• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • jordan barton
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Leigh Tate
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Greg Martin
master gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • Jay Angler
gardeners:
  • Nancy Reading
  • Mike Barkley
  • Christopher Shepherd

How to kill woodworm naturally

 
master steward & author
Posts: 24674
Location: Left Coast Canada
7430
4
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I bought some wooden things from Europe.
The wood has holes and after a week or so,  the holes make fresh sawdust.

I stuck it in the freezer while I figure out what to do.

We don't have woodworm here so I don't know where to find treatment.   What do I do to save this wood?
 
master gardener
Posts: 3368
1428
2
personal care gear foraging hunting rabbit chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Depending on finish, size, and other parts, you could try freezing or baking it. Baking would be more of a quick process, while freezing could take up to 3 months.
 
Posts: 64
Location: currently in Wembley, AB - moving to Southern BC soon!
11
goat monies duck trees rabbit chicken building medical herbs bee solar rocket stoves
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

r ranson wrote:I bought some wooden things from Europe.
The wood has holes and after a week or so,  the holes make fresh sawdust.

I stuck it in the freezer while I figure out what to do.

We don't have woodworm here so I don't know where to find treatment.   What do I do to save this wood?



Hi,

This is what i found on the internet:

"Before attempting any other treatments, try to dry out the affected wood; moisture is required to sustain the life of woodworm larvae, so drying the wood may solve the problem on its own. Place small pieces of furniture on a radiator or in the oven, and place larger items in a closet or small room with a space heater."

Hope this helps!

Lana
 
master steward
Posts: 6462
Location: USDA Zone 8a
1910
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
When I was in school I had a project to find different bugs and then mount them.

I used a cotton ball soaked in alcohol to kill the bugs.

I ask Mr. Google, who told me pure isopropanol alcohol would kill woodworms.  I would put the items in some sort of bag with a cotton ball soaked in alcohol.  To be certain the woodworm all get killed I would leave the items in the bag for several days.
 
r ranson
master steward & author
Posts: 24674
Location: Left Coast Canada
7430
4
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
One of my concerns is damaging the wood.  If I put it in the oven, wouldn't it crack or warp?
 
r ranson
master steward & author
Posts: 24674
Location: Left Coast Canada
7430
4
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Anne Miller wrote:When I was in school I had a project to find different bugs and then mount them.

I used a cotton ball soaked in alcohol to kill the bugs.

I ask Mr. Google, who told me pure isopropanol alcohol would kill woodworms.  I would put the items in some sort of bag with a cotton ball soaked in alcohol.  To be certain the woodworm all get killed I would leave the items in the bag for several days.



I like the idea of putting something in the bag with the wood.  I can use the largest ziplock bags for most of the pieces (the ones I know for sure have worms).  I think it holds something like 2 gallons volume.  I wonder how many cotton balls it would take to kill those monsters?  
 
Anne Miller
master steward
Posts: 6462
Location: USDA Zone 8a
1910
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Back then I was using one cotton ball for a quart jar.  4 quarts to a gallon.  So eight cotton balls?


Here is where the info on alcohol came from:

https://plantsnepal.com/woodworms-detection-treatment-prevention/

And this one has some other solutions:

https://www.wikihow.com/Treat-Woodworm
 
Posts: 123
Location: North Island, New Zealand
127
chicken food preservation fiber arts woodworking homestead
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Putting my entomologist hat on! Woodworms are the larvae of an number of species of wood boring beetle. There are tons of species of boring beetles across every continent but Antarctica which attack wood (alive and dead).

The good thing about wood boring beetles is that they have a very long life cycle compared to most other pest insects. From egg to adulthood takes a minimum of 9 months (and for some species, multiple years), so it's easy to get rid of them once you have effective treatment.

Given that you don't know what species it is, it's hard to say exactly how long you'd need to freeze or heat it (and at what temperature) to kill any living beetles. Many boreal and temperate continental species of wood boring beetle are able to survive at temperatures much colder than your freezer (-20C down to -40C). For some species, a quick dip in the freezer will kill larvae, but not eggs, so the eggs require a second (or third or forth) round of treatment at a later time to catch newly-hatched larvae.

The fumigation technique with isopropyl alcohol mentioned above could work, but will cause a very significant amount of condensation, which can damage the wood. Also, beetles are notoriously resistant to fumigation--as an entomologist I've collected a number of beetles and even in direct contact with ethanol-laced cotton balls, some were still alive after a week or more. Given that the tunnels provide an extra layer of protection, I am not sure that this method will kill all your beetles (and you do want to make sure to kill all of them!)

Living in a country where houses are often not dry enough to prevent wood-boring beetles indoors, I also have some personal experience getting rid of them! If you have a dry home, the problem usually goes away on its own after 1-2 years, but in this time you may see a significant amount of damage, particularly to small or delicate wooden articles.

My recommendation is to use boron, which is the industry standard treatment for getting rid of wood-boring beetles. Boron will not only kill adult and larval beetles directly, it will soak into the wood and kill any new beetles who decide to munch on your wood. Industry has all sorts of fancy formulations which get painted on and injected into structural timbers, but borax (of which boron is a primary ingredient) and water will work fine. Make a solution 3 parts water to 1 part borax, get a small syringe (with or without a needle, depending on the size of the bore-holes) and inject it into the bore-holes. If the wood surface is untreated, you can also paint the whole wooden object with the solution, and rub away the excess moisture to further protect against future beetle infestation. Let dry thoroughly in the open air. I've had great success with this numerous times over the years with four different species of borers I've encountered in New Zealand. Definitely recommend it, best of luck!
 
r ranson
master steward & author
Posts: 24674
Location: Left Coast Canada
7430
4
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Boron - like we find in Borax powder?
Yes, I re-read and see you already said this.

I've got some old insulin needles I can use.  
 
r ranson
master steward & author
Posts: 24674
Location: Left Coast Canada
7430
4
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
One of my biggest worries is that I have a lot of wood in the house, so I don't want this to spread.  The freezer was a temporary idea to give me some time to figure this out.  It's probably not as cold as winter in the Balkans, but I've never been there so I don't know.  
 
M Broussard
Posts: 123
Location: North Island, New Zealand
127
chicken food preservation fiber arts woodworking homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes! I realise I wrote a bit of a wall-of-text, but I did mention borax specifically. Should have put it in a separate paragraph so that it was a bit more obvious, sorry!

The primary ingredient in borax is boron, and this is what I've used personally to deal with boring insects--here's the recipe again, separated out for clarity:

M Broussard wrote:  - Make a solution 3 parts water to 1 part borax
 - Get a small syringe (with or without a needle, depending on the size of the bore-holes) and inject it into the bore-holes
 - If the wood surface is untreated, you can also paint the whole wooden object with the solution, and rub away the excess moisture to further protect against future beetle infestation
 - Let dry thoroughly in the open air



A more dilute solution of 8:1 (water to borax) is appropriate for preventative treatment of wood if you have concerns about an item developing borer to begin with.
 
M Broussard
Posts: 123
Location: North Island, New Zealand
127
chicken food preservation fiber arts woodworking homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

r ranson wrote:One of my biggest worries is that I have a lot of wood in the house, so I don't want this to spread.  The freezer was a temporary idea to give me some time to figure this out.  It's probably not as cold as winter in the Balkans, but I've never been there so I don't know.  



That's a reasonable worry--not only for your house, but for your local ecosystem. There are lots of invasive wood-boring beetles right now devastating forests across the globe (emerald ash borer and ambrosia beetle)

Freezing them will have knocked them back (stalled development, forced hibernation, possibly killed individuals), so you have a head-start on the problem. The beetles can only infest your home if an adult emerges (you will often see a new exit hole form on the outside surface) and lays eggs on a suitable piece of wood (high moisture content--less of a worry if your home is warm and dry). Given that their life cycles are so long and the pieces you're looking at are relatively small, they will release a relatively small number of beetles overall, and few per unit time. All that is to say: don't stress too much--you're on top of the problem!
 
Posts: 1
Location: St. Michael's Sustainable Community
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We grow Cascabela thevetia (syn: Thevetia peruviana) to kill wood boring insects at Saint Michael's Sustainable Community.  
 
r ranson
master steward & author
Posts: 24674
Location: Left Coast Canada
7430
4
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
More and more I'm thinking these are small enough I could mix up the borax and dunk it in the solution.  Submerge it for a min or two, then dry... repeat.  
 
pollinator
Posts: 662
Location: South-central Wisconsin
248
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'd be inclined to squirt borax directly into the holes, then seal the hole with wax. That ensures that whatever is in that hole can't escape, and also makes it easy to tell which holes you've done already.
 
M Broussard
Posts: 123
Location: North Island, New Zealand
127
chicken food preservation fiber arts woodworking homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

r ranson wrote:More and more I'm thinking these are small enough I could mix up the borax and dunk it in the solution.  Submerge it for a min or two, then dry... repeat.  



That will help, certainly, but the liquid may not penetrate into the holes. The capillary effect can hold air inside the borer galleries and protect them from your treatment. It will definitely help protect the surface in future, but if the article is finely sanded, it will also raise the grain and mean you need to refinish it once it dries out (would be a few days, potentially). I still strongly recommend using pressure to inject the solution into each hole just to be sure you've dealt with the current bugs.
 
Posts: 49
5
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The recommended borate insecticides:
Timbor is a powder that mixes with water. One l.5 lbs pouch is mixed with one gallon of water and sprayed to the surface area of 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 Timbor for the first few hours, but is equal after that. Timbor is considerably cheaper per gallon to use.
Note when using insecticides: Powderpost beetles life cycles vary from 3 months  a year. Emerging larvae could be maturing with adult beetles emerging for up to a year. If the wood is too dry (less than 15%), depth of penetration with the Boracare may only occur to the top 1/4 inch. To solve this, spray the wood first with water to increase moisture.
https://doyourownpestcontrol.com/powderpostbeetles.htm
 
I don't even know how to spell CIA. But this tiny ad does:
The Wheaton Eco Scale
https://permies.com/t/scale
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic