Getting Bugs Out Of White Oak

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Forum topic by Adam Baird posted 05-17-2016 07:55 PM 678 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Adam Baird

63 posts in 2020 days

05-17-2016 07:55 PM

I found a large load of white oak on craigslist this weekend. It had been sitting in a shipping yard for a couple months and was soaked from some recent rain and covered in dirt and grime. It was only $200 for about 350BF of 5/4, so I figured it was worth bringing it home and cleaning it up a bit to make it usable.

I got it home and stacked and once I scrubbed off a decent amount of the mess, I discovered evidence of some sort of boring bugs. Again I’ve got roughly 50 planks of 5/4 that are 6-8 inches wide and 10 to 13 feet long. I’d hate to just burn it, but I don’t want to bring it into my house or shop in its current state. Any recommendations as to what I might be able to do to kill the bugs?

I know I need to get the core of the boards up to 130 degrees for about 6 hours, but I don’t have easy access to a kiln and I’m wondering if there are cost effective alternatives.

Thanks for your input!

-- Adam from Indiana -

6 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


5565 posts in 2715 days

#1 posted 05-17-2016 08:25 PM

Are the bug holes in the sapwood only, or the heartwood as well? I have processed some buggy white oak, but it only affected the soft sapwood. Often the inner layers of white oak are too dense for most bugs. I kiln dried them (probably not to 130 degrees, but close) and had no further issues. All I have in the shop is white oak, so I wasn’t worried about getting bugs on other species.

You can make a DIY kiln with a household dehumidifier, heater, and fans. Most bugs don’t like a moisture content below 15%.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


6322 posts in 2100 days

#2 posted 05-17-2016 08:30 PM

Depending on where you are (I’m in Florida, so it’s easy), you can wrap them in black plastic and let them sit out in direct sunlight. Check out this article:

Solar Bagging: putting sunlight to work to eliminate insect infestations in mere hours


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View nkawtg's profile


271 posts in 1152 days

#3 posted 05-17-2016 08:34 PM

MrUnix’s idea is a good one, or you could build a tarp enclosure and force hot air into it from a propane heater.
Obvious cautions apply when mixing heat with fuel.

View jonmakesthings's profile


73 posts in 719 days

#4 posted 05-17-2016 08:52 PM

I seem to remember hearing that boric acid applied to the wood will kill any vermin making a home in it.

-- How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

View AandCstyle's profile


2976 posts in 2158 days

#5 posted 05-17-2016 09:49 PM

Adam, I am obligated to give you a great big ”YOU SUCK”!!! Congratulations on your score. However, if you don’t want to deal with the bugs, feel free to ship it to me. haha

-- Art

View ClammyBallz's profile


424 posts in 1038 days

#6 posted 05-17-2016 09:54 PM

I like to cook my wood in a cargo trailer with an electric heater and a dehumidifier. Once the dehumidifier stops pulling water out, I crank up the heat to kill of the bugs.

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