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Author Topic: Is this powder post beetle damage?  (Read 1556 times)

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Offline thechknhwk

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Is this powder post beetle damage?
« on: November 10, 2016, 08:41:16 PM »
So my dear wife buys this over priced antique door for our bathroom since it currently has no door and while stripping the door notices some area that appears to be rotted, but to me looks like powder post beetle infestation - it was all powder in that spot I excavated.  I told her that it's not coming inside the timber frame.  So does this appear to be ppb damage, and I just got ripped for $50?






Offline tmbrcruiser

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Re: Is this powder post beetle damage?
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2016, 08:51:35 PM »
Holes look to large for ppb, my guess is termites.
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Offline bkaimwood

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Re: Is this powder post beetle damage?
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2016, 07:51:51 PM »
Looks like the perfect size for ambrosia beetles...

Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Is this powder post beetle damage?
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2016, 10:25:49 PM »
The hole for the lyctid PPB is 1/32 to 1/16" diameter.  I see no problem.
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Offline caveman

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Re: Is this powder post beetle damage?
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2019, 06:32:14 PM »
I think I have discovered the damage of the nefarious powder post beetle.  The boards are now on the burn pile awaiting ignition to contribute to a splendid bon fire.

These were from some boards we sawed years ago after we purchased the lt-28.  Now, all susceptible hardwoods are sprayed with Solubor (DOT) and we will be building a sterilization chamber to supplement the solar kiln soon.  

 

 

 
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Offline WDH

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Re: Is this powder post beetle damage?
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2019, 08:26:25 PM »
They got you good :)
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Offline tule peak timber

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Re: Is this powder post beetle damage?
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2019, 09:34:48 PM »
PPB frass looks like tiny piles of talcum powder that are downhill of the bore hole exits.The beetle itself looks like a black grain of rice. Here they like certain types of wood , ash , walnut , white oaks.A pic of the back of my living room couch just now... >:(

 
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Offline ellmoe

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Re: Is this powder post beetle damage?
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2019, 10:26:39 PM »
Thirty plus years in the sawmill/millwork business. A sore back and arthritic fingers to prove it!

Offline GAB

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Re: Is this powder post beetle damage?
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2019, 09:07:30 AM »
PPB frass looks like tiny piles of talcum powder that are downhill of the bore hole exits.The beetle itself looks like a black grain of rice. Here they like certain types of wood , ash , walnut , white oaks.A pic of the back of my living room couch just now... >:( <br

You can add maple to that list.
Gerald
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Offline tule peak timber

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Re: Is this powder post beetle damage?
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2019, 09:49:00 AM »
Yes,,, We are pulling some myrtle out of the kiln next week and I'm putting it under lock and key in a container :D
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Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Is this powder post beetle damage?
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2019, 09:52:55 AM »
As a review, the lyctid powderpost beetle is the only insect that gets into kiln dried or under 15% MC hardwoods.  This insect does not fly around long distances, so you need a source of infection...usually other nearby infected wood or bamboo.  A lot of foreign hardwood is infected.

So, it will rarely, if ever, be found in air-dried wood (too wet), so it is not necessary to sterilize wood in the kiln as the MC was too high when the lumber went into the kiln and there is no source of infection in the kiln.  Any air dried insects, like the ambrosia beetle or anobiid beetle, do not live in wood under 15% MC, so again, sterilization is not necessary in kiln drying.

Once the lumber leaves the kiln, if it is over 8% MC, it could be subject to infection...that is, drying or even sterilization in the kiln process provides no protection after drying, other than low MCs.

The key for identification of the lyctid PPB, in addition to low MC, is that is makes exit holes that are round and 1/32 to 1/16 inch in diameter.  The ambrosia beetle (likes very wet wood) also makes 1/16 diameter holes but because of the moisture differences, it is easy to tell which beetle made the holes.

When the beetles leave the wood, they make the visible holes we see.  Then, mom and pa are looking for each other to breed...they like wood dust and other wood debris, so a clean floor, etc. will help eliminate their breeding ground.  The pregnant female now flies up to the wood and looks for nooks and crannies to lay her eggs.  She has a tiny tube that extends from her body that she sticks down in the crannies.  So, she loves red oak and ash with their cellular openings, but not smooth woods like maple, basswood, etc.  the eggs hatch in a few months and the little worms, called larvae (singular) and larva (plural), then slowly make small tunnels in the wood for the next year...sometimes three years.  When cold, they are inactive.  Finally, one warm day, they convert to a flying insect and burrow their way to the surface and the cycle repeats.  This long life cycle is also useful in identification, as most hardwood insects have several broods per year, which means that other insects will bore to the surface perhaps a month after the insects' eggs were laid.

This cycle length of the lyctid PPB is why it is rare that an infestation will be seen in KD lumber during the first six months after leaving the kiln.  In fact, it is rare the first year after leaving the kiln because the females have to find the grainy wood, lay eggs, have at least 8% MC, and then the larva have to grow for 6 months before they make holes as they leave the wood.

Note that termites leave nuggets or pellets behind, but the PPB leaves very fine dust.  Note that activities of insects in air drying will result in tunnels and sometimes fine dust, but these alone do not indicate an active PPB.  In fact, in KD lumber such past activities are frequently misinterpreted as an active infestation.

So, why should you heat sterilize wood?  Such an activity allows us to positively swear in court that when the lumber left the kiln it was free of viable eggs, and insects.  Any infection later is due to infection later, perhaps in storage.  If the kiln drying storage is clean and has no foreign wood, then it is virtually impossible during a few weeks or months of storage to get the lumber infected...the MC is too low and there are no nearby insects hatching from adjacent lumber.  Any infections occurred after the lumber left the kiln facility.  Even in a solar kiln, without high heat, this conclusion is true, as described in the above paragraphs.

Amen.

Note: the pictures in post #4 are not lyctid PPB as the wood is not grainy, the holes are completely filled with frass which is not typical of lyctid PPB as the larva eat the wood so the tunnels are not totally full, and the holes are too large and not perfectly round
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

Offline Woodpecker52

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Re: Is this powder post beetle damage?
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2019, 10:35:49 AM »
Nature is always trying to destroy wood, if its outside then its first getting a coat of a copper based preservative then a stain.  Dry wood, wet wood insects or their blue stain, white stain, green stain, or yellow stain or red stain fungi funky smelling buddies are going to eventually take their toil. Log cabins, timber frames all got it just look and listen, in my shed at times you can see the white snow fall happening (powder post snow) or carpenter bees a chewing , time to coppo again.   I am more concerned with imported logs and lumber and what new next threat to our woods  that is bringing.  The only wood I know of that has fewer problems with the buggers is red and western cedar and heart longleaf, shortleaf pine and with the pines the only problem there is an almost instant combustion near any flame.
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Offline Woodpecker52

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Re: Is this powder post beetle damage?
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2019, 10:38:10 AM »
Then again some folks like that charred look on the exterior :D
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Offline tule peak timber

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Re: Is this powder post beetle damage?
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2019, 11:42:14 AM »
Got to remember that I'm on the left coast and preservatives that work like copper, arsenic, pentachlorobiphenol, (spelling ??)have become ancient history in my time alone.An ongoing battle to say the least. :)
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Offline Woodpecker52

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Re: Is this powder post beetle damage?
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2019, 07:44:02 PM »
Can order it online at the bozo store (River in S.America) its Woodlife Coppercoat.  Or you could make your own brew by getting copper sulfate crystals and mineral spirits etc.  Have to research the chemistry how to formula book on that one but doable.
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Offline tule peak timber

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Re: Is this powder post beetle damage?
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2019, 07:48:07 PM »
Thanks I will do some snooping about. Rob
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Offline caveman

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Re: Is this powder post beetle damage?
« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2019, 09:47:19 PM »
Thanks for the detailed explanation, Doc.  I do not know what got into that oak but it did a number on it for sure.  A young couple showed up the other day and wanted the most beat up, rustic looking wood available that was not red or dark (ruled out Ipe and Southern Redcedar).  The 6/4 oak boards had been sticker stacked and air dried in a relatively inaccessible spot (not for the bugs evidently) for years.  When I showed them to the couple and mentioned the price they jumped on the opportunity to own them.  I told them that I would heat them in a makeshift hot box to ensure they were sterilized, machine them and have them ready to take home in a few days.

After they left, I grabbed the top board by the corner and the photo opportunity shown in post #4 was presented to me.  I promptly called the guy and volunteered to bring his money back to him and put the boards on the burn pile.  As I explained to him, I would much rather that he and his wife be satisfied and well served with their purchase than for us to make a quick buck and risk putting bugs into their dwelling or have their project get eaten in front of them.

WoodDoc, just for clarification, do termites avoid kiln dried/low m/c hardwoods?
Caveman

Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Is this powder post beetle damage?
« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2019, 09:58:04 PM »
There are two types of termites...the tropical ones can fly between wood and water.  The common ones in the US are called subterranean, as they are in the soil and get between water and wood using mud tunnels or tunnels in the wood.  They do not like dry wood.
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Re: Is this powder post beetle damage?
« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2019, 01:22:26 PM »
I just had some maple milled that has the frass and small holes... they had better leave my walnut alone! I sprayed them with a borate solution today, will that take care of them?

Offline Don P

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Re: Is this powder post beetle damage?
« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2019, 02:01:17 PM »
It certainly won't hurt and if I see someone munching my wood that's what I do. Chances are it is ambrosia or one of the anobiids and drying will take care of them.

To caveman's question the tropical, Formosan termite is also called the drywood termite, it doesn't need to go down to the ground every day. I believe they are in the deep south. It is not one I know. The typical subterranean termite has a jaw strength issue with oak, they cannot chew the rays so in oak it is pretty clear when it has been termites, the spoked rays are left.


 
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