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Thread: Bug Problem

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Bug Problem

    Although this problem is specific to a turned piece, I figured I'd post it here in the General Woodworking area to maximize the exposure.

    I have most of my turned pieces stored in a cabinet (an old entertainment center, actually), and tonight I was checking out a few pieces and I discovered this:



    This piece is ash, and obviously the bugs are feasting on it. It's the only piece in the cabinet showing signs like this. I'm assuming it's ash borers doing the damage. (Actually, I think the holes are kind of neat, but I want to stop them.)

    So my question to the gang here: What can I do to kill these bugs and stop them from munching one of my favorite (and largest) hollow forms? I'm assuming I can seal it in a garbage bag with some type of poison, but what should I use? Moth balls? Raid? Boric acid? Any suggestions will be appreciated, especially suggestions that work.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Coastal plain of North Carolina
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    Uniformly heating the piece to 150 degrees or more for 2-3 minutes will kill the larvae and adults if any. Freezing will not work if eggs or larvae are present.

    Soaking in denatured alcohol will also work to kill the active insects in the holes.

    Your biggest concern should be where did the insects go after they bored out? Those are exit holes more so than entry holes.
    I may be getting a little older physically but mentally I'm still tarp as a shack.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    GTA Ontario Canada
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    Vaughn my question would be what makes you sure its ash borer? From what I have seen the ash borer leaves a larger hole. I would also be looking for the beetles.

    This really highlights the issue of us moving wood around as woodworkers. These critters were laying dormant in that piece. Rather uncanny given you would have taken outer bits off when turning and applied finish.

    Here is a great pic giving scale of a ash borer against a penny. You can also see the hole size.

    http://www.cityofelgin.org/index.aspx?NID=1114

    I think its wrong to assume ash borer until you find some larvae or a dead insect.

    Check this list of possible suspects you now going to have to be inspector Cluzo mon ami. "Dis looks like a job for da Pink Panther"
    cheers

  4. #4
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    Geez, after the ride they got on the lathe, took them awhile to figure out which way was up!!!!!! Going to bomb or spray the shop/garage?
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Delton, Michigan
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    powder post beetle vaughn and ash is one of the worst woods for them, hickory is number two.. they tend to be in the bark and sap wood areas, they will come out in those aears the most i had some that had been kiln dried and they still dropped by to visit. i am surprized they survived the finish, that should have sealed them off from air. generally heat like mike said will take them out.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the suggestions, and thanks for educating me on the type of bugs. I'll try baking it, since I don't have enough DNA on hand to soak it.

    Haven't seen any signs of bugs elsewhere in the shop or among any other turned pieces. I noticed bug activity on this piece a year or so ago. It had been at an exhibit with work by other turners for a few months, then it got wrapped in bubble wrap and packed in a box for about 6 months. When I unpacked it, I saw the telltale signs of sawdust and holes. I figured all the bugs had eaten and left, but I was obviously wrong.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    NUKE the little suckers! Can you put this in a microwave? Would that do it?
    It's not what you achieve in life...It's what you overcome!

  8. #8
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    I think those are the babies of the one that bored the big hole in the center....better be careful!

  9. #9
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    Nov 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Calver View Post
    I think those are the babies of the one that bored the big hole in the center....better be careful!
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    I thought I replied to this, after Tom and before Ted. Maybe I should go back to my old, "Don't get old; Your brains leak out."

    Well life is boring for some turners. The rest of them are lucky.

    Enjoy,
    JimB
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

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