Bug Damage in Locally Sourced Wood

Kevin Seigworth and myself have been having an email conversation the last few days and he suggested we put it out on the website for further comments from the MAWt membership. You can reply to this post online, or if that is too much of a challenge, reply to the email and I will add your comments to the conversation. We would be interested in your experiences and solutions with wood boring insects in locally sourced wood. Your comment(s) will not appear immediately as all comments are moderated.


Tony, I think I am seeing powder post beetles in my stack of turning logs and rough turned bowls in my basement. Do you recall if this topic has come up at MAWT before? If not, is there a way to ask the group the question of how to deal with them? Thanks.


There are a couple types of wood borers that I get around here as well. Some make a larger (1/4″) hole and some make pin holes. I tend to have the problem worse in my back shop/shed than I do in the basement. There has been quite a lot written about this in various places. Apparently the professionals make up a borax solution and spray rough lumber with it while waiting to be kiln dried. (google borax solution for wood borer control)


Thanks Tony. I have also read about the borate treatment. That seems more suitable to an infestation in a structure. I was wondering what woodturners do if they see a few of them. I am trying to decide if I should just put the ash that I am seeing them on out in the outdoor firewood pile. Or if I should just leave the ash where I can see it and use it as bait to draw them all out and then I can squash them dead, what I am doing now.. They seem to have a thing for ash, also oak and walnut according to what I read. They supposedly do not move into dry wood, just wet hardwoods.

What do you do about the ones at your shop?

I did discuss with Dennis Motl and he suggested a microwave or freezer to kill them in the rough turned bowl.

Is there a way on the MAWT website to pose a question and have members respond? That seems like it might be useful. Maybe that is being done on facebook, which I don’t use?


I started cleaning up and moving wood and I see exit holes in maple half logs as well as some walnut planks. They seem to have spread beyond the one ash log I thought was the problem. I wonder if I should get rid of any wood with exit holes or if the damage to them is already done. Somehow I need to kill these things off or take away their food source.


Anything with high sugar content seems to be attractive to the little bugs. In cherry, it seems they like the sap wood but won’t tunnel into the hardwood. I cut down a silver maple back in 2016(?) and all the spindle blanks I saved are full of the smaller holes. I’ll make a post on the web site.


The holes are 1/16 or less.








One response to “Bug Damage in Locally Sourced Wood”

  1. maw-admin Avatar

    No responses to the posting on the web site. However, I saw post on Facebook that referred to this and in addition to the borax solution, a suggestion was made by a couple people to try permethrin (a fly spray for cattle). Another suggestion is to use the spray cans of brake cleaner.

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