Bugs in the Firewood

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Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
2,008
Marshall NC
I am up in the North Carolina mountains. Last winter I got a dump truck load of firewood delivered. This is hickory.
This is a lot of wood, about 4 Nissan pickup loads of wood.

As it has sat in the stack this year, I notice the wood is infested with bugs or beetles. They make holes in the bark, not sure if they go straight into bare wood I am on the road right now and can't check.
But they make holes in the bark, about 1/8 inch to 3/16 inch. There are piles, and piles of sawdust all over the woodpile from these bugs. Very fine sawdust like powder.

My house is a log cabin. I am scared to set any of this wood by the stove, for fear that the bugs will jump out and infest my house.
I have, 8 or 10 times this year, carried a single stick of hickory into the house, and put it straight into the roaring stove, and roasted some beetles.

So what kind of bugs are these and are they a risk to my house?
 

Woody5506

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2017
892
Rochester NY
Pretty common. I get them too but I dont keep much wood in my heated area, just lug it in with a log carrier as I need it. I'm not exactly sure what they are, one buddy who's an exterminator seemed confident they would be carpenter ants.
 

PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
1,134
MA
I recently noticed what you are describing in some of my stacked wood: holes of that size in the bark and lots of fine sawdust. I diluted some ant/termite killer concentrate in a spray bottle and sprayed the areas.
 

woodhog73

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2016
780
Somewhere cold !
I also have the same issue. But it gets so cold here I don’t worry. They freeze and die before the wood is in my house.

That said if I saw bugs or beetles in my wood alive I would never bring the wood inside. Infact I won’t stack wood within 30 feet from my house for this reason
 

Dataman

Minister of Fire
Sep 10, 2018
1,044
Newport, Wa
Just keep singing. "Throw another log on the fire". Bugs provide heat too! They are dead or dormant. The bugs only want wood that is alive! Pretty sure it's not terminates. What is what you need to be on the lookout for.
 
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FaithfulWoodsman

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2015
657
Geographic Center of Ohio
I believe those are powder post beetles. They bore into the wood stacked in the shed right next to my basement, never had one in the house. For the most part I think they choose punky or wet wood to bore and I also think it's only to lay eggs, which larvae winter in and emerge next spring. I don't think there is an issue as the larvae seem to burn pretty good. Even if some adults make it in I doubt any would touch your house framing. They are not colonizers like ants or termites, the latter of which are the most dangerous.
 

Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
2,008
Marshall NC
The wood pile is 40 feet from the house. It is under the carport roof. This was fresh cut and split hickory from last February so the wood is dry no rot.
This is the first batch of hickory I ever have gotten, mostly I have burned lots of locust, and black walnut, and oak. Never seen bugs like this before.
 
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Stinkpickle

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
598
Iowa
The wood pile is 40 feet from the house. It is under the carport roof. This was fresh cut and split hickory from last February so the wood is dry no rot.
This is the first batch of hickory I ever have gotten, mostly I have burned lots of locust, and black walnut, and oak. Never seen bugs like this before.
The hickory I get is the same way. It's sounds like you're taking right precautions, anyway.
 

PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
1,134
MA
I searched powderpost beetle and clicked on images. Sure looks like the holes and dust. The Spectracide Terminate I sprayed lists false powderpost beetle and powderpost beetle. Yeah!

http://www.spectracide.com/products...ermite-carpenter-ant-killer-concentrate3.aspx

"Treat infested areas and areas likely to be infested, such as wood surfaces, voids and tunnels in damaged wood, behind veneers, in structural voids (between stud walls and spaces between wood and foundations), along cracks, along crawl spaces and around outside buildings, porches, woodpiles, wooden fences and decks. Kills exposed subterranean termites*, dampwood termites*, drywood termites*, carpenter ants, ambrosid beetles, death hunter beetles, false powderpost beetles and powderpost beetles."
 

Medic21

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2017
1,142
Northern Indiana
I am up in the North Carolina mountains. Last winter I got a dump truck load of firewood delivered. This is hickory.
This is a lot of wood, about 4 Nissan pickup loads of wood.

As it has sat in the stack this year, I notice the wood is infested with bugs or beetles. They make holes in the bark, not sure if they go straight into bare wood I am on the road right now and can't check.
But they make holes in the bark, about 1/8 inch to 3/16 inch. There are piles, and piles of sawdust all over the woodpile from these bugs. Very fine sawdust like powder.

My house is a log cabin. I am scared to set any of this wood by the stove, for fear that the bugs will jump out and infest my house.
I have, 8 or 10 times this year, carried a single stick of hickory into the house, and put it straight into the roaring stove, and roasted some beetles.

So what kind of bugs are these and are they a risk to my house?

Bugs love Hickory. It’s their delicacy. Carpenter bees are the worst. Nothing you can really do. When I have some I stack it separate away from all buildings and other wood. It will still burn but, it gets pretty light after about 5 years.
 
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Rich L

Minister of Fire
Jan 25, 2008
846
Eastern,Ma.
g-mail.com
I like to have a stash of wood inside so I don't have to go outside too much when I need it.So I purchased the largest plastic trash barrel i could find with a top.I keep that full so if the wood has insect they can't get out the barrel only when they're going straight into the stove.At times when the barrel is empty I take it outside and dump out the debris in the bottom.
 
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Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,920
SEPA
Please don't spray your firewood with poison, then burn it in your house. While this seems like common sense, apparently not to all. This stuff is designed to kill living things, of which most of us are included. Even if it's just a puff when you are loading, it's bad, bad stuff.
 
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PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
1,134
MA
... While this seems like common sense, apparently not to all …

:) I have zero concern over that.

You do know that every split of wood you put in the fireplace every day during the burn season may have bar and chain oil on it, right? The MSDS lists it as a possible inhalation hazard. :p
 

Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,920
SEPA
:) I have zero concern over that.

You do know that every split of wood you put in the fireplace every day during the burn season may have bar and chain oil on it, right? The MSDS lists it as a possible inhalation hazard. :p
If you want to draw comparisons between these two things, sounds like perhaps the poison you are exposing yourself and family to is already taking effect.
 

PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
1,134
MA
If you want to draw comparisons between these two things, sounds like perhaps the poison you are exposing yourself and family to is already taking effect.


Pretty funny. Any data to support your assertions?

It's a little on some pieces with beetles and goes in a sealed insert. I have zero concern.

Do you make it a habit of insulting people on here?
 

Woody5506

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2017
892
Rochester NY
I personally don't spray my stacks, and if I did it wouldn't be because the bugs are driving me crazy it's more so the piles of saw dust they make drive me crazy and make the wood dusty/messy. No matter how many times you clank two splits together dust will just keep coming out.
 

PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
1,134
MA
They are industrious little fellows. :)
 

xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
2,391
Lackawaxen PA
I keep the main pile 30 ft. from the house. I have those powder post ( I think ) in some wood. Not the oak, that is most of my wood. I move wood to under my deck when it's cold. No wood into the house until it goes into the stove. I haven't had any issues with the powder post in the stacks, they seem to stay there, not in the house.
 

Kevin Weis

Minister of Fire
Mar 3, 2018
932
Union Bridge, Md
Powder Post Beetle needs damp wood to survive. Once it dries out they will die. My house 135 years old had Powder Post Beetle Damage that the pest guy said was in there when the house was built in 1886. Wood was probably still green when it was used and they died when the floor boards dried out. Made sence to me. Kevin
 

billb3

Minister of Fire
Dec 14, 2007
4,679
SE Mass
There is a powder post beetle ( or relative) that gets into furniture.
As long as you store that wood outdoors how many days inside do you think it will take for a beetle to think it is Spring or Summer, come out AND find a mate in the same situation ?
How many of that rare percentage of bugs that actually leave a split before it goes in your stove die inside your house because your house is just far too dry to support their life requirements ?
I get powder post beetles (or a relative) in red maple. In the stacks in splits. Never saw one in the house. On the other hand I usually have no more than a day's worth of that red maple inside.
 

Sodbuster

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2012
1,506
Michigan
:) I have zero concern over that.

You do know that every split of wood you put in the fireplace every day during the burn season may have bar and chain oil on it, right? The MSDS lists it as a possible inhalation hazard. :p

I agree, which is why I keep my wood cold until ready for use. I have a few large splits of Ash that are loaded with ants; they won't warm up til there in the stove:). As far as spraying with poison, Paul, you're chasing your tail. I have the same problem, and they die off as the wood dries and the temps drop.