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Something's eating my pine firewood

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by twitch, Sep 3, 2009.

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  1. twitch

    twitch Member

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    I live in central Maine, and this is only my second year of burning wood, and first to have some pine. I noticed a few weeks ago a chewing noise coming from the woodpile and found these small kind of shavings. I didn't see any bugs, but did see some very small holes under the bark. This is only in the pine, and not the oak that I have. Has anyone seen this before or know what it might be?

    Here is a link to a pic of the shavings.


    http://www.colby.edu/reload/personal/s/sktwitch/08-16-09_1758.jpg

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  2. karri0n

    karri0n New Member

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    I'd guess some kind of rodent. The fact that there are shavings lead me to believe it's not an insect eating, but a rodent gnawing.
  3. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    I got those as well. I split open a piece to find out what (who?) was inside and found some grubs of different sizes working their way through the wood. Smallest were near the bark (barely large enough to be seen) and the large ones were a couple inches long and pushing the larger piles of shavings out. Watch close and you will find where the piles are being pushed out when active - take a split and re-split it and follow the holes.

    I guess these pieces will season faster with the extra holes in them eh?
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Pine Borers. I cut and split a really nice solid pine a few weeks ago. Every time I go outside I can hear the crunching sounds of them gnawing away at it. And see the little piles of shavings. I don't want freezing weather but dead bugs are a good byproduct of it.
  5. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I've got the same thing happening . . . bugs or rodents . . . doesn't really bother me since all will burn starting in a few weeks. I personally suspect it's a bug (or bugs) . . . like Slow I've found more than a new of the white grubs in the wood and I suspect these may be the culprit . . . they seem to like the dead wood in the elm I have and the softwood.

    That said, I also know I have chipmunks in the pile too, but I don't believe they are known for gnawing on wood . . . and with four cats most of the small varmints don't hang around the woodpile for long . . . unless they want to be invited to lunch with one of the cats. ;) :)
  6. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    The Pine Borer Beetle is all over around here. Not only in my firewood but they have drilled into a couple of my window frames before.
  7. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    You know, having seen the size of the holes these buggers make in the splits I sure don't want them turned loose in my house! I hope a good freeze will kill them off before I bring the wood in to burn. Then again, my pine pile isn't slated to be burned this winter - perhaps late spring if we need it and it tests out dry enough (maybe I'll make a point of burning it to get rid of these critters!).
  8. TreePapa

    TreePapa Minister of Fire

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    Around here, the pine bark beetles seem to only been interested in living trees. They reside just under the bark and leave little tell-tale channels in the bark. From all I've read, heard, and see, they don't seem to be interested in lumber. Maybe ya'll have different critters there, or maybe it's the heat here that zaps 'em when they ain't in a livin' tree (sure as heck ain't the cold here ... there ain't no cold here 'till December, and even then most of ya'll would say "well that's a nice fine Spring day." We don't usually get a freeze 'till late Jan. or early Feb. Even then, it rarely gets below 30(F) ... only a few times a year.

    In fact, I've seen lots of evidence of pine bark beetles in my firewood ... but I've never actually seen the buggers. I wonder if it's really the pine boorers who got into BB's window frames, and not termites or some other wood destroyoing pest.

    peace,
    - Sequoia
  9. twitch

    twitch Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I figured it was some kind of beetle or grub, but thought it was bizarre that I could hear them munching from 40 feet away.
  10. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    In my area carpenter bees love bare pine boards/logs and they rip out a lot of wood to make their channels. I'm not saying that is what is happening here but it might be a part. Carpenter bees don't need fresh wood.
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