What is this bug? My firewood is infested.

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Highbeam, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. Highbeam

    Highbeam
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    Minister of Fire

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    I have very dry wood but it all comes from wet areas so it is alder, willow, red cedar, and the occasional fir or cottonwood.

    I only have one bug that I can't seem to kill. It lives in cracks and in the bark of my firewood. I never see it burrowing, flying, biting, or crawling around except under the bark of my firewood. When I bring in an armload to burn, one or two of them will always fall off and scurry around. These bugs are not active. The colony has been in my stacks for years and I never see them on new wood.

    What the heck is it? They are only about 3/8" long.

    For your help, a homebrew red ale.
     

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  2. Ehouse

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    Take a closer pic. Can't tell if its hymenoptera, hemiptera, or coleoptera.
     
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  3. Highbeam

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    That's as close as my technology would allow, about 4 inches. Lots of photos were deleted to get that one. The bottom left bug is a smashed and twisted character so you can see his belly. They don't fly, no wings when I smash them.

    I'll research those three names. Oh, those are orders. I'm thinking coleoptera (beetle)
     
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  4. Highbeam

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    Here's closer but slightly blurred. At the limit of the lense.
     

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  5. Ehouse

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    Hymenoptera=bees, wasps, ants. Hemiptera=true bugs. The one on the left looks waspish or antish (head, thorax, abdomen clearly visible). The one in the middle looks buggy (does it have an x on its back or a shell?). The one on the right looks like Bugs Bunny (Eeah...., what's up wit dat, Doc?). If really no wings I'd say ants.
     
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  6. JustWood

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    Stink bugs .
     
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  7. Highbeam

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    Totally un-antlike. Non-segmented and more like a cockroach with a huge butt section. All bugs in the photo are the same and the left one was smashed as I opened the crack so he's not a very good representation, in fact in the first photo he's fully twited so what looks like the top of his butt is really his belly. They don't have a hangy face like a grasshopper and certainly don't crawl like ants.

    I'll smash one better and try and pry the butt into wings.
     
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  8. bmblank

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    I would have said sink bug also, but they have huge horse faces, so i would call that hangy face..
     
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  9. Beetle-Kill

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    Cover them in chocolate and store until Halloween. ==c
     
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  10. Hearth Mistress

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    I can't tell from your photos but This is a stink bug. You will know right away if it is indeed a stink bug, if you touch it or squash it stinks, really, stench like no other smell, and it will only attract more. They sell traps if you want to control them.

    image.jpg
     
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  11. Mrs. Krabappel

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    It's a wood borer (a beetle). There are many different species.
     
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  12. Ehouse

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    Notice the (X) on the back of the stink bug. Beetle will have 2 wing covers (elytra) with a dividing line down the middle.
     
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  13. Highbeam

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    I regularly smash them with my palm and have never noticed a smell. The bugs are also not wide like that stink bug photo but narrow and long. My eyes don't work so well up really close like this.

    Are wood borer beetles a risk for my home?
     
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  14. Ehouse

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    Google "old house borer" and you'll get a wiki and some pics. Maybe not a good critter to have in your house.
     
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  15. Highbeam

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    The color makes it different than the "old house borer", it is not black or shiny but generally looks similar to that critter. I found one of the bugs last night and tried to nicely kill it and take it apart. It has no obvious segments to its body like an ant. I don't think it even has a neck or waist. The face is not long or horselike, eyes are so small that I can't see them. Antennaes bent and segmented. I was able to peel off a winglike layer from the back that covered half of his back. Looked more like a split shell than a wing.

    I am pretty willing to call it a wood borer of some sort. Any recommendations on extermination methods?
     
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  16. semipro

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    Yeah, what you show is not the stink bug that's invading the U.S. (brown marmorated). Unfortunately, I can recognize those things instantly.
     
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  17. Highbeam

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    You know I about inhaled the bug last night after smashing it to be sure that it had no stink.

    You read about these wood borers and they can be grubs for 30 years eating your wood before emerging as adult beetles where they die within a couple of weeks. All I see are beetles.

    I plan to agressively poison the woodpile since I do not want to encourage such an animal to take up residence in my home!
     
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  18. semipro

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    You might want to consider trying diatomaceous earth or boric acid for treatment.
     
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  19. Dtunes

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    I think it's "dirt-colored seed bug - Rhyparochromus vulgaris" They're found in WA.

    Check out: http://bugguide.net/node/view/58997

    If it doesn't look quite the same, try backing out to a higher level of order and clicking around until you find the right species. It's a pretty cool web page for identifying insects. I know nothing about the bug though or if it should cause concern.
     
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  20. Highbeam

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    Wow! I think that's it. I'll have to find another and compare to the photos. I did enough clicking around to find that it is supposed to br 7-7.5mm which is just right for size.

    I would very much prefer a seed bug to a wood borer around my old wooden home!
     
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  21. JoeyD

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    The more homebrews you drink the better those little buggers will look you know, you may even see them more clearly. I just bottled a Belgian harvest ale today.
     
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  22. Highbeam

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    I thought it was just the beer at first but then they kept showing up. So happy to get this mystery solved. Nobody likes the idea of their home being eaten.
     
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  23. Retired Guy

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  24. save$

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    Put a few in a plastic zip lock bag and take them to your extension service. They will tell you what you are dealing with.
     
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  25. Dtunes

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