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Shiitake Log Damage Help

 
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Hello All,

I have read and read and read some more, but I can not find anyone else who was written about the same damage that I am finding on brand new inoculated logs. I inoculated logs last weekend, then I went to admire the beautiful potential that is the colonizing logs when I noticed that some critter(bird, insect, mammal?) has "drilled" right through my wax that is capping each hole. Some holes have almost completely been excavated of all sawdust spawn, while others have only a hole the size of a finishing nail. For me this rules out a curious woodpecker. I do have chickens that free range, but I don't think they could create a hole as small as some that I have seen........or maybe there is more than one pest...?

Does anyone share this experience? I re-waxed the holes immediately and put cloth over all the stacks of logs.....then realized I should have taken a picture. I will post a picture should this happen again.

Any thoughts would be very appreciated.

Many Thanks

Brian
 
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I have seen some digging like that and I suspcted slugs, but it could be mice or squirrels.
John S
PDX OR
 
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Same issue! Holes wax and sawdust drilled out .
Did you find a culprit?  
 
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I wonderif it could be beetles? Figure 12 and onwards in this account of shiitake pests shows drilled holes with sawdust.

fungifun.org/mushworld/Shiitake-Mushroom-Cultivation/mushroom-growers-handbook-2-mushworld-com-chapter05-01_p.152.pdf



 
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It’s birds. I have caught them in the act. I switched to dowel spawn after that, ruined hours of work. Some of them still produced, seems as long as the spawn is in for a few months you are ok.
 
Andrea Locke
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Wow, really? What kind of birds?
 
Tj Jefferson
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Sparrows
 
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I lost many logs to having the wax and holes drilled out by something. I am thinking pill bugs (rollypollies) did mine.
After inoculating, put them in a black garbage bag for 4 to 6 weeks and in a dark cool area.  Need to let a little air in there but it should colonize faster and keep the bugs out.
 
Andrea Locke
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Are these problems mainly for sawdust spawn inoculated into drilled holes (I am really hoping this will be the case!) or is it common that other forms of inoculation are at high risk too?  Reading all of the above makes me want to rush out and check the logs we inoculated a week ago (our first logs, oyster).  They were dowel inoculated, though. We have shiitake dowels arriving next week. I wanted reishi dowels as well but they were sold out so I ordered reishi sawdust spawn instead and currently plan to use that totem style. Hopefully the dowels and totem stack will be a little harder for critters to interfere with...
 
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Tj Jefferson wrote:It’s birds. I have caught them in the act. I switched to dowel spawn after that, ruined hours of work. Some of them still produced, seems as long as the spawn is in for a few months you are ok.



I wonder if the birds were after bugs that might have originated the damage.  I don't know what else would be in sawdust spawn that would attract birds?  Does it contain a grain also?

We've only used dowels though so I don't have any experience with sawdust spawn.  I remember that it had some loose grain, maybe wheat?, in the bag as substrate.
 
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Probably after the grain or bran mixed with the sawdust.  Put a frost blanket or piece of shade cloth or an old sheet over them for a while.
 
Tj Jefferson
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All the shiitake sawdust spawn I have ever purchased is really a mix of sterilized sawdust with a few handfuls of grain spawn thrown in as the inoculant. That being said birds (at least chickens) will happily eat mycelium. I doubt I had any pill bugs o the logs, they were on a concrete pad well away from soil.

I thought the logs were destroyed but I used them as a walking path in the herb garden and Lo and behind two years later we got hundreds of shiitake off them. The logs actually colonized the wood chips near them (which is pretty cool!) and fruited exceptionally. A few were not successful but I’d say around 3/4 were ok. So don’t give up on the logs.
 
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