What Kind of Bugs in my Firewood?

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Dan Freeman

Feeling the Heat
Dec 3, 2021
396
NE PA
rumble.com
I bought my wood already seasoned, and could burn it "as is", but I split each split down into 3 or 4 smaller splits. I finished stacking my wood for this winter in August (first year burning, so I only have 1 season of wood so far). I stack it in a woodshed 3 piles deep that is off the ground, covered and gets air all around. Today, I broke into the second pile on one side of the shed, and as I took the wood, I noticed a number of pieces with little sawdust mounds. When I brushed the sawdust mounds off, the holes were barely visible. I stack 300-400 pieces at a time on my front porch and take into the house only what I need for 1 day's burning. Any idea of what is burrowing into my wood and how to prevent it? The last thing I need is to introduce some wood-eater into my old farmhouse. Thanks.

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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
I don't know the type of bug, but these tend to be larvae that don't really come out. As long as there is no wood-to-wood contact between splits and home, I think you'll be fine.
 
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firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,593
Unity/Bangor, Maine
Powder post beetles?
 
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mcdougy

Minister of Fire
Apr 15, 2014
794
ontario
I see those little piles of sawdust occasionally.....for less worry, maybe just bring a stove full in at a time? I store our wood on the porch as well.
 
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clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
2,330
Colorado
Something (I think moths--if they have a larvae stage-- some bug laid eggs or whatever at the bottom of my kitchen cabinet and every day a few drop out and it looks just like your bugs on the wood--so tiny and still until you move them then they walk away and some others seem up side down and I right side them up and swipe them all in a glass and put them in the sun outside so that they can finish their "whatever" --I think they are moths--looks just like yours on the wood--sorry for the bad picture but it might give you an idea of what they are---when I get time I am going to look up "moths" and see what their life cycles are----don't know just a suggestion here..clancey

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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
@clancey
Despite the poor pictures, I think those are consistent with termites.

@EatenByLimestone ?

Please have an expert look at it before more damage is done.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
Split until you find some,take close up pictures, perhaps.

It's a kitchen cabinet. Hence my urge to have it checked out.
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
2,330
Colorado
That's the best that I can get by way of film-(digital camera old) but i will have them check out and hoping it is not that...but we will see...thanks for the heads up..clancey...
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
Catch two to show the expert.
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
2,330
Colorado
I already know what they are: I have some work to do now--ugh..good video...clancey
 
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EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
The wood borders are powder post beetles. I'd start a new stack in a different place in the yard and burn that current stack up. I'd keep them away from the porch/house, etc. Bringing the wood inside and directly placing in the stove should be fine as they stay dormant with the cold, then cook! You don't want them in your framing. Theres no satisfactory way to treat them in a wall. If there isn't any insulation, you could inject a foam, but foam effectiveness falls off with a fiberglass batt, I have no faith it'd work with densepack cellulose or foam.

Mrs Clancy, if you have party pests, putting the goods in there in Tupperware as the article suggests is a good idea. Gallon zip lock bags are a good idea too as they are cheap. Throwing out anything in a cardboard box is often an easy first step, and less frustrating. Just get rid of it! Look for the nests in adjoining rooms too. Often these are an odd shaped spiderweb looking cocoon where the wall meets the ceiling. Its not going to be an immediate fix regardless of the chosen solution as you have to wait for all of the existing eggs to hatch out. If they are termites, I really can't tell from the pic, you will see mud tubes in the cabinet corners.
 

Dan Freeman

Feeling the Heat
Dec 3, 2021
396
NE PA
rumble.com
I've been reading about ways to keep insects out of the stored firewood, but much of it involves freezing the wood, heating the wood, or spraying/soaking each piece in one solution or another before stacking. Is there anything out there that can be sprayed around the perimeter of the firewood shed (like an exterminator sprays around the perimeter of a house) that will deter bugs keeping them out of the stack, or do most bugs just "ride in" on the firewood when delivered/cut, making ground sprays basically ineffective?

Right now, since I discovered the sawdust (which is probably powder post beetles by the consensus I've read here), I am only bringing in enough wood into the house that I need for 1/2 day. I figure the bugs won't emerge that fast from the warmth.
 

Mt Bob

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
3,953
park county montana
From what I read, these have to be sprayed on each piece of wood or the wood needs to be soaked in it.
Study some more. Permethrin is used almost anywhere, lawns, airplanes, clothing and clothing manufacturers, cotton,etc. I use Bora Care on my logs, and go around the base and ground of cabin with Permethrin.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Don't do that.

1. Borates are salts. Salts and iron Don't like each other.

2. Read the label on Bora Care. I'm much more familiar with that than Timbor. The label states to spray the surface of the piece to be treated almost to the point of runoff, let it dry, then treat it again. You're trying to get the salt into the wood. Surface spraying the ends isn't going to do squat. You're wasting your money.

3. Applying any pesticide is dangerous. There's a reason why they are restricted in many states. People applying pesticides incorrectly breeds resistance. One of my techs was telling me last week about a place he was called into fix for bedbugs at his last job. Other techs went in and underapplied the pesticides for a year, making the entire dormitory full of pesticide resistant bedbugs. They had to go in and heat the entire building and hold the temp to kill them. Expensive mistake.

Suggesting others go out and buy potentially dangerous pesticides is flat out irresponsible. These things build up in your body and can cause all sorts of issues. Some have acute toxicity. Others are more dangerous over time, chronic toxicity. How many old exterminators do you meet? There aren't many out there. And the products they used are no longer sold. There's a reason for that.
 

Mt Bob

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
3,953
park county montana
Don't do that.

1. Borates are salts. Salts and iron Don't like each other.

2. Read the label on Bora Care. I'm much more familiar with that than Timbor. The label states to spray the surface of the piece to be treated almost to the point of runoff, let it dry, then treat it again. You're trying to get the salt into the wood. Surface spraying the ends isn't going to do squat. You're wasting your money.

3. Applying any pesticide is dangerous. There's a reason why they are restricted in many states. People applying pesticides incorrectly breeds resistance. One of my techs was telling me last week about a place he was called into fix for bedbugs at his last job. Other techs went in and underapplied the pesticides for a year, making the entire dormitory full of pesticide resistant bedbugs. They had to go in and heat the entire building and hold the temp to kill them. Expensive mistake.

Suggesting others go out and buy potentially dangerous pesticides is flat out irresponsible. These things build up in your body and can cause all sorts of issues. Some have acute toxicity. Others are more dangerous over time, chronic toxicity. How many old exterminators do you meet? There aren't many out there. And the products they used are no longer sold. There's a reason for that.
I listed some of the safest products out there. It's not like he is going to treat all of his firewood with a heavy dose. Pesticides are sometimes a necessity. There are directions for them. What do you think millions of log cabin and exposed wood house owners use? What would you have him do? I see you complain, yet bring no solutions.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
Also, given the "salt" argument above, dont do it if you have a cat stove.
I know salt water driftwood will ruin it. I don't know what other salts will ruin a cat. I would not take the risk (if you have a cat stove).
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
I own a pest control company. I try to steer people away from pesticides whenever possible. He can solve his issue without pesticides, so I suggested that.

I hold 4 licenses for pesticides. I hold a Structural, Termite, Food Processing, and Ornamental and Turf license. One of my tasks this winter is to be approved by the state to teach my applicators their continuing education. Next year I will have 6 licensed applicators I'm responsible for. I'll also have a couple guys doing wildlife work.

I'm coming at this from a position of experience. Treat these chemicals with respect. When you can solve an insect issue without pesticides, I recommend doing that!