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Firewood eating insect ID

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by bboulier, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. bboulier

    bboulier Feeling the Heat

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    Insects have been drilling hole through the bark in some of my firewood and eating their way into the interiors of the splits. They leave lots of sawdust. Finally found one of the buggers today. One picture shows the larvae and some damage; the other shows more of the damage. What is it and is there anything I should do about it? Wood is up on pallets and this piece is maybe 3 years old. IMG_3062-web.jpg


    IMG_3060-rev-web.jpg

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  2. WarmGuy

    WarmGuy Feeling the Heat

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  3. Locust Post

    Locust Post Minister of Fire

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    I am pretty sure that is either what they call the round head wood borer or flat head borer. I don't know if there really is anything you can do about them though. Some others may know.
  4. cygnus

    cygnus Feeling the Heat

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    Ya burn 'em. I had a batch of hickory that was infested. Some research indicated that they will mature and take flight in the spring so I think its best get that stuff in the stove to avoid infesting your local trees.
    ScotO and bboulier like this.
  5. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Saw them in a few dead, partially rotten logs growing up in WV.
    Fishing bait is what I called them. ;)

    Never noticed them to be in big numbers like an infestation or be a problem.
    Few & far between. IMO

    That a hard maple split?
  6. bboulier

    bboulier Feeling the Heat

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    Nicely spotted. It is maple, although I am not sure of the variety. "Fishbait" sounds like a good use, but it's the wrong time of year. I used to ice fish in Nebraska in February, but have given up any attempts at fishing this time of year in Northern Virginia. Will wait until the bluegills (or bream, depending on where you grew up) start spawning in the spring.
  7. bboulier

    bboulier Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks for the suggestions. It does look like a round or flat headed borer. Will try to pass it on to the Virginia extension agents to get a specific ID.

    Doesn't seem to do much damage to the firewood in a volumetric sense, although I do have to knock sawdust off of my splits before bringing them inside. Don't see any damage from this pest on my living fruit trees (pear, Asian pear, fig, Asian persimmon, and pomegranate) or other species (e.g., Japanese maple and weeping cherry)..
  8. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Bluegills ;)
    Dad & I used them for trout.
    Boog and ScotO like this.
  9. jrcurto

    jrcurto Member

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    The Woodpeckers go nuts on my Hickory stacks. Now that they know there are borers in there, they spend all day banging at the splits. Its pretty cool watching them work to find the sound or hollow where the borer is, then peck and slam, and eventually pull that juicy morsel out.
  10. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I have had these for years, but no sign that they are becoming a real problem. I get a few here and there, and the damage is minor. The sawdust is the biggest problem, but not really a big deal.
    ScotO likes this.
  11. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Every species has it's own borers.......you oughta see my honey locust in the stacks.....piles of sawdust EVERYWHERE from the locust borers......seems like only the sapwood, though.

    That is probably a maple borer, being a split of maple. Either way, burn 'em or use 'em for bait. Once they are in the wood, they are in the wood.....
  12. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    +1. Same holds true here. I'll see 'em from time to time, but never enough to make me think it's an infestation. I don't worry about 'em.
  13. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    wonder how many cord they go through in a season....:p
  14. Locust Post

    Locust Post Minister of Fire

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    I have never had much problem with borers other than powder post beetles and they love hickory.
  15. bboulier

    bboulier Feeling the Heat

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    Scott is probably correct. I don't think I see them in anything but maple. While that's a high proportion of my wood pile at present,, I don't need to worry much about them infesting any live maples in the yard for the same reason. They don't do a lot of damage in the firewood. But, it is annoying to have to knock sawdust off all my splits.
  16. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq Minister of Fire

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  17. bboulier

    bboulier Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks for the suggestion. I plan to contact the Virginia extension service to see if they can provide a sharper ID. It's clearly a round headed borer, but there's no way I can tell them apart.
  18. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    They can give you a nasty bite if you pick them up wrong. I think they are blind though.
  19. STICK

    STICK Member

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    Wow! I thought those borers were only a problem for pine. Those pictures look like what is quite an infestation in the pine in Colorado. I have noticed they start in the sweet spot just under the bark, but they do progress into the more solid portion of the tree. I have found standing trees with little substance remaining at the base due to this infestation. If given enough time, their boring can become so dense that little of substanse for burning remains. I tried to burn some of that mess once = mistake. It would not ignite well and produced mostly smoke, not much heat. If given enough time they will destroy the heat value of fuelwood. I frequently cut a good looking log, then split and find a borer dropped out from the split. The long term drought and mild temperatures in winter in this area has been attributed to severe infestation. If noticed, it is best to split promptly and separate that wood and burn as soon as possible. They will infest everything. They do not seem to progress as well in splits compared to whole logs.
  20. westkywood

    westkywood Feeling the Heat

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    Yep, I've seen those in my Hickory. Some of the worst I've seen as far as wood borers was in Willow Oak. Some reason those guys turned a lot of it to sawdust.
    With Maple and Cherry, I find they like to eat the sap under the bark so when I pick up the wood, the bark falls off and dust goes flying. Cherry was the worst of the two.
  21. qlty

    qlty Member

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    I saw them on the Survivor TV show he was eating them and called them wichie grubs
  22. qlty

    qlty Member

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    I saw them on the Survivor TV show he was eating them and called them wichie grubs

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