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Walnut with Termites PPBeetle/Damage

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Forum topic by Luke posted 659 days ago 1476 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Luke

236 posts in 1312 days


659 days ago

I (through my wife and mother in law) have access to several hundred BF of old Walnut that my wife’s grandfather had milled for him some 50 years ago. A wide variety of lumber ranging from 4/4 to 12/4+ planks. All around 7-9’ long.

I was able to pick through the pile of walnut that had been stored in a trailer for more than a decade. Unfortunately quite a few pieces of the 4/4 stock has succumbed to termites or had signs of termites in them. There are a few boards that felt like styrofoam. It was a bit heart breaking, a good 100+ BF probably destroyed by termite damage.

My question is, there are some boards that had not been touched… I obviously jumped on those, and a few boards that had a hole or two that had been bored in to them. I checked them out, and brought about 60 BF home (Probably 10 percent of the TOTAL pile) I sprayed it with termite killer, and used a foam injector to spray into any holes that were in the wood.

Is it worth it? I’m a bit nervous bringing wood to my HOME that has or had termites in it… Half of the pile is BEAM sized cuts 6×6x96” and bigger… I have a rickety HF bandsaw, and I think I’d be torturing myself trying to re-saw the wood into useable planks for me, any thoughts?


10 replies so far

View rustfever's profile

rustfever

621 posts in 1936 days


#1 posted 659 days ago

I recently milled a black Walnut tree. It had termites, but only in the sap wood. The sawyer told me a trick he has used for years. B-12 carburetor cleaner. He claims it kills the termites & ants [you may want to make several applications over a period of time to be sure you kill any unhatched larva] and it will not stain the wood or effect any finish used on the wood. Of course, you would not want to try to finish the wood until all the B-12 had evaporated and dried out.

I cannot vouch for this claim. But i trust the person who told me about this.

-- Rustfever, Central California

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Luke

236 posts in 1312 days


#2 posted 658 days ago

I’ve been doing some internet research and it may be that what I saw (I did see the insects briefly) may have been larvae to the Powder Post Beetle.

It seems termites need water, and have mud tubes, this wood was VERY dry, and no mud, just saw dust shavings.

Knowing that, is it worth it?

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faye

4 posts in 658 days


#3 posted 658 days ago

I don’t know if it is worth saving but I would definitely try. Just so you know, Drywood termites don’t use mud tubes and don’t require much water; they acquire the water they need from the wood. They bore into the wood and “kick” the wood out of “kick holes” so that the sawdust makes little piles near the holes. I’ve had them in wood furniture before; furniture is a favorite of theirs I guess. This link may help as it explains the difference in the “saw dust” with drywood termites and the powder post beetles. The holes, I’ve read, would be about the size of a BB with the termites. I think they are larger with the beetle. the wood would sound hollow and I think that it’s termites that give it a spongy feel. http://www.livingwithbugs.com/drywood_termite.html

This article actually has a picture of damage from the drywood temites as well as various treatments including spot treatments: http://ag.arizona.edu/pubs/insects/az1232/

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Luke

236 posts in 1312 days


#4 posted 658 days ago

So much to take in.. I did see the critters, but I didn’t pay attention to them, they did LOOK like termites, but in color the larvae of the beetle is similar. I have treated every hole with a foaming termite killer, and have scrubbed the wood that I salvaged with a wire brush. I guess now its just a matter of time to inspect to see if there are any more droppings of a sort. The holes are more of a bb sized hole than anything, just barely enough for a small straw to fit in (the foaming spray was like a WD-40 type straw) to inject the insecticide.

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10721 posts in 1316 days


#5 posted 658 days ago

The walnut sapwood that I had powder post beetles in looked very sound when I built a chair. Several months later, tiny holes and little piles of sawdust! Came right through several coats of cured Spar Urethane! I tried several fixes and finally put it in a “tent” and set off one of those bug bombs in the “tent”. Most advice I got said this was a waste of time, but it did solve my problem. “BB sized” holes seem awfully big for powder post beetles to me.

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

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faye

4 posts in 658 days


#6 posted 658 days ago

Yeah, I have seen the hole of the Beetle. My ex-husband had this wooden box that was like a mini dresser, sort of; it looked like a dresser but it was to hold change, pens, paperclips and stuff. It was to sit on top of a desk or dresser and just looked cool. It was old. Anyway, we kept seeing all this dust and couldn’t figure it out. Turned out the beetles were in there, the hole was much bigger than a BB, but I don’t know which kind of beetle he had, we never saw. There are several different types of wood damaging insects. I would try to watch the wood though, see if you can save it. It doesn’t cost as much to save it as it would to replace it. Just think of the stories you can tell if it can be saved! :) Good luck! Keep us posted on how it turns out for you.

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faye

4 posts in 658 days


#7 posted 658 days ago

You know that some companies have a “box” like a CONEX box that they’ll put the wood in and “tent” it for you. I saw that’s how they saved some antiques in California for a museum. The stuff had to be stored until the display was ready and they didn’t want it to deteriorate more, plus they didn’t want the termites to get into other artwork in storage. Never give up, never surrender!

View fumehappy's profile

fumehappy

110 posts in 877 days


#8 posted 657 days ago

If the item is small enough you can “cook” it in the oven or an outdoor grill. I’ve read an internal temperature of 140 for an hour will do the trick, but when i grilled my old pre-lateral stanley, i did it at 250 for 4 hours. no finish on it left to worry about.

View Luke's profile

Luke

236 posts in 1312 days


#9 posted 657 days ago

Thats my fear, that a while down the road, they will show up… The stock is too big to “cook” all though perhaps next year in the summer I can build a desecrate solar kiln in my back yard. I live in suburbia, so I don’t have a lot of freedom to do what I want.

View nelsonpitter's profile

nelsonpitter

3 posts in 140 days


#10 posted 140 days ago

It is very common with old wood. Sometime we feel that wood is deteriorated from only a single corner but it may possible that complete wood eaten by termites.

-- Nelson Pitter

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