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Holy Crap, Bugs in the woodpile!

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by snydley, Jul 8, 2008.

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  1. snydley

    snydley Member

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    I noticed today, when a good gust of wind came up, what looked like smoke coming from my woodpile. I walked out back to take a closer look, and there is very fine sawdust all over the wood. There are approx. 1/8 diameter holes in the wood, and I could hear a crackling, raspy sound, when I was real quiet, and saw what looked like a little white grub with a black head apparently crewing holes in the wood and pushing the sawdust out of the hole. Anyone know what I've got, and are they going to destroy my woodpile? What can/should I do about it? Tomorrow I'm going to cut into a log with my chainsaw, try to get the critter out and take a picture of it.
    I live in western N.Y. state, and as far as I know termites aren't a problem here, but this is my first year burning wood, so there's still so much I haven't learned yet. I have all of the wood stacked on pallets out in the open where it gets full sun and wind all day.
    I appreciate any help you might offer!
    Thanks,
    Snyde

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  2. OldHickory

    OldHickory Member

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    I found some larvae in my woodpile too. While trying to identify some wood in my woodpile, I found a great website that describes various diseases and pests in trees and wood. I was afraid I had found something yet unreported for my area and sent the info to the agricult. ext. office. (It looked like to me I've found several Asian Longhorned Beetles that came out of the maple I had in my pile. I've seen another life stage as well that coincides with this invasive.)
    Check out this website by The Nature Conservancy about invasive pests.

    http://tncweeds.ucdavis.edu/gallery.html

    Here is what I found in my woodpile:
    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj144/TNPHRX/AsianLonghornedBeetleCLOSEUP.jpg
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Ugh, that picture just ruined my dinner :sick:
  4. N/A N/A

    N/A N/A New Member

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    Hum...that looks like dinner!
  5. woodconvert

    woodconvert Minister of Fire

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    Heh, yeah, your woodpile is a critter habitat (which, when people talk about bringing their wood in doors for storage/seasoning makes me shudder). I debark my firewood and have similar grub looking things just under the bark. I don't know what they are but I do know that a catbird hangs real close to me when i'm peeling bark and eats those things. Oh, don't worry about them either unless they hatch into a flying dobermanwarewolf...then you got problems. Just take your wood from the stack to the fire.

    Something i've noticed is that hickory in particular gets a lot of boring critters in it. I don't know why that is but you split it, stack it and it looks normal...look at it again in a week or two and it looks like somebody shot it with a shotgun and there is dust all over like you speak of.

    Good luck and don't worry about it.
  6. Carl

    Carl New Member

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    Your wood must be green yet. Most boring creatures like green wood to work on. Once it dries they will be gone to greener pastures. :)

    Probably the only thing they do is consume a little wood while they areate your splits for you. Lots of the dead oak I get is full of these burrows. I purchased a dead basswood tree for wood carving. Had it sawed up into planks and stacked it in my garage for drying with the same results you talk of. I could hear the chewing, see the sawdust, holes and holes, which really irritated me. I got some bug spray and gave them a taste of their own medicine. Ended the chewing but too late for the wood so had to pay for another tree, this time a live one with no bugs in it.

    You will have to ask around in your area as to what the name of this is. There are plenty of different boreing bugs and they usually hang around in the same area so someone there should know.

    As others have mentioned, a good reason not to store your wood in your house although these bugs won't attack already dry wood. My wood goes from the woodshed into the fire with no sitting around the living room for critters to warm and escape into our living space.
  7. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    I never worry about bugs in the woodpile. Every living thing has a season, most outdoor bugs go dormant or whatever in the winter. If you keep your wood outside and bring in a few days amount to burn your not going to have a bug problem. Now I can't say the same thing if you keep wood in a cellar...that's why I don't recommend wood stored there.
  8. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Take them worms fishin'! Bass love em.
  9. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Ya- I had the same thing in pine that was wet (see the thread on 2 kinds of wet wood). I also found several adult beetles that apparently are Asian Longhorned Beetles.
  10. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Post beetles. Very common.

    Don't worry about them doing a lot of damage. We have them every year. Just knock the loose fine sawdust off before you take the wood in to the stove to save a mess, but don't worry, nothing really bad is going to happen.
  11. snydley

    snydley Member

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    I wonder if that's what kind of wood I've got. I've got 3 big stacks, all free, well I had to take it away and then split it, one pile I had to cut too, but the tree was in large sections on the ground when I got to it. The 1st stuff was box elder the guy said, all cut up into rounds on the side of the road for the town to pick up, I got it first. 2nd pile same thing, but there was a little more hauling involved. The 3rd pile was the trunk and large branches. The small branches and leaves had already been carted to the side of the road for the town to pick up. I never saw any leaves and don't know for sure what kind of tree it was. The owner said it was locust, but when I got it home my neighbor, who used to burn wood, said he thought it was red oak. It does have a orange-red color to it, but I wonder if it could be hickory. One thing I know, it was pretty tough cutting into rounds, but it split with my hydraulic splitter easy enough. These bugs aren't under the bark, they've actually bored holes into the wood, making their nests I guess. I'm not all that concerned except I don't want them eating it all up before I can burn it this winter! :-S
  12. bartlett920

    bartlett920 New Member

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    I cut up a oak the other day that was living the day before and noticed small looking white grubs and then seen a big black ant carrying it off I suppose it was an egg sack but I dont worry to much about bugs and worms in the summer...let'em eat whats the most there gonna take one log worth before winter? even if you season for 10 years your not gonna lose much wood from them and they are dormant by winter just dont stack in or around the house.
  13. snydley

    snydley Member

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    Loc:
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    The thing is, this being my 1st year of wood gathering, I didn't know if it was a problem or not. I've got no problem with them chewing a few holes in the logs, but I don't want to go out in the fall to gather up some of the wood and find that there's nothing left of the inside of the logs, all that remains is an exoskeleton of sorts, and nothing on the inside :ahhh: The bugs haven't bothered the box elder or the black walnut I've got stacked.
    Thanks for the advice, everyone!,
    Snyde
  14. bartlett920

    bartlett920 New Member

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    If your burning it this fall the damage is done another couple of months isn't going to make much difference. I wouldn't eat walnut either you ever smell that stuff burn its worse than piss elm!!! I wouldnt worry if I was you!
  15. RedRanger

    RedRanger New Member

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    Ya, don`t even cook them things to eat. just split the wood far away from the house and bring it in cautiously to burn.
  16. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    I have tons of Red Oak here. The tree died slowly and it had insect pests and fungus, ants and borers and bark beetles and all that sort of thing. I have seen signs of at least 2 different kinds of borers. These little guys chew through solid oak hardwood- amazing! The tiny ones bore holes scarcely 1/16 inch diameter. The bigger guys bore holes around 1/4 - 5/16 inch dia. I actually found a couple of live specimens of the larger size this past week as I split. They like to chew up the wood and make cement all around themselves with stuff that looks a lot like 'plastic wood'/ Bordens Wood Dough, etc. Anyway, in theory, I suppose either type could get loose in my house and chew through our vintage, solid Oak hardwood floors. I bet they greatly prefer Oak to Pine. In practice, I think it very unlikely that will happen. What wood I have stored inside has been split down pretty small. It is also real dry. Those insects hate dry conditions. It's hard to imagine their making their way out of my firewood and into some other wood in the house. The dry environment is too hostile to them. Oh, all the wood sits in cardboard boxes, elevated on wood racks, etc. I have seen zero sign of any of these pests, such as the sawdust mentioned. BTW sawdust is also present when the wood has ant colonies. I have trimmed away a whole lot of punk wood from my splits. Bark and punk can harbor pests. But dried out, they ain't gonna survive in there.

    So far as your grubs getting active and chewing up most of your wood, that is not going to happen. They make a few tunnels, that's about it. Hopefully only outside!
  17. Girl

    Girl New Member

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    Last year some of you picked on me when I told about my friends woodpile making "munching sounds"
    You are all jerks, lol... :p
    Last Sunday my daughter came running in screaming about huge Beatles having bug sex.

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  18. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    Can barely see the beetle in the photo. But I can see it. We found a few of the big, black, bark beetles munching on our Red Oak.

    Oh, bugs do indeed make noises. There's a certain night in mid summer when you can listen to the sound of a whole bunch of grubs or locusts or whatever, simultaneously digging up out of the ground to feed and mate. It's a positively spooky sound, "the woods were alive..." etc. I suppose wood piles 'whisper' like that, too. We believes ya, honest!
  19. Scrounger

    Scrounger Member

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    Beetle picture lightened a little bit

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  20. moondoggy

    moondoggy New Member

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    thats so flipping nasty, i cant tell which end is the front.
    quick squish that.



    edit: oh geez i see it better now....GO little guy, get up there..this is your big date! (and boy is she a big one)

    squish it when they are done.
  21. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    The beetles might have a different interpretation of this turn of events. :ahhh: Rick
  22. kjklosek

    kjklosek New Member

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  23. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Don't forget "toasty". Oh, that's 6 letters, oops. Ok, then well, "toast", which is what will become of any bug that survives all the way to the loading door. Oh, that's 5 letters. Nevermind. :cheese: Rick
  24. Metal

    Metal Minister of Fire

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    I am thinking about adding this bug to my woodpile.
  25. moondoggy

    moondoggy New Member

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    from the side it looks like he riding in a wicker basket!
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