The larvae of the Red Oak Borer Beetle make a mess of good timber, wreaking havoc on many industries that rely on unmarred oak wood.
Like all Longhorn Beetles, the Red Oak Borer Beetle has antennae that are much longer than the beetle's actual body. (The orange coloring on the face in some of the photos is believed to be a mass of mites or other small insect and is not related to the common name of the Red Oak Borer.) They are brown and tan and covered with fine hairs. Adults do not attack wood themselves. As with many borer beetles, the young offspring are the harbingers of destruction.
The tiny larvae of this beetle bore into weak, but still living Red Oak, White Oak, and other species of oak trees. Oak trees that have been cut down for commercial use for flooring, cabinetry, and furniture are prime examples of this type of wood. Once harvested, the logs are allowed to dry in lumber yards. These places have now become prime real estate for the Red Oak Beetle. It is considered a major pest in the lumber industry because the larvae compromise the strength and integrity of the wood, rendering it less attractive and less strong. While still usable,the quality of wood is determined by its flaws, much like a diamond. Flawed wood can see its value almost cut in half if infested and damaged by the tunneling of the beetle larvae within it. This hurts business. Removing known infested trees from the drying pile is a practice that has greatly helped reduce the damage to standing logs. Signs of infestation are easy to recognize with practice. Some things to look for include: bark discoloration, exit holes, shavings of frass kicked out of the holes by the larvae, and weeping sap.
Scientific Name: Enaphalodes rufulus
Size (Adult; Length): 9mm to 27mm (0.35in to 1.05in)
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Antennae: Beetles have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and mandibles (jaws).
Thorax: Holds the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Elytron: One of two wing cases on a Beetle that protects its wings (plural: elytra).
Wings: Appendages used for flying and kept under the elytra until needed.
Abdomen: Houses organs related to circulation, reproduction, and excretion.
Legs: Beetles have three pairs of legs located at the thorax, numbering six legs in all.