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wood pile pests

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Kneerat, Jul 19, 2009.

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  1. Kneerat

    Kneerat New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
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    Loc:
    Central PA
    I am seeing piles of fine wood dust through out my piles like something is boring in my splits. Any ideas what it could be and should anything be done?

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  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Beetle larvae will also bore leaving piles of sawdust. They could have come in with the wood. Are your piles split and stacked for optimum drying? You need to get the wood to dry as quick as possible because the pests don't go after dry wood.
  3. Tedsokol

    Tedsokol New Member

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    NE PA
    First off, what size holes are they? If They are about 1/16" in diameter, it is most likely powder post beetles. If they are 1/8" or larger it could be ants. Either way both bugs like moist wood. Once wood is dry they will likely leave for "greener pastures". I would hesitate spraying any chemicals on the wood because you'll be handling it a lot during the heating season and I don't know how the chemicals will react with the metals in your stove and/ or chimney (metal chimney?).

    The most important thing you can do is elevate the wood off the ground by placing it on pallets or other supporting dry structure and tarp or cover the wood on the top only to keep the elements off your wood pile. Air Circulation is very important so don't block it. Keep the weeds from growing around the wood pile. When wood is in direct contact with the ground you end with all sorts of critters like slugs and centipedes among a host of other wood borers that help to decay your fuel quickly. Elevate it and you'll be amazed at how quick things improve.

    Ted

    www.woodhomeheating.com
  4. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Yup. Powder post beetles. Most wood piles have them. Nothing to worry about either except for knocking the powder off before taking inside the house. It's just one thing that almost everyone has in their woodpile.
  5. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I have powder post beetles in the wood I brought into the garage last year.
    (The garage is separated from the house by an enclosed breezeway.)
    I haven't noticed anything unusual except that the spiders seem to have feasted well from their webs on the windows.
    I'm still struggling whether to store the wood outside or not.
    Suggestions/ideas?
  6. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    When in doubt, keep it outside... better to be safe than sorry!
  7. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    Eastern MA
    Funny you should mention this...

    Last weekend I was standing next to my (now rather small) pile of unsplit rounds and heard a strange sound - it was a rather loud scratching sort of noise like an insect with it's wings caught in a tight spot or something. Looked closer and found large piles of sawdust under and around one of the pine rounds near the end of the row. Watched it for a while and noticed that something was pushing the dust/chips out of several holes in the round from all sides.

    Needless to say this required that I get the axe out and take a look at what/who was inside that round... I found grubs of some sort in there. Some were tiny in the bark, others were rather large and tunneling deep into the wood - making 1/4" holes! sort of flat oval shaped holes.

    Anyway, I went ahead and finished splitting that round out, peeled bark off the rest of it (found lots of smaller grubs), left the bark in the sun to roast in the heat and tossed the fresh pieces on the top of the other pine splits. I figure that wood won't be moist enough to eat for long. None of the other rounds have shown signs of these critters yet - they sure were doing their best to rob me of my BTUs though!

    This round came fro some pine that I picked up in April I think - from CL score (free) likely it was cut then too. I just hadn't split it with the rest due to the knots in the piece.. yeah, lazy - it was making a nice stopper to keep the end of my rounds pile from getting away from me.
  8. maplewood

    maplewood Minister of Fire

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    NB Canada
    I get some white grubs from time to time, too. Chewing big holds in my drying wood. Had a load of pine a few years back that they almost ate into Swiss cheese. You could hear them chewing it while it was stacked (it was split right after it was cut down).
    But we just knocked off the dust, threw it into the stove, and never heard any more from them.
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