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Yikes! Bugs in my wood!

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  • #586276
    GfB
    Participant

    I’ve had some firewood on my porch for some time (a year or so). Wanted to practice some squaring and resawing, so I took a piece to my shop and started cutting. It was a little while into it that I noticed very small (less that 1mm white bugs that look like spiders) crawling on the wood, and there were some burroughs in the wood itself. I’m hoping I’m not looking at termites.

    1. Should I be concerned of infestation of my actual lumber given that I brought this single piece into my shop?
    2. Any advice on how to exterminate/debug a piece without harming the wood?

    #586292
    Ed
    Participant

    If they looked liked spiders, that doesn’t sound like termites. Subterranean termites look like grains of white rice with a head and legs. Some will have a larger darker head, and these are the soldiers. Subterranean termites do not tolerate exposure to air well and will travel either in soil or through mud tubes that they construct to bridge across exposed spaces, like up foundation walls. I do not believe they will stay in shavings, but need solid wood in which they form “galleries” through the wood, again to control their moisture. So, these things don’t sound like subterranean termites.

    #586353
    GfB
    Participant

    I could have just as easily said they look like tiny, white ants.

    I’m thinking I’ll try “cooking” the wood in a black bag in the sun for a couple days. I live in Florida, plenty of heat to be had here.

    #586362
    Larry Geib
    Participant

    According to the US forest service, heating the core of the wood to 60°C (140°F) for 60 minutes will be enough to eliminate insects in wood. https://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/disturbance/invasive_species/firewood_treatment/
    Insects are also extremely sensitive to boric acid treatment. You can bathe the wood in a simple solution of Borax and water.
    https://homeguides.sfgate.com/borax-insect-repellent-82806.html
    It’s even more effective if you include Polyethylene Glycol (some car antifreeze) in the mix. Be careful if you have dogs or cats. They think polyethylene glycol tastes sweet and its toxic to them.

    Most ant killers are just boric acid and some type of sugar.

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