Wednesday was a bad day.
As I was rummaging through my supply of wood, I started to notice some dead beetles. No, not the ones from England. These looked liked they had fallen dead into some of my Pearwood bowl blanks, now dry after a couple of years of sitting. I as I got closer to discovering the source, I started finding living bugs. “This really sucks”, I said to myself, minus a few explicatives. It did not take me long to find the source. It was that really great deal—now not so great deal— on Sycamore. Needless to say I spent the next several hours cleaning my entire stock and treating the infested wood.
These boards were apparently infected before I bought them. The scary part is that I have had them for almost two years. Apparently, these pests can remain in the wood for years before resurfacing. Now I have seen a few Powder Post Beetle holes in boards before, but nothing on this order. The sapwood is just riddled.
It seems, however, nature was pulling for me. I kept finding these concentrated piles of dead beetles every where. In fact more than half of the total population were in these congregations. Congregations? NOT! More like spiders! If there is one creature we have a lot of here in California, it’s spiders. And they did quite a number on those wretched rascals.
From the research I have done on Powder Post Beetles, I am not likely to have a “re-infestation” as they call it. Conditions here are just not right. Not to mention the job the spiders did on them. They also seem to be rather finicky about the species as well as only being interested in the sapwood. Yeah, it sucks to lose that Sycamore, but at least—for now—my Mahogany, Black Walnut, exotics, and the rest are safe.
-- Brian Havens, Woodworker http://brianhavens.com