Turning Archive 2004

Powderpost Beetles...

Wally Dickerman at Green Valley, Az.
>A few days ago I posted the fact that I had acquired some bigleaf maple burl that is infested with powderpost beetles. There followed quite a few replies with suggestion on how to get rid of them. Chris Andrew e-mailed me part of a study by Oregon State University on powderpost beetles. Here are a few of their findings.

There are several species, and they attack different kinds of wood under different conditions. Their complete life cycle is usually from 9 to 12 months. The specie found in bigleaf maple breed in dead wood, as well as dried and cured lumber. Damage is not evident until adults cut holes and emerge. They usually breed and lay eggs within one week after emerging.

Before the female lays eggs she first "tastes" the wood to determine whether it contains enough starch and sugar to nourish her offspring. If you coat the surface of the wood with a paraffin wax, varnish, shellac or paint, you'll prevent tasting and eggs will not be laid. Larvae already in the wood will continue their development.

They suggest that small wooden articles (rough turned bowls, etc.) be placed in a freezer at 0 deg. Far. for at least 48 hours. This will do them in. That is what I've been doing.


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