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Old 05-31-2011, 05:24 PM
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Location: Charlotte, NC
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Default Firewood blues......

So after spending god knows how long splitting some red oak from a neighbors fallen tree, I finally threw it all in a pile in the " junk" area of the backyard (oh come on.....I know everyone on here has that hidden area they throw all the crap that they don't want everone to see for now...!). After weeks of hearing my wife complain about it, I built another frame to stack all this wood on, in anticipation that I will someday (?) have an oven to actually burn the wood in, not my fireplace.

So here is where my problem comes in. I have another stack that I split last year and has seasoned (still hoping I was gonna have an oven then too!), and during inspection of this stack I found several piles of sawdust with an 1/8" or so hole above it. There were also a lot of ants around the woodpile, which I might consider normal seeing it is starting to get dry/hot outside and I am seeing more and more ants lately. Does this sound like my stack could be infested with termites?? Or something else? There was nothing found visually, but I was going to cut one of the pieces with a hole in it in half and see what I find.

Any suggestions?
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:18 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 1,446
Default Re: Firewood blues......

Most likely one of several species of powder post beetles. Its the larvae that eats up the wood from the inside out, the adults lay eggs and then push out the sawdust (fras).
Almost impossible NOT to get them if storing or seasoning wood for any length of time.
My problems have been mostly involving hickory, one load was contaminated when I got it, the other was greener and I had to let it season for about a yr, sure enough that load ended up with them to.

I'm not a pest control tech, but my best advice is to always have your woodpile located away from your house (YES, they can and will infest the wood structure of your home if they can get easy access). Borates (boric acid solutions) work well in treating them and and is said to have little or no effects on mammals. Problem is, your have to inject or saturate the wood with a water solution containing the borates = wet would.
It is recommended that green wood be split and the bark removed ASAP to speed the drying and lesson the chance of infestation, seems they like to bore into the wood while it is still wet.

I usually try to pull out any known infested logs, split them as small as possible, kill any visible larvae (they look similar to a large waxworm or white caterpillar), and burn that wood in the next fire - in case there may be more eggs waiting to hatch.

Thats about all I know, really no big deal as long as you locate the wood pile away from your house (and realize that an infested log will lose about 50% of its internal mass in about a year - they seem to be more voracious than termites).

RT
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:25 PM
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Default Re: Firewood blues......

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbriggs View Post

Any suggestions?
Short answer - finish the oven and burn the bastards!
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Old 06-01-2011, 01:52 AM
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Default Re: Firewood blues......

Hi JBriggs,
After every firing of my oven, I throw in a load of wood and leave it until the oven cool and the infestation is not there any more.
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Old 06-01-2011, 05:43 PM
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Location: Charlotte, NC
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Default Re: Firewood blues......

Luckily the wood is located quite a ways from my house, but right next to my shed....Go figure. I almost wish they would eat the shed instead and put it out of it's misery!

Thanks for the replys. I will try to go through and locate the bad pieces and just chuck them...

As for the oven....It's about time to put the hammer down on the situation and get the $$ saved up. No more Iphones, purses,dresses,nails,tanning, and all that other crap my wife likes to spend our $$ on....lol
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Old 06-02-2011, 01:38 PM
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Location: Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
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Default Re: Firewood blues......

It sounds to me like you have carpenter ants. Not as bad as termites, but worse than beetles in terms of the damage they can do. Since you don't want to use chemical pesticides on wood you will use for cooking food, I agree with Les - burn 'em!

Last edited by stoveup; 06-02-2011 at 01:39 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 06-03-2011, 11:11 AM
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Location: Texas
Posts: 106
Default Re: Firewood blues......

I picked up a load of mesquite off of craigslist, all cut into small lengths and split - for $60...the longhorn borers were free ;] I've never bought mesquite that didn't have borers. The sapwood is real sweet and it is like a magnet...but I've never seem them infest other species, even when mixed in the pile. If it was quiet enough, you would hear them chomping...they make a lot of sawdust.

I'm going to put loads of the wood in the oven after firings to bake the fockers...just to save some of the wood weight :]
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Old 06-04-2011, 08:17 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Charlotte, NC
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Default Re: Firewood blues......

Man thats some nice looking wood! The holes in the second picture look a lot bigger than the ones that I have found. Mine are about 1/8" or so and have a huge pile of fine dust under them. I will try to get a pic loaded soon for reference. Thanks to all for the responses!!
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Old 06-10-2011, 06:56 AM
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Default Re: Firewood blues......

`I live in the mountains Ruidoso, NM. Here when you cut fire wood we cover it with plastic and shovel a little dirt around the edges to hold the plastic in place. This will kill the bugs in the wood. No pesticides
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Old 06-10-2011, 10:23 AM
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Default Re: Firewood blues......

Quote:
Originally Posted by morrishuckeba View Post
`I live in the mountains Ruidoso, NM. Here when you cut fire wood we cover it with plastic and shovel a little dirt around the edges to hold the plastic in place. This will kill the bugs in the wood. No pesticides
If you do that here in Japan, your wood turn into a jelly of mold, fungus and mulch, full of ants, cock roaches, beetles and borers.
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