Wormy Chestnut - Are the Worms Dead?

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Forum topic by Bernspen posted 04-22-2015 12:56 PM 827 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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27 posts in 698 days

04-22-2015 12:56 PM

Topic tags/keywords: worms chestnut

I just bought some wormy chestnut from a reputable lumber dealer. Should I be worried that thee may be live beetles or live worms still in it? Some of the holes are full of little white “stuff;” most are clear. And it’s too long to put in an oven.

-- We have met the enemy, and he is us.

4 replies so far

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2263 posts in 1790 days

#1 posted 04-22-2015 02:55 PM

Nobody here’s going to be able to tell you 100% either way. I would suspect, however that if this is in fact a reputable dealer, that the dealer would have wanted to make sure the wood was pest-free before bringing it anywhere near his other lumber.

You could always call the person you bought it from, you’d probably get the most-informed answer there.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View BroncoBrian's profile


435 posts in 1379 days

#2 posted 04-22-2015 03:19 PM

Check that forum. Also, there are some chemicals (Boric Acid maybe?) that you can spray on and dry on the wood.

-- Bigfoot tries to take pictures of me

View soob's profile


223 posts in 629 days

#3 posted 04-22-2015 05:41 PM

They are probably powderpost beetles (or some similar bug). Those buggers don’t just stay in the wood—the holes you see at the surface are the mature bugs coming out. Once out they find somewhere else to lay eggs (usually on the same kind of wood, but not always).

They can be killed by heating the wood to 130 degrees for a few hours. Surely it’s already been done, but if you’re worried about it, nuke ‘em. Hot attic, under clear plastic in the driveway on a sunny day, etc.

Unfortunately there’s no easy way to see if they’re still alive in the wood, as far as I know.

Edit: oh, but you can see if they’re coming out by checking for new holes. Either mark the ones you already have, or look for sawdust piles under the wood.

View WDHLT15's profile


1562 posts in 1896 days

#4 posted 04-23-2015 11:33 AM

In almost all cases, the black lined holes in wormy chestnut were made by ambrosia beetles. They are long gone. They are not a threat. As long as the holes are open (not plugged with flour-like sawdust) and with the black stain, you do not have to treat the wood.

Powderpost beetles are a different story. There holes and tunnels are packed with fine sawdust called frass.

Chestnut has tyloses, which are white crystalline structures that are part of how the tree grew. They are normal and do not pose any danger. That is probably what you are seeing. A picture would help.

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

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