National trade body The Property Care Association has opened a register to track a wood-destroying beetle that can cause severe structural damage to properties.
Experts from the association are keeping a watching brief to track any reported sightings of the House Longhorn Beetle - and have briefed their members across the UK to report any sightings of the insect.
The move comes as the trade body fears changing weather patterns could provide a more fertile environment for the beetle to spread across the UK.
The House Longhorn Beetle can have a devastating impact on property, as it attacks the sapwood in softwood timber.
Steve Hodgson is Chief Executive of the Property Care Association, which represents UK specialists in the remedial preservation sector. He said: “We are picking up the reins of a study last completed 10 years ago.
“Over the years there have been reports of the Longhorn House Beetle centred around the Surrey area and now there is concern that our changing climate could enable the beetle to spread.
“It’s a voracious pest and - left untreated - can even cause roofs to collapse.
We need to know where it is in the UK, and plot any sightings.
“The information will be collected and a report published annually in an attempt to map the spread and distribution of this highly destructive insect in the face of our changing climate.”