powder post beetles..

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Forum topic by widdle posted 06-13-2011 06:24 PM 4940 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2069 posts in 3236 days

06-13-2011 06:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: powder post beetles

Does anyone have any experience building a small kiln or some sort of large heated box to kill powdrer post beetles ?
i have a growing powder post beetle problem, in mostly two year old air dried slabs of various sizes..Wondering if i can build a plywood or ridged insulated box ( aproximetly 4’ x 10’ x 4’ ) with some sort of elecrical heater ? Thickness of lumber ranges from 1” to 3”+ thick… I am aware of the borax solutions ..but trying to avoid that method..thanks

21 replies so far

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4365 days

#1 posted 06-13-2011 06:58 PM

Use solar power.
I put my wood in a clear plastic tent out in the Sun and let Mother Nature do the work.

-- 温故知新

View widdle's profile


2069 posts in 3236 days

#2 posted 06-13-2011 10:24 PM

soo that will get the lumber up to 140/160 degrees necessary to kill the buggers ?

View McKinneyMike's profile


80 posts in 2898 days

#3 posted 06-13-2011 11:00 PM

Look into purchasing some Timbor. It is the only treatment that I am aware of that will kill them, without the aid of a heated kiln. Most solar kilns will not get hot enough for a long enough time to kill the eggs. You will need the core of the lumber to reach at least 135 degrees for at least an 8 hour period if I recall correctly.
A heated chamber will work if the heater is sized for the purpose.

-- McKinney Hardwood Lumber --Specializing in exotic and figured hardwood lumber -McKinney, TX

View widdle's profile


2069 posts in 3236 days

#4 posted 06-13-2011 11:06 PM

thanks mike
Soo no one likes the idea of a ply box with some sort of electrical heater in there ?

View Scsmith42's profile


125 posts in 2914 days

#5 posted 06-14-2011 12:19 AM

I’m operate a milling and kiln drying business. You have three options to kiln the PPB and their larvae.

First and best option is to heat the wood to 133F for 4 hours or more. Note that the core of the slabs need to be at this temp, and also that you can sterilize at a lower temp for a longer period of time. The USDA has charts available that will guide you on the time/temp required for the center of the boards to reach 133F.

Yes, you can build a simple box to achieve this. As I recall, last December’s FWW magazine had an article about doing this very thing. Basically you stack and sticker your lumber, using a ratchet strap around the bundle. Next. place your bundled wood on edge on top of a pair of sawhorses, so that the gaps between the boards are now vertical instead of horizontal. Build a box around the lumber using foil sided foam board panels (such as the Celotex panels on the outside of new houses) Leave the bottom side of the box open, and make a small door opening in the top that you can use to regulate heat. Place a space heater (such as the electric radiator type) underneath the sawhorses, so that the heat radiats upward. Stick a meat thermometer through one foam board near the bottom of the stack, and regulate the vent opening so that you achieve the desired tems.

Ideally you want to keep the wood between 135 – 145. If you heat it too much, you might damage it by causing excessive drying.

Your other options are using a boric acid type solution (such as timbor), but the problem with using this on dried wood is that you have to saturate the wood and let it dry again, and you can experience some degrade as a result.

Your third option is to build a tent and fume the slabs with ammonia. This may result in some discoloration.

-- Scott, North Carolina,

View hairy's profile


2783 posts in 3769 days

#6 posted 06-14-2011 12:50 AM

Incandescent light bulbs put out more heat than light.

-- My reality check bounced...

View Tim Kindrick's profile

Tim Kindrick

369 posts in 2792 days

#7 posted 06-14-2011 12:52 AM

Another option is to have the wood professionally fumigated by a local exterminator…. this is probably the easiest but also the most expensive option depending on your location. If you live along a coastline, where most insect fumigation is performed, it will cost less because more companies do this kind of work. I used to have a fumigation and wood preservation license in the state of Texas and we fumed lots of furniture.

-- I have metal in my neck but wood in my blood!!

View widdle's profile


2069 posts in 3236 days

#8 posted 06-14-2011 01:23 AM

Sc..Thanks for the heads up..i ll look to see if i have that issue of fww..setting em up on edge sounds a little hassly cuz ther all random lengths and shape… sounds like it should work though.. to share more ?

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2069 posts in 3236 days

#9 posted 06-14-2011 01:25 AM

Tim..thats an option..mabye just make some sort of temp shed for the fumigators ?

View widdle's profile


2069 posts in 3236 days

#10 posted 06-14-2011 01:26 AM

is the fumigation process as effective as heat ?

View hairy's profile


2783 posts in 3769 days

#11 posted 06-14-2011 04:20 AM

Light bulbs are a heat source. Temperature control is a bigger problem. Google it, there’s a lot out there on building kilns and driers.

I’ve put small pieces for woodturning in the microwave to kill bugs.

It just might be cheaper to replace the lumber, you can’t undo the damage they’ve done.

-- My reality check bounced...

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2927 days

#12 posted 06-14-2011 04:25 AM

I need to put a thermometer in my shop attic where I store wood as it appears hot enough to do the job if it needs 135 degrees for 4 hours. Its been 96 to 100 here and the attic is MUCH hotter. Ill try to remember to post results.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View widdle's profile


2069 posts in 3236 days

#13 posted 06-14-2011 05:24 AM

thanks hairy..not quite ready to scrap the lumber..there is some good sticks some as big as tables..Thought i might grt someone that has made one here.trying to get firsthand knowledge here from some oldskoolers rather than google..

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 3195 days

#14 posted 06-15-2011 01:03 AM

With those little boogers it’s wise to not cut corners. It takes a lot of heat to heat an area that you speak of, and I doubt a small heater would do it. You need to reach around 150-160 deg f. and hold it; you can do that, of course, but you will need to seal excessive air leaks and insulate the heck out of it. Lots of air movement. The chemical thing is good, but heat is best. Look around for someone that has a kiln and get a quote for their use.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View RobWoodCutter's profile


116 posts in 3467 days

#15 posted 06-15-2011 01:23 AM

I have a ton of wood and 80% is kiln dried, the balance is air dried. The wood is kept indoors at 70 deg./30 RH is at 6-8 percent moisture content. The PPB will still eat the wood. After two years of nothing, four boards had small piles of powder by them, and they are the kiln dried ones. So the kiln will current bugs, but once dead they can still be reinfested. I picked up some Boracare for the boards that were infested, and Timbor for the ones with no infestation. As long as the wood stays dry, the treatment should last 40 years (according to the manufacturer.) The PPB got into a couple 9”x 16/4×10’ red oak rough cut boards. They had only gotten 1/4” into the wood and I was able to plane the trails out. Rob

-- Rob-Yorktown "Shop's still not done, Tools are bought, Wood is bought, need to find time to start a project.."

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