Something to watch out for.
Just seen this in a Pest Control newsletter.
Reports of a mutated form of Anobium punctatum are being investigated in the small French coastal town of Wissant, 20km south west of Calais.
The larval form of Anobium punctatum, commonly known as Woodworm, was discovered in the hull of a 8m fishing boat, where they had penetrated the hull, causing it to sink. Infestation of wooden hulls is not unknown, however in this case the hull was constructed from Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP).
The boat owner, Pier Tete, was amazed to find a series of small holes through the hull adjacent to one of the wooden engine bearers. "It was as if it had been drilled with a series id 1-2 mm holes for about 25cm under the engine."
Experts think that the unusually warm and dry winter this year may have caused this unusually early hatching. As the larval stage last for between 3 and 5 years, it will be some time before the size of the population of this insect is known.
From the initial investigation, it would appear that a piece of wood containing eggs had been used in the construction of the craft and the larva, which hatched, had adapted to be able to digest GRP resins. Consequently, as the larva developed, they ate their way to the surface through the hull of the craft, thus rupturing it.
The French authorities are currently checking all vessels within a 2.5km radius of the infected vessel, for signs of further attacks. It is as yet unknown if any more of the infected timber was used in the construction of any other craft. A spokesman stated that if the wood was used in other craft, they may have been taken out of the area, and all boat owners should be vigilant.
This form of Anobium punctatum is being referred to as Polyestermites until entomologists have established whether this is a true new form of the beetle.
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools" Douglas Adams