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Check your timber!!!

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Glynne

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I took out some Oak boards from my timber store today and, as usual, they were right at the bottom of the racking so everything had to come out. Surprisingly it all went back in good order, so much so that I had some room and decided I would move some timber from my “overflow “ store (also known as the garden shed) and gain some brownie points from my good lady who has been known to moan for me encroaching on her gardening space.
First couple of pieces were fine but then........WOODWORM!
A full board of hornbeam, 2 full boards of redwood and spreading to oak , elm, London plane, etc....holes, channels, dust - you name it I have it.
Now I’ve never actually seen woodworm, only the holes they leave but today there were “fly type “ creatures embedded and trying to leave my timber.
So, in total ignorance my action was to drag all the timber out of the shed. Wire brush the surface, saw off any heavily holed areas and spray the holes with a treatment I’d inherited.
It will be a trip to the tip tomorrow but I’m left thinking if there is anything more I should do?
Not a good day but at least I think I caught things early on so perhaps drag all of your valuable timber out and have a look.
 

Harbo

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That will only kill the blighters as they emerge, the rest of them could carryon chomping for another 2 to 3 yrs!!

Rod
 

sunnybob

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fire is the only sure way that I know of, lots of it, and the same day its found.
 

Sam R

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If the oak is dry, they will leave the heartwood alone. This is true also of walnut. However, some species like elm, sycamore and presumably plane, the lavae make no distinction & will bore through any & all of it. They will reuse flight holes for new larvae and also checks & cracks to the same end. The open pores of elm are large enough for them to use. In general it is the starch that is present mostly in the sapwood so that is where the biggest concentration will occur. As above, dryness is key & any damp or dripped on timber is vulnerable.

The life cycle of common furniture beetle is given as 2-4 years. The adults only survive long enough to breed (having no mouth parts). I spray my stock that is in stick outdoors with Cuprinol or similar woodwork killer as this will discourage adult beetles. I paint the end grain to the same end.

The Complete Manual of Wood Finishing by F Oughton has in depth summary of the types & habits of insect pests. World Woods in Colour by W Lincoln describes each species' vulnerability to pests.
 

Suffolkboy

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Is there a woodworm preventer or treatment that is food safe? For example if I were to make an outdoor table that might have food on it? Or if I were to find evidence of woodworm in an old table?
 

AndrewG

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I recently read about using a soluble boron based treatment on timber in the context of discouraging infestation when drying. It also appears relatively safe for humans. Not done it myself so suggest further research needed.
 

Glynne

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Thanks for the replies all.
I’ve dragged everything out of my stores, cut out any significant areas of holes and binned (as in gone to the tip) with anything dubious.
I’ve then treated what remained (in the garden shed - my wood store was OK) so I’m hoping I caught it in time despite losing quite a bit of timber. I’m pretty sure it was a piece of hornbeam that I had in stick (outside but under cover) that caused the problem.
Interestingly, when I went to pick up the woodworm treatment from Screwfix I got the last tin in stock. Evidently there has been a run on treatments so I don’t know if it is just a local problem or a wider one?
 
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