Bugs in my cherry. Help!

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Forum topic by crank49 posted 07-09-2012 02:31 AM 2171 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4030 posts in 2967 days

07-09-2012 02:31 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question cherry

I just bought 500 board feet of cherry and have had it stacked in my garage drying for about a month.
I decided to turn the stack over to put the 4/4 boards on the bottom and the 8/4 and 10/4 boards on the top.
I was doing this because some of the thinner boards are beginning to cup and twist and I thought the weight of the stack might help keep them flat.
When I was taking the boards out side I noticed a few tiny piles of sawdust on the top of the next board down the stack. I went back out and looked very closely at the board I just removed from the stack, at the area that was above the saw dust pile and sure enough, there was a tiny little pin size hole.
I only saw about a dozen holes in the whole batch and I suspect these are powder post beatle holes?
What should I do?
Is there a poison I can spray or dust on the wood to stop this?
I know kiln drying would kill the little buggers, but I can’t afford that right now.
Any other options?

12 replies so far

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3920 days

#1 posted 07-09-2012 02:39 AM

Malathion in the holes I used it to wipe out a Bee colony I went near and the little bastards put me in the hospital. I never had any reaction before but the bees are history and I found it works on just about any insect big and small.

View WDHLT15's profile


1741 posts in 2472 days

#2 posted 07-09-2012 11:22 AM

The holes indicate that the eggs have hatched, the larvae reached adulthood, and the pin holes are their exit holes. If there are more eggs in the wood treating the exit holes may not be effective. I see four things that you can do. Since the PPB’s only infest the sapwood of cherry:

1). Rip off all the sapwood and burn it.
2). Spray the wood with a borate solution to prevent any re-infestation and hope that there are no more eggs/larvae in the wood.
3). Put the wood in an attic on stickers (I would only include the pieces with sapwood) and let the hot summer sun heat up the wood for a month or so.
4). Build a small insulated chamber and use a heater to get the wood’s internal temp to 140 degrees.

Good luck. PPB’s are a scourge. I spray lumber from species susceptible to PPB’s as soon as the boards come off my sawmill with a borate solution as I cannot afford to have them in my lumber. I do not want to sell any lumber that has PPB’s in it.

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

View Doss's profile


779 posts in 2261 days

#3 posted 07-09-2012 04:27 PM

Follow what WDHLT15 is saying for one. You could also get a pest control service to come out and spray the wood and the areas around it. I called a local pest control and they asked what I needed sprayed and they started laughing when I told them I wanted about 20 logs sprayed. They asked if the logs were in the house (uh yeah… I put 20 50” x 10-16’ long logs in my house). I finally found someone that would do it.

I’d much rather have to deal with odd effects of insecticide treatment in my finish than trying to reassemble sawdust into a board any day of the week.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Woodendeavor's profile


276 posts in 2603 days

#4 posted 07-09-2012 06:06 PM

Look for a local sawyer who has a kiln and get the stuff dried. IMO you can not get high enough temps in the attic. There was also an article, can not remember source, about putting the wood in a freezer for a period of time to kill off adults and eggs. Keep it away from other wood so it does not get infested

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3573 days

#5 posted 07-09-2012 06:56 PM

I’ve just used a hypodermic needle filled with lacquer thinner injected in the holes and repeated the treatment over a week or so and never had a problem.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View DaveDelo's profile


86 posts in 2890 days

#6 posted 07-09-2012 07:33 PM

Here’s the PPB coffin I came up with. Holds a little over 100BF per charge. (2) 375 watt clear infrared heating lamps with a small fan got me to 155 degrees. Took about 6-8 hours to get to 140 degrees and then left it on for another 6-8 hours.

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3047 days

#7 posted 07-09-2012 09:56 PM


Use Boracare available at Slowe’s, Home Dopey, and SmalMart. It’s a borate product, non-toxic to humans. Put it on per instructions to prevent re-infestation. As said above, the holes you see are exit holes. The borate kills the bugs when they try to inject more eggs.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View jmos's profile


827 posts in 2366 days

#8 posted 07-09-2012 10:29 PM

Michael – the reference above to freezing might have been related to a blog entry on FWW from 6/28. Some pro woodworker had an infested lot of 500bf. He found an industrial freezer that would keep the wood for three weeks and it killed the PPBs. Cost him $100. Here’s the link, not sure if you have to subscribe to read it.

-- John

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2967 days

#9 posted 07-09-2012 11:26 PM

Thanks, everyone.
I think I will combine 2 or 3 of these ideas.

View WDHLT15's profile


1741 posts in 2472 days

#10 posted 07-10-2012 01:42 AM

Even if the attic does not heat up enough to reach 140 degrees in the wood, the high temps will speed up the life cycle of any beetles that remain so that you can get that over with sooner.

A kiln is best, but you wanted options that did not involve a kiln.

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

View Scsmith42's profile


125 posts in 2673 days

#11 posted 07-11-2012 07:53 PM

As WDH stated, a kiln is best.

DaveDelo – that is a SLICK setup that you have!

-- Scott, North Carolina,

View DaveDelo's profile


86 posts in 2890 days

#12 posted 07-12-2012 12:59 AM

Thank you Scott.

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