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Best method for controlling wood boring insects

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Forum topic by 08k8 posted 09-19-2017 03:17 AM 2138 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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08k8

11 posts in 30 days


09-19-2017 03:17 AM

Topic tags/keywords: timbor powder post beetle termite drying

I’ve been reading up all of the great posts on this site about drying lumber and dealing with insect pests.

I’ve just had a ~80 year old red oak sawn to 4/4 and 9/4 material by a local sawyer. The tree blew down at my house and I perhaps delayed a bit too long before taking it in. Now, I’m noticing the classic tiny saw dust mounds on my nicely stacked and stickered wood….

I’ve read about Timbor and Solubor. I’ve also read others suggesting the 20 mule team borax will also work. I could buy this product and apply it tomorrow. I can also buy exactly the quantity that I need- as opposed to a large quantity of Timbor for my project.

I have a few questions about 20 mule team:
1). Is this option as good as Timbor / Solubor? Any draw backs?

2). What is the mix ratio for 20 mule

3). With these products, is there any health risk once I begin working the wood?

-- Too many hobbies.


19 replies so far

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1679 posts in 2256 days


#1 posted 09-19-2017 12:10 PM

What you are seeing is ambrosia beetle damage. They will leave as the wood begins to dry. They are not a problem other than the little holes that they leave. They can only survive in green wood. You are right to worry about other wood borers like powderpost beetles that will infest the dry wood. Spraying with borate will prevent them from infesting the wood.

Timbor and Solubor are 98% disodium octaborate tetrahydate (DOT). It is a boric salt. It is not the same as borax. Borax will probably work, but the DOT is formulated for making the boron more available for controlling the insects. I mix 6 pounds of DOT to 5 gallons of water and spray the boards on ALL sides until the wood is soaked. The wood has to be protected from the rain as DOT is water soluable and the water will wash out the borate.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

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08k8

11 posts in 30 days


#2 posted 09-19-2017 12:27 PM

WDHLT15- thanks for your quick reply. SO, I did purchase some Timbor on Amazon…. and I plan to spray as you suggest. I spent ~$50 for 6# but- I figure that I cannot go wrong with this approach and it is what you recommend.. The wood is too valuable to me to take risk.

My frugal side is always intrigued though. I AM curious though if anyone has good luck with 20 Mule team. This is ~$7 for 4 pounds….. Others on this site have mentioned success using the product, and it is available at all of the big box stores.

I’m curious of successful mixing ratios etc.

-- Too many hobbies.

View Hockey's profile

Hockey

83 posts in 192 days


#3 posted 09-19-2017 02:39 PM

Danny, where do the ambrosia beetles go after they leave? Do they go find growing trees to get some green wood?

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WDHLT15

1679 posts in 2256 days


#4 posted 09-20-2017 02:07 AM

Yes, they find stressed or dying trees. They are opportunists.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

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Hockey

83 posts in 192 days


#5 posted 09-20-2017 02:13 AM

Thanks, Danny.

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08k8

11 posts in 30 days


#6 posted 09-20-2017 11:31 AM

I used a moisture meter to measure the 4/4 stock and found that I was ~26%. This is 2 weeks after the tree was sawn. I’ll spray the Timbor on and RE-STACK the entire pile with 3/4 stickers.

Is there anything else I should do?

-- Too many hobbies.

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08k8

11 posts in 30 days


#7 posted 09-22-2017 05:30 PM

OK.. Thanks to Amazon, the Timbor showed up quickly.

Do you guys allow the boards to dry completely before stickering them? I’m worried about putting the stickers onto the wet wood and leaving lines.

-- Too many hobbies.

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1679 posts in 2256 days


#8 posted 09-23-2017 12:09 AM

They should surface dry quickly, only an hour or two, then you can sticker them.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

View Fresch's profile

Fresch

81 posts in 1701 days


#9 posted 09-23-2017 12:40 AM

I mix 20 mule with sugar dry to kill ants around my camp, works good not sure about other pest types.
The ants take both sugar and mule back and feed the babies, the ones that get sugar give out nectar to the workers that’s how they feed, the ones that eat mule die soon the ants die due to lack of food.

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08k8

11 posts in 30 days


#10 posted 10-02-2017 04:59 PM

Well, I’ve noticed over the past ~ 2 weeks that the boring insects have slowed BUT, they are not stopped. I used the Timbor as suggested (15% strength.)

Could I be battling something here that is NOT controlled by Timbor?https://s3.amazonaws.com/vs-lumberjocks.com/ox7gipa.jpg!

-- Too many hobbies.

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1679 posts in 2256 days


#11 posted 10-03-2017 11:49 AM

Timbor will prevent reinfestation and will protect against powderpost beetles, which only infest the wood after it is dry.

Sounds like some ambrosia beetles are still leaving the wood. Timbor will not prevent any ambrosia beetle eggs or larvae that were in the wood, before spraying, from boring out to leave. It will likely kill them as the bore out to the treated surface of the wood. Do you see any little small dead black beetles on the wood?

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

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08k8

11 posts in 30 days


#12 posted 10-03-2017 12:04 PM

I do not see any black beetles. The only evidence is the small mound of sawdust on the board.

Just to be clear- this can NOT be termites, correct?

Is there any way to fully understand what I’m dealing with here?

-- Too many hobbies.

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7607 posts in 2694 days


#13 posted 10-03-2017 05:21 PM

I went through this several years ago. Gained some good information from fellow LJs…

http://lumberjocks.com/topics/60652

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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08k8

11 posts in 30 days


#14 posted 10-04-2017 11:43 AM

Thanks HorizontalMike. I actually ready your story prior to posting this. As a result, I pulled the bark off of all live edges and got rid of all bugs that went along with them. A few days of sitting outside with a tarp on top and they were all gone.

I see NO insects on the wood. Just these tiny piles of sawdust roughly 1/4” diameter. I sure don’t want to lose the lot of wood or infest my shop…....

I’ve been drying this with a fan & dehumidifier. The RH of the shop is going down and I get a constant drip from the humidifier hose. I do have a moisture meter and I’ve been probing a few of the 1” stock on the exposed edge. I’m really worried about the 9/4 stock because it is drying more slowly..

-- Too many hobbies.

View avsmusic1's profile

avsmusic1

144 posts in 465 days


#15 posted 10-04-2017 03:38 PM

I’m no expert so you’ll want some more knowledgeable folks to chime in but I have two things to add

1. From the pics, it looks like the holes are in the lighter sapwood portions – this is softer wood and probably is further evidence that it’s ambrosia beetles (they only seem to ever eat the sapwood on the stacks I’ve dried)

2. I’d be really careful about how quickly you dry and dry oak, especially the 9/4. You didn’t mention how long ago you had the log sawn or when you started with the dehumidifier, but I’ve had terrible luck trying to dry oak with anything other than open air until it was basically at equilibrium

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