Probably the largest family in the animal kingdom, with some 48 000 species, of which 2500 are known from the region.
    Quote Originally Posted by dsd View Post
    Just to reiterate this point - the most important thing for me as a home owner is to know what to look out for, and what proactive steps can be taken to minimise the chance of damage. A resource with photo's, pointers, and advice could be really useful.
    Point taken. Two quick ones for now - keep on the lookout for holes in wood and be wary when purchasing second hand furniture. Don't panic when you see a beetle - of the hordes out there, only about 30 species of beetle pose a threat to seasoned timber in South Africa.
    Seeing opportunity changes nothing. Seizing opportunity and running with it changes lives.

  4. #14
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Talking thanks!

    Thanks for all the help on this Dave! I really appreciate the time you took to figure out what my paper eating beetle was

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    It's my pleasure. It didn't take that long, just lots of other stuff going on today too.

    BTW that last photo's a beauty (well, except it's backlit - but nicely in focus). Not easy getting those close-ups.
    Seeing opportunity changes nothing. Seizing opportunity and running with it changes lives.

  6. #16
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    BTW that last photo's a beauty (well, except it's backlit - but nicely in focus). Not easy getting those close-ups.
    Right about the backlighting. I remembered that the digital had a macro focus which made it a bit easier. It was better with the good light this morning. I'm much better with my SLR than the digital - my wife is excellent with her camera though (that is the digital one)

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    maybe you should become a pest photogropher

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    Diamond Member wynn's Avatar
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    Perhaps a 'Pestorazzi'

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wynn View Post
    Perhaps a 'Pestorazzi'
    That is really clever!

    I bet the over-exposed celebs of this world agree too
    Seeing opportunity changes nothing. Seizing opportunity and running with it changes lives.

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    I'm in Florida so please keep that in mind.....

    That looks like a rice weevil to me but it's hard to judge the size and I don't know of any weevil that would do such damage. Weevils eat whole grain such as kernels of corn etc. I'd be interested to know the answer myself. Do you guys have the equivalent of 'silverfish packs' in your mailbox? If that thing eats paper this would be his last meal as it is treated with boric acid. I deal with mail boxes from time to time but I'm not sure what you have available. To see what we do look at http://pestcemetery.com/lonely-mailbox/

    I hope everything works out

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