I have some white oak logs I will be making furniture with, that have been infested with some sort of bug.
These bugs shoot out off-white saw dust cylinders that are the diameter of the hole, but literally extend up 1-2 inches, often curling over. When touched, the disintegrate into sawdust.
I thought they might have been powder post beetles but the “exit” holes are obviously sealed by these sawdust cylinders.
I will by some BoreCare and give it a try, but Im truly baffled.
Ideas as to what it is we are dealing with?
There are many types of powderpost beetles. In other words, this grouping includes a wide range of insects and trying to determine the exact species based on droppings alone is quite difficult if not impossible. This is mostly due to the fact that for any one species the droppings will vary based on the wood on which it is feeding. To make matters more complicated, the level of moisture in the wood being consumed will affect the way the feces molds and shapes. So for every section of log from one tree, the feces pellet might vary dramatically and in fact can look quite different – even when generated by the same beetle. Mix into this the variable of all the different species of wood any one insect might eat and the list of what their droppings can look like will quickly add up to many thousands. These will all have different textures, colors and “looks”. For obvious reasons this is not a practical way to determine the species and I’m not sure such a catalog will ever be compiled.
The good news is that based on your description of the “saw dust cylinders”, I’m guessing what’s happening is that the frass is having a hard time exiting the galleries and is therefore being pushed and compacted a bit. This will lead to a long, worm like dropping which is loosely packed. I’ve seen them upwards of an inch before and the ones I’ve seen are quite delicate as you’ve described. And though there are several types of powderpost beetles that could be living in the logs, there are many other wood destroying beetles that love to target oak trees so again, the list is quite long as to what it might be and I’ll have to refrain from guessing what you have for this reason. So what’s the “good news” then?
Well, the good news is that whatever species you have, it’s definitely eating the white oak you’d like to use to make some furniture. As our POWDERPOST BEETLE CONTROL article explains, it’s the larvae which feed and ultimately pupate to emerge as egg laying adults. To stop this cycle, all you’ll need to do is treat with the BORACARE we have listed in the article. Once it penetrates the wood through and through, it won’t matter what’s actually eating the wood. That’s because the Boracare will handle any kind of wood destroying beetle, weevil, borer or even termite. I suggest you get the logs you’d like to save treated ASAP and once they’re allowed to cure for a few weeks, the problem will be on the way of being shut down and eliminated.
Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:
Powderpost Beetle Control: http://www.powderpostbeetles.com/powderpost-beetle-control