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Sawdust on my wood pile

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    Sawdust on my wood pile

    I was off loading some cherry wood I had snagged for free off Craigslist, and I noticed sawdust on some white oak I had purchase a month ago. The whole stack of wood is over 100' from my house, on a pallet resting on a concrete pad. I had it covered with a tarp during the last week because of rain. All the wood is local.

    I checked the wood around and above it but couldn't find any holes, And there was no sawdust visible anywhere else on the outside of the pile.

    I also looked up termite sawdust and the powder on my wood pile is too fine to be termites.

    Should I get food grade DE powder?

    Attached is a picture of the sawdust.
    Attached Files

    #2
    That looks like what powder post beetles leave behind. The holes are tiny, (< 1/16"). If I remember correctly, they are tough to get rid of because they can be deep in the wood. They do make stuff that will do it, but I have no idea if it's food safe - especially if burned...

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    • Troutman
      Troutman commented
      Editing a comment
      Wait, what's wrong with a little extra protein? Maybe the Power Puff Girls can team up with them and provide a tasty new smoke profile !!!

    #3
    I just read about powder post beetles

    is that whole wood pile toast then? Or if I throw it in my smoker and dry it out will it be okay?

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      #4
      I wouldn't worry about smokin' with that wood, but don't take it inside.

      Comment


      • Loren
        Loren commented
        Editing a comment
        Whew, glad to hear that. Thank you!

      #5
      I live in a timber framed barn made in 1916. We had powder post beetles for some years after converting the barn into a home. Eventually they died out as the timber framing dried out. They mainly lived in the basswood (linden) posts and any place where bark remained on the timbers. They did not live in the oak and walnut posts, nor the original kiln-dried pine siding.

      They like humid environments (freshly cut or otherwise damp wood vs. dried wood) and they prefer to burrow into bark, softer sapwood, and softer woods (basswood vs. oak). They aren't going to invade your house from a woodpile a distance away.

      If it was my woodpile, I'd keep the wood covered so it doesn't stay damp from rain, let the wood dry well before use, don't keep damp/drying wood stacked near or in your house, and don't worry too much about it otherwise.

      We heat with wood and every year get a few moths (powder post beetle parents) that flitter around the house from the wood in the wood box, but these new moths don't re-infest the now-dry wood in the house. It's been years since I saw any sawdust from these critters. I don't care to see them in my house, but they're honestly more of a nuisance than a threat.

      IMO, applying diatomaceous earth will mostly make you feel good. To get really good control, you'd have to fumigate the wood to get that job accomplished, and that's not going to be acceptable for your purpose. Or kiln dry the wood, which isn't practical.

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        #6
        Yep, powder post beetles. As Ron said, it will be fine for whatever you want to do with it, just don't store it inside. And the only effective way to kill them is through kiln drying.

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          #7
          Thank you all for the replies! It's nice to know that the lil buggers won't get to my house, and won't destroy my wood pile.

          Now I just need meat prices to come down!

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            #8
            Normal, yep! I have that on my grape wood chunks more than any other wood.

            Comment


              #9
              Looks like bore beetles, to me. They attack wine barrels, starting in early May, and it's a battle.They're laying their eggs in there (how many times can you say there in a sentence?). I was on a mission to kill as many as I could, using a straightened-out paper clip. It was pretty gratifying. Walk around a corner, and see a puddle of wine, and reach for the paper clip.

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                #10
                reminds me when I got a full pick up bed of free oak, got it home and found it had poison oak and termites
                took it to the dump and the gate keeper said load it right there, someone will take it, I warned him but he insisted, so if any of you Californians got it in the mid 80’s, it was me......placing termites next to your house and breathing burnt poison oak is hazardous to your pocket book and health!

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                  #11
                  I am a huge fan of Diatomaceous Earth. Since you would not be consuming it I think you could use the non-food grade. Applying some would be prudent.

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