Powderpost Beetle Infestation

A load of lumber bought at an auction turns out to have tiny beetle holes in it. Now what? October 19, 2013

Lumber - End Grain Blowout!

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Douglas fir, Ponderosa pine, White oak, and Mesquite.

(WOODWEB Member) :
Just returned home with a load of wood and noticed a bunch of holes that appear to be fresh. Wood has been dry for years. What do you suppose the cause is?

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Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor D:
Holes look too big for powderpost beetles, so I'm not sure what to call them. However, the damage does not look recent from this end of the computer. What are you planning on doing with boards?

From Professor Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
These do indeed look like the lyctid powderpost beetle holes, and if so, they are probably still active. Do you see any power from the holes? To be safe, keep this wood away from all other wood, as you do not want to spread these insects to any other wood. Heat treating is the way to get rid of them.

From the original questioner:
I hadn't figured out what I was going to do with it all. Couple tables and after that not sure. Gene, there is fresh powder, so I believe active. Currently I have it still on the trailer wrapped in poly, I sprayed the whole works with a commercial insecticide and also all my other lumber just to be safe. Inside the poly it reached 115 degrees today, not warm enough. It came from an auction so I would imagine everything there was infected.

From contributor D:
Heating up the lumber should make the bugs more active and complete their life cycle. Should see fresh hour-glass piles of frass if you do have active bugs. Lumber needs to be stickered to get the heat throughout the pile.

From Professor Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
If you plane the lumber, be very careful as the dust will have the insecticide and you do not want to touch or breath it. Generally, it is not safe or legal to spray lumber with an insecticide. It will not kill any on the inside or eggs. You need heat ASAP.

From contributor A:
How hot and for how long does it take? I've got the same in some lumber I just got and I don't have an easy way to heat it (no kiln). I'm wondering if I wrap it in black poly on the black driveway, will that do it? It's been 100 degrees here all week.

From Professor Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
133 F throughout the piece of wood. The driveway is not good enough. Rent a trailer and put a heater in it, if you can do it safely without a fire risk.