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Powder Post Beetles ?, what do you think?

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Forum topic by brantley posted 07-05-2011 05:31 PM 2780 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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brantley

185 posts in 2720 days


07-05-2011 05:31 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question powder post beetles oak

A few years ago a man gave me a good bit of rough sawn oak and poplar. They are all very thick and wide cuts that would be ideal for different projects. Only problem is when i inspected the wood a few months ago i noticed signs of powder post beetles. I couldnt go through every single board because theres roughly 350 board feet of wood in there but i did notice there some of the wood looked to be un affected based on me not seeing piles of wood dust under or on the board. I would really hate to trash all this wood because its fairly old, has great looking grain, and its thick…but at the same time if i need to trash it i will. My wife is wanting me to build her a table to put our tv on with a few drawers in it and what not. So i would only be needing a board or two. Would i be ok filtering through the boards and finding some that appear to not have the beetles or should i not use any of it? Thanks in advance.


19 replies so far

View ork's profile

ork

4 posts in 1986 days


#1 posted 07-05-2011 07:01 PM

Brantley, just because your seeing frass, (sawdust) does not mean you have an active infestation. There has to
be a certain percent of moisture in the wood or the PPB will look for a new home. If it an active infestation, the
frass will look like fresh sawdust.
You can also look at your lumber for the PPB holes, and circle them and take a shop vac & clean up the frass.
Check the lumber in a few monthes to see if those holes have fresh frass.

Bill

-- Bill

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brantley

185 posts in 2720 days


#2 posted 07-05-2011 07:08 PM

Ork. When i received the wood a few years ago it had previously been stored under a barn. I have since stacked and stickered it under a barn on my land with a tarp over the wood. I actually just checked the wood out for a few minutes while at lunch and theres quite a good bit of frass piles on various pieces of wood. These have obviously been made since moving the wood to where it is at now 2 years ago. You mentioned the beetles must have moisture in the wood. This wood, im guessing from what the original owner told me…is probably at least 15-20 years old,,,so i cant imagine it having much moisture in it.

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Barbara Gill

153 posts in 2123 days


#3 posted 07-05-2011 07:50 PM

I see you are from GA. I would think that wood stored under a barn in the south would have about 12-14%MC at the very best.
Planing the wood will quickly show the powder post beetle trails in the wood. if there are none, most likely it is ok.

-- Barbara

View ork's profile

ork

4 posts in 1986 days


#4 posted 07-05-2011 09:58 PM

Even if the wood was covered by a tarp & under a barn, the sun will still draw moisture from the ground into the wood. That why you see PPB in craw spaces. I’ am in Michigan and have treated several log homes, craw spaces and basement for PPB over the years. In the “old days” farmers would spray an oil base (Lindane) on the barn wood to kill the PPB.
Today Bora Care is used. If you would contact the Ga. Dept of Arg. about it uses. It can be sprayed or painted on the wood. Bora Care will penetrate the wood. It will take several months but it should go threw the planks.
It will not kill the eggs, but when the eggs hatches & the larva come out & eats the treated wood they will die. It will not kill any “bug” just crawing on the wood, they must eat the wood.
Because it penetrate the wood, you only have to treat one side. Just follow the label. But contact the Ga. Dept of Arg.

-- Bill

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brantley

185 posts in 2720 days


#5 posted 07-05-2011 10:18 PM

Bill, thanks for the info. Can this product be applied with a pump sprayer? I imagine it would more conservative to use a sprayer instead of painting it on.

View ork's profile

ork

4 posts in 1986 days


#6 posted 07-06-2011 12:17 AM

Brantley, yes you can ue a pump sprayer.

-- Bill

View RobWoodCutter's profile

RobWoodCutter

113 posts in 2692 days


#7 posted 07-06-2011 12:43 AM

Ork,

I had the same issue with oak (about 600BF) , but it is all stored inside a climate controlled workshop and the wood was at 6-8%MC. Four of the larger boards (12/4×10” x 10’) recently showed up with powder on the floor. Within a day I found about a dozen dead adults on the floor by them. I was told that the wood had been treated. So does that mean the adults ate the chemical treatment and died or is it possible they just came out, laid by eggs on the same/adjacent boards and then died of natural causes.

I pulled out the entire row of oak boards (they were stacked vertically) and have milled them down to s4s and have found no other evidence of PPB, except on the four original boards. I picked up some Timbor and some Bora-care. The Bora care was for the boards that have the damage, just in case there were more eggs inside and was planning on spray the rest with Timbor.
Does that sound like a good plan? Rob

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

View Bernie's profile

Bernie

416 posts in 2299 days


#8 posted 07-06-2011 05:06 AM

Wish I had known about Bora-care. But the advise is all very good. My experience is that that them pesty beetles need moister. I found them eating my barn from the ground up here in New Hampshire. So I tore out the walls and exposed the underside to the air. The bottom was dirt and a crawl space only, but I left it open with no walls and jacked the barn up on supports. It stayed that way for about 10 years while I went BSA Scouting with my 4 sons. Ten years of air flowing through dried out the lumber and now, after digging out the crawl spaces, I have a bug free work shop under my barn.

That Bora-care would have made the job much faster… but then I would have missed out being a Scoutmaster and all the fun I had with my 4 sons and their friends.

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View ork's profile

ork

4 posts in 1986 days


#9 posted 07-06-2011 04:45 PM

Rob
The adults most likley died of natural causes. Its the larva that eat the wood. Bora Care is also a good product.
The larva is most active in April – July.

-- Bill

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

726 posts in 2421 days


#10 posted 07-06-2011 05:44 PM

The real issue here is the bug larvea; they can, and do, live in wood at just about any moisture level until the time is right (maybe 2 years or more) to chew their way out to lay eggs on the surface. Once that is done they either chew their way back in or go away. The frass tells you that is going on, and it won’t stop until you kill the eggs and larvea. They can ruin good wood in weeks or years. The only way to kill them is to put them in a kiln and get the wood hot, about 133 deg f. at the core, which means the room needs to be around 150 for 24 hrs or more. The thicker the piece, the better it is to let the wood heat. The spray on products are good to stop small problems, and may well help you here; but they cannot soak into the wood far enough to kill the little critters until they bore out and eat some, hence they are still alive. I recommend looking for someone with a kiln that could help you.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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brantley

185 posts in 2720 days


#11 posted 07-06-2011 05:58 PM

my thing about the kiln is what saw mill would let wood that they know is infested with powder post beetles get in their shop? i will look into that thought. I have emailed a fellow from Boracare and he assures me that Boracare will soak through the wood i have, and that i would only have to apply it to one side since it is 1 1/2 ” thick.

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

726 posts in 2421 days


#12 posted 07-06-2011 07:34 PM

That is certainly quite a quote from Boracare, I was unaware that their product could have such a penetration; I use a borate solution on some wood I cut, guess I’d better take another look at available product changes. Thanx for that info. I’ve talked with 3 different kiln operators, 1 distant and 2 locals, they don’t care so long as they can unload the wood right into the kiln. Best of luck whichever way you go.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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brantley

185 posts in 2720 days


#13 posted 07-06-2011 08:54 PM

Nomad, i had it mixed up in my previous post before yours. I emailed a fellow at Domyownpestcontrol.com and asked him. They sell quite a bit of Bora care and he assured me that i would only have to apply to one side. However i also emailed the NISUS corp. who manufactors Boracare and spoke with one of their Tech managers and this is what he had to say ..
“Bora-Care will generally penetrate throughout a 1.5 inch thick board of normal moisture content (around 14-15%). You can apply the product topically to only one side but I usually suggest to treat both sides if readily available. Bora-Care is eaten and becomes stomach toxicant to the beetles and will penetrate into the wood to kill the larvae (the beetle stage that really eats the wood, adult beetles do not consume much wood at all). There is the possibility that there may be a post treatment emerging of the adult beetles out of the wood after a treatment if the larvae were able to develop into a pupa form before the Bora-Care was consumed and able to kill them. This is rare but can happen. It does not mean that the BC is not working because the treatment also gives long term prevention against any future infestation or re-infestation of the beetles.”

He also enclosed a technical bulletin on beetles and fungus to better help explain the process. if anybody is interested in seeing this say so and i will post it up.

View RobWoodCutter's profile

RobWoodCutter

113 posts in 2692 days


#14 posted 07-06-2011 09:03 PM

From their website they recommend Boracare for wood that shows signs of infestation because it soaks through the wood and kills larvae in the wood as they start eating it and they recommend Timbor as a “maintainance” or “preventive” measure on wood that is not infested because it is just a surface treatment. Timbor will only kill bugs trying to eat their way in or out of the surface of the wood.

Timbor is quite a bit cheaper than Boracare. Boracare is a liquid that gets mixed with warm water that needs to be used once mixed.
Timbor is a powder that you use as 1 pound of Timbor to 1 gallon of water. They include a plasic scoop in the bucket that is labeled “1/4 lb and 1/2 lb” so you can mix smaller amount without having to weight.

Rob

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

View JL7's profile

JL7

8426 posts in 2428 days


#15 posted 07-11-2011 02:27 AM

Hey Brantley – as you know I had the same issue – posted here. Treated the boards with Boracare and all seemed good. As posted above, the Boracare will not kill the larve so in the last few weeks the bugs are boring their way out. It is a little unsettling, but I assume they will die since the wood is treated.

I will try to update how this changes in the next 30 days or so becasue all the larve should have hatched by then…...

I guess it is time to see if the boracare meets its claims…..

Jeff

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

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