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Author Topic: Bugs is Bugs and Bugs are BAD - Another Customer Story  (Read 1823 times)

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Offline longtime lurker

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Re: Bugs is Bugs and Bugs are BAD - Another Customer Story
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2020, 08:26:43 PM »
S'why I inoculate everything with borates, even when it doesn't technically need it. I'm a generally nicer person when I sleep well at night.

Had a guy couple years back ... termites in bridge deck we'd sold them. Went up, had a look... they'd unloaded them onto the ground on top of a nest and left them there 6 months between delivery and commencing installation. Even in naturally resistant species that kind of temptation is too much, there was a bit of gallery between the boards in the pack. Environmentally sensitive area so we couldnt use pressure treatment, wasn't really my problem but anyway I agreed to replace one pack of them.

By the time we'd replaced them the installation delay put it into the wet season, the creek comes down and old mate can't get in to pull his pump out when it floods so.... he tries to stick me for a replacement pump or at least not pay for the replacement boards. Anyone could have read that weather forecast a week in advance... trough affecting half the east coast coming in.

Eventually he drives into the place one day about 6 months later and... somebody has stacked a pile of firewood in the middle of the bridge. I got paid three days later. ;D


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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Bugs is Bugs and Bugs are BAD - Another Customer Story
« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2020, 09:01:43 PM »
Many times I have filled an order with stuff I had on sticks for years only to find out later it was in a dead pack on the ground where they got ahead of themselves.  In the last 10 years my sawmill and property has become a termite farm. Locust posts are a waste of time and money now. I can't see how any wood not treated can be put near the ground. In this state all the borates are not available to the public. You will have much better luck getting fireworks or drugs.

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Bugs is Bugs and Bugs are BAD - Another Customer Story
« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2020, 09:13:33 PM »
Me again. I have sold wood to people that had ppb in it. Not much, but along the sapwood edge. I told the buyer that if they planed, sanded and put poly on the insect could emerge but not reinfect . Was I lying?

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Bugs is Bugs and Bugs are BAD - Another Customer Story
« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2020, 10:20:34 PM »
From the reading I’ve done, they will sample the wood, and not lay eggs on wood that isn’t right for a successful brood.  They need fresh, exposed wood.  

The bad news is that the best, and freshest wood at that point is under their little feet, the newly exposed wood surface where they just bored a hole.  So they leave a little present, they will deposit their eggs on the freshly exposed wood of their tunnels.  Reinfection occurs at that point.  

They will also infect all the long dead logs and wood chips and scraps in a log yard, especially if trying to spalt them, as we do.  We have found that routine scraping down to the dirt, and pushing all that into the burn pile really controls them and most other bugs.  

I found that out when my logyard was so badly infested with bugs, of all types, many years ago, that I was even losing new money logs in very short order.  So I ended up burning about half my logs in my log yard, scraping to dirt, and even burning that.  Lesson learned, and that cost me a lot of money.  

Since then, my best pesticide treatment regimen is called “Yellowhammer Extreme Prejudice.”

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Online Don P

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Re: Bugs is Bugs and Bugs are BAD - Another Customer Story
« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2020, 11:18:05 PM »
In some reading they say that the starch is what attracts them and that over time it becomes less attractive. From my experience that must be something over 200 years cause they are perfectly content to hop right back into 150 year old wood and spawn the next generation. If you read English reports the deathwatch beetle is just starting to get interested after a century or few, preferring a little fungal funk around weak places in the weather envelope. I've seen tunnels go from hardwood to softwood so preferences are one thing but bugs don't read books on etiquette. There are bugs that prefer softwoods like the old house borer. The common house borer is another that will go from hardwood to adjoining softwood. I try not to hone in too far on the thinking that I am dealing with one type of bug, there is a bug for just about every condition the wood can naturally be in. I decided to upset their tummy.
A laborer works with his hands
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Offline longtime lurker

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Re: Bugs is Bugs and Bugs are BAD - Another Customer Story
« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2020, 10:02:01 AM »
I had a problem with both lyctid and longicorn borers in the yard a few years back. Both are green wood pests, prefering fresh sapwood and leaving once moisture content drops. Lyctids pinhole that high value just under the sap heartwood some, and the longicorn is a big borer that burrows out a thumb sized hole but only in a couple of species and as soon as those logs are through there's no activity until they next batch arrive).

I ended up having to pretty much run back to a bare yard, burnt my bed logs, sprayed the ground a couple times with insecticide and started again. Longicorns come in with batches of logs but I got them under control now. I got around the lyctid issue for a while between fast processing of highly susceptible species and generally being my usual OCD self about slopping something that tastes bad on any suspect logs. Last year I was sent a load of Black Bean to saw for one of my logging contractors and .... he let them lay on the ground too long and lyctids just loooove that BBN sapwood.

They're back, and in a big way. I've usually got around 150 ton or so of log in the yard at any given time and sawing out/scorched earth insecticide application isn't really an option anymore. And as I continue to grow the volume of log on hand is going to get bigger. Only options I can see are spray the logs on intake, spray some species that are more susceptible and leave the rest/ just wear the degrade. The wet season is another complication - every year I have to ramp up to holding 4 months supply in the yard instead of a months worth and.... couple of years I can sorta see that being a couple of thousand ton not a couple of hundred.

One of my old bosses - serious serious production sawmillers back when I was working for them just out of school - once told me that before they got out of milling in the early 1990's that they calculated the yard degrade bill at about $800k a year. That was some serious money back then, still is now. It's one of those hidden costs we all bear but those guys had a big pile of logs and an army of bean counters to keep track of the numbers.

I have no idea how I'm going to manage this issue long term, but I kind of know I've got to get a handle on it soon because its only going to get worse.
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Offline Mfrost459

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Re: Bugs is Bugs and Bugs are BAD - Another Customer Story
« Reply #26 on: May 22, 2020, 10:48:00 PM »
The day after I read this thread, got a call from a customer we sanitized a load of red oak for in October. The boards had been kiln dried but some were infested with bugs. He wanted me to sanitize the whole pack of boards. I put them in the kiln and got the MC down to 8 then ran a sanitation cycle, 150 degrees for two days. Delivered the boards and he stored in his basement. This week,He was building a table and said black bugs were coming out of the boards. This happened when he was applying finish to the table. The boards have been stored since October in his basement. I checked my records again and the boards were sanitized at 150 - 155 degrees for two days. This should have killed any bugs in the boards.

He did have some walnut purchased from another vendor that had bugs. Is it possible to have cross contamination.

He is bringing the boards next week and I am going to run them through again. Any suggestions?
Have a great day milling!

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Re: Bugs is Bugs and Bugs are BAD - Another Customer Story
« Reply #27 on: May 22, 2020, 11:05:21 PM »
Oh yeah you can cross contaminate, the moment the wood cools it is fair game. Heat kills what is in the wood but does not provide protection. He needs to bring you everything he has in inventory and clean up and treat his basement while its empty.
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Bugs is Bugs and Bugs are BAD - Another Customer Story
« Reply #28 on: May 23, 2020, 08:41:42 AM »
Cross contamination and reinfestation is a real issue.  His other wood, or the environment where he is storing your wood, is reinfesting yours.  If he keeps putting sterilized wood next to infested wood, it will just keep happening.  Tell him to stop ruining your wood!

You've killed everything at those temperatures.  Here is a link you might find useful, especially Figure 20-1 which although is a graph of softwood time it takes a certain thickness of wood to reach core temps vs DB/WB at 160F.

https://ucanr.edu/sites/WoodyBiomass/newsletters/FPL_Wood_Handbook33299.pdf

You'll notice that the time is measured in minutes, not hours, for 4/4 stock.  The 24 hour process at 150, which is what I do, is many times the time required, and I have proven to myself many times, by visually inspecting for dead insects on the wood, that the bugs will not only die, but will in fact "flash off."

Here is picture of one of may little friends that didn't even make it out of its hole before it got flashed at 150F. This is what I want to see.  Crispy bugs. 





I always look at packs of wood that comes out of the kiln for dead bugs on the surface and its rare that I don't see them, they look like little black pepper specks, with the legs burned off.  

What you are discussing is exactly the issues that occur to kiln operators.  You've killed everything, the customer stacks the wood "somewhere" and their other wood infects yours.  So, since they "know" you, it's your fault and your problem.  Mindless of the origin or situation of the other wood.  

It's important for the customer to send you photos or videos of the "bugs coming out of the wood" because it's amazing what they think they are seeing, vs what is really happening.  It's also important to understand that many people have no idea what they are really looking at, and only generally describe it in the most dramatic terms.  For example, I had a guy swear I had ants coming "out of my wood" when in fact, he had placed my wood on top of an ant nest and he only had "bugs crawling on top of my wood."  Easy mistake on his part, but his first reaction was to blame me.  Thats a typical reaction.

Or the guy who attached a set of 70 year old old table legs, with visible PPB holes, stored in a barn, to a top made of my wood, and then say I needed to sterilize the entire table because my wood had the bugs in it, not the old pair of oak legs because it "was too old to have bugs."  

Once you get pictures of the situation, as soon as you can, to determine if the customer had placed the wood in an old barn on the dirt floor for 6 months (I've had that happen) and the you can use your knowledge to try to really understand what is happening, because, as I said, your wood was sterilized, and somehow it got reinfected, or the customer is confused as to what they are seeing.

Another thing, if you dried the wood from basically green, then powder post beetles couldn't even have been the wood at that time, because they don't infest green wood, so if they are in the customer's wood now, they didn't get in there until after you dried and sterilized the wood.  So where did you stack the wood before sale, was it in an area where it couldn't get infected?  If so, then once again, it points to the customer's fault.

Have the customer send close ups of the insects themselves, everybody has a good camera phone, to see if you can identify the species.  That will also tell you a lot about the issues.  Are they really just gnats that landed on the finish and now are stuck to it and the customer thinks they came out of the wood?

What color are the tunnels?  Are they black, indicating old ambrosia beetle holes, where the mold could have only been grown when the wood was green, or are the tunnels clean wood colored, indicating the bugs bored out recently, when the wood was dried.

Is there frass actually on the boards before finishing?  PPB's will always leave a very characteristic flour like frass pile by any active infestation?  Is the customer seeing frass?  Can they send you a picture?  No? Why? because there isn't any?  Why not?

Then when you get the boards, inspect them very carefully before you treat them.  Get a knife and go bug digging, cut into some tunnels and look for bugs, are they really in there, etc.  If the customer says bugs are coming out when applying the finish, then do that yourself, and see what happens.  Again, what a customer thinks is happening isn't necessarily what is happening.  Look for dead bugs as well as live bugs.  If you are seeing holes, dunk the piece of wood in the water and see if you can get them to come out so you can identify them.  

This is a total pain in the rear, it's up to you to educate the customer, and its always the kiln operator who is guilty until proven innocent.  Once you determine what is going on, the species of insect, etc, then put the wood back in the kiln and sterilize it once again.  

At that point, you'll really know what's happening, and after explaining it to the customer, you will have the option to charge for his mistake for the time you are are having to spend putting the wood back in the kiln.  Then tell him how much you would charge to sterilize all the other wood in his basement.  

Please keep us informed how this goes.





 

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Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Bugs is Bugs and Bugs are BAD - Another Customer Story
« Reply #29 on: May 23, 2020, 09:44:03 AM »
It is very unusual for the dry-wood, lyctid powderpost beetle to hatch ( come out of the wood) in less than 10 months.  Six months in this case is indeed a rare event.  Therefore, it is much more likely that the wood did not achieve 133 F throughout the lumber in two days.  It is next to impossible that the lumber got infected after your treatment, as it would be rare that it got infected in October, as that would require the Female PPB ready to lay eggs in the fresh lumber.  Ina pile of uninflected lumber, only the outer pieces would have been infected in October and the chances are that there would not be enough female PPB at that time to infect very many pieces.

Was the lumber on sticks?  If not, then that is the problem...it takes much longer to get the heat into a pile of tight stacked or flat packed lumber.

How thick is the lumber?  Thicker lumber takes longer.

Is the two days the time that the kiln was up to 150F or does it include the heating up time?
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Bugs is Bugs and Bugs are BAD - Another Customer Story
« Reply #30 on: May 23, 2020, 02:14:50 PM »
Until you have actually seen the bugs, and identified their species, I wouldn’t assume the customer has any idea what they are.  They may be PPBs or they may as well be ants until you can get a positive ID.  

I’m assuming you stickered the wood when you put it back in the kiln?

I’m also assuming you let the steady state kiln temp get to 150F before starting the sterilization clock? 

I also assuming the wood was 8/4 or less thick?

Are the tunnels already in the wood and the bugs are just exiting them when the finish is applied, or are the bugs emerging out of the surface of wood itself?  

Here is another excellent publication on heat sterilization of hardwoods, and it has the equations you can put in a spreadsheet to estimate your core heating times.  It’s basic data is set for 160F but you can plug in 150F or 155F and get your actual values.  For most species, especially the 8/4 and thinner hardwood, the required heating times are quite short.  

https://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplrp/fpl_rp626.pdf






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Offline Mfrost459

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Re: Bugs is Bugs and Bugs are BAD - Another Customer Story
« Reply #31 on: May 23, 2020, 10:34:45 PM »
Thanks for all your advice. Yes the wood was snickered. We use 1 1/14 inch stickers. The material was 4/4. I measure the time for sterilization once the kiln gets to the 150 temp. I track for 24 hours and make sure the temp stay a constant 150. This load was between 150 and 155. I took pictures of the boards when it came out of the kiln and there were dead bug on the wood. Only problem is I deleted the picture cause the memory on my phone was getting full. Dumb mistake I won’t make again. Should have printed the pic and put in my records.

I will inspect everything when he brings it in. Will let you know what I find out. Thanks again!

 
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Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Bugs is Bugs and Bugs are BAD - Another Customer Story
« Reply #32 on: May 24, 2020, 12:20:24 AM »
Is it possible that it might not be your lumber?

It sounds like you had excellent procedures, so I have no doubt that you did sterilize the lumber.
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

Offline Mfrost459

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Re: Bugs is Bugs and Bugs are BAD - Another Customer Story
« Reply #33 on: June 07, 2020, 09:09:19 AM »
I finally got an update from my customer yesterday. He said the bugs were in the sapwood and not in the heartwood. He said it wasn’t an issue for him at this time and for me not to worry about it. He was cutting out all the sap wood for his project. He did say the walnut he had bugs in never came in contact with the lumber we provided. The two were stacked in different parts of his shop.
I told him the procedures we followed and the wood had to be bug free when it left here. Also asked him to send me a picture of the bug when he had a chance. So far no pictures.
I also looked through my records and when the lumber was delivered I provided him a copy of the Sensor Push temps. It will record and print a graph of the temp in the kiln. Next time I will get them to sign this sheet so they will have more understanding of what this means. May also provide sheet with some advise on how to store wood.
Thanks for all your help and reassurance. Think it is funny how I read this post and the next day I got a call.
Have a great day milling!

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Bugs is Bugs and Bugs are BAD - Another Customer Story
« Reply #34 on: June 07, 2020, 08:07:42 PM »
Last week I was doing a little PM of my container kiln and I took a picture of all the bugs that had been killed since last time I cleaned it out.  These are the ones that crawled out of the stacks and fell to the floor.  If you look close, you'll see big bugs, little bugs and real little bugs looking like black pepper specks.  Most have been turned into little hunks of burned up charcoal, with their legs burned off.  So, even though PPB's get most of the limelight and focus for bug killing, it important to know that sterilization kills all the bugs, and since bugs is bugs and bugs are BAD, then killing them all, is GOOD.  Everything from stinkbugs to beetles, to whatever happened to be in the wood or the pallets, it's a regular massacre.  

Anyway, if you ever wonder whether or not running a sterilization cycle is productive, remember that the picture is from just a few feet of track, and there is 40 feet of it, on both sides of the stacks of wood.  So 80 feet of dead bugs like in the picture.  Thats a lot of bugs.  



 

 
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Bugs is Bugs and Bugs are BAD - Another Customer Story
« Reply #35 on: June 07, 2020, 09:00:20 PM »
Never seen the inside of a kiln. Nice picture.
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Offline RichTired

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Re: Bugs is Bugs and Bugs are BAD - Another Customer Story
« Reply #36 on: June 08, 2020, 01:21:29 PM »
Hey Yellowhammer, maybe you could cover those crispy bugs in chocolate and package them as a high protein snack food!

 
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