View Full Version : bugs in mesquite

04-03-2007, 10:25 PM
I bought a half cord of mesquite in Ft. Worth on Saturday. When I got it home and stacked I noticed crunching sounds coming from the wood. I think the wood is infested with powder post beetles. The bed of the truck was full of sawdust. I know once the wood is burned the bugs will be gone. Any suggestions on what to do with wood now?

04-03-2007, 11:26 PM
Copied from Do-it-yourself pest control....If it was me I'd get rid of it asap. Wood boring insects are a real pain to control, most, if not all insecticides that treat them are pretty stout, and control can be pretty tough. Note that the chemical that they've recommended has a residual of several years.

The following points should aid in discouraging powderpost beetle infestations:

1. The first thing to do is reduce the moisture content, to a proper ventilation to less than 20%.Moisture meters can be used to determine the moisture level in the wood. Central heat,vapor barriers and good ventilation can help control moisture. Rough-cut lumber should be kiln-dried to kill all stages of the beetle. Reducing moisture however ,may not be enough to completely control powder post beetle infestations.

2. Un infested wood which is sanded and varnished will not normally be attacked by the adult beetles because they cannot find crevices in the wood surface into which they would deposit their eggs.

3. Items of value should not be stored in out buildings such as barns and sheds. These buildings are often infested with wood-boring beetles.

4. Infested furniture can be fumigated in a fumigation chamber. Only pest control operators licensed to do fumigations are permitted to purchase and use these materials.

5. Surface sprays containing borates will prevent newly hatched larvae from entering the wood. However, this technique is not effective on wood which has been varnished, waxed or otherwise sealed from attack by moisture.

6. If practical ,remove infested wood. If not,use residual borate insecticides.

Recommended products are two borate insecticides:
TIMBOR is a powder that mixes with water. One lb.is mixed with one gallon of water and sprayed to the surface area of in infestation. When sprayed it penetrates the entire wood, where it will remain for several years .An alternative to Timbor is:

BORACARE. Boracare is a liquid borate that penetrates faster initially than the Timbor for first few hours but is equal after that..Timbor is considerably cheaper per gallon use.

7. Fumigation may be advisable in cases of severe
powder-post beetle damage, especially where other methods
have failed or where rapid elimination of the insects is
desired. Fumigating is advantageous where it is hard to apply borate treatments such as cramped crawlspaces.
Fumigation must be done by a certified pest control operator. Fumigation is non residual and will not last.
Because of this, fumigation will not prevent future reinfestation if the wood is exposed to adult powder post beetles looking to lay their eggs.

04-04-2007, 07:08 AM
That is why I only buy or get Southern Texas Mesquite... very dry, but I know not guaranteed bug free. Depending on how bad or deeply infested, you could make your own Mesquite Lump Coals. Start you a big fire, once partially burnt... black and coal like (but still in log/lump form)... water it down, then let dry out. That will kill any living bugs... store it in tight lidded storage.... like cheap garbage cans.

Making Lump (http://www.nakedwhiz.com/makinglump.htm)

04-04-2007, 07:31 AM
First of all, it you treat the wood with a pesticide, I certalinly wouldn't use it to cook with. I use mesquite and as Txngent said it's not guaranteed insect free, even in Texas. The bores you are talking about are a natural predator for mesquite, but from what I understand they really dont like much else than mesquite, so in theory they shouldnt infest other wood or trees that you have. You need to check me out on that one, but I've heard that a number of times. I've had them run up my arm on occasion when picking up a stick of mesquite, but other than a little startle they've never harmed anything. And who knows they might add a little extra flavor to what you are cooking. :D

If you are really worried about it, like was said, just get rid of the stuff.

04-04-2007, 07:31 AM
It is not a big deal at all.

Those are painted hickory borer beetles. They are very common to mesquite firewood.

Here's what they look like when they emerge:

Painted Hickory Borer (http://images.google.com/images?svnum=10&um=1&hl=en&safe=off&c2coff=1&q=Painted+Hickory+Borer)

They are harmless to people.

They won't chew up your furniture or drill into your house.

This link (http://www.oznet.k-state.edu/entomology/extension/KIN/KIN_2003/kin-3/03ksnew3.htm) explains a little more about them, including:

Will treating firewood with an insecticide kill the developing larvae, thus preventing its development to the adult stage? NO! Insecticide treatments applied to the surface of fire wood and logs do not reach/kill the larvae which feed and develop deep in the wood.

Do the emerged beetles constitute a threat to wood ----- from finished moldings to wall paneling to wooden furniture to ceiling beams - to exposed studs? NO! As stated above the beetles deposit eggs outdoors in their preferred ovipositional sites (...prefer to deposit their eggs in dying or dead hardwood trees, and freshly cut/unseasoned logs).

What to do? Simply catch the beetles as they appear and release them back to the outdoors. Or eliminate/kill them in whatever manner you choose.

04-04-2007, 12:30 PM
Here's what they look like when they emerge:

Yep, those be the little varmints. Just love it when they run up your shirt sleeve. :shock:

04-04-2007, 02:53 PM
Have long horned beetles living in my maplewood,,noticed a trail of sawdust on the grass,then i looked closely and there's beetles in every piece of wood,just means the sticks will burn longer.:evil:

04-04-2007, 07:50 PM
Great info there Cappy!
You think those beetles are native to the south or what?
I think I've seen those before in my hickory pile.

04-05-2007, 07:10 AM
Great info there Cappy!
You think those beetles are native to the south or what?
I think I've seen those before in my hickory pile.

I dunno. Probably. They sure seem to love hickory and mesquite.

04-05-2007, 03:03 PM
We beat a 3 inch wide 24 inch long piece of wood on the driveway yesterday, over 30 of the borer larve fell out. They eat lots of wood, sawdust is everywhere.

Papa Tom
04-05-2007, 03:35 PM
Think about it .....I mean ya got ta have some admiration and respect for a bug that eats mesquite... In the worlds pecking order that bug is above some chain saws I know.