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Insects Can Take Their Toll

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Termites and Carpenter Ants
Insects Can Take Their Toll

Termites and Carpenter Ants

These tough guys like wood and damp feet While common termites and carpenter ants--both social enough to live in colonies--can and will tear through your woodworking stock, it's unlikely. That's because they both prefer moisture. So unless you store wood where it's damp, or where termites can tunnel their way to it from moist ground, you're not likely to encounter these critters.

Insects Can Take Their Toll

Other bugs eat seasoned and even kiln-dried wood Beetles in this category prove numerous as well as aggressive. They're Enemy Number One for woodworkers.

Ambrosia beetles damage hardwoods and softwoods The pin holes up to 1/8" in diameter often seen in oak and other woods are signs left by the ambrosia beetle or other anobiid beetles. No tree species is immune to them because they primarily attack the sapwood of green wood and that being air-dried. Once the wood dries there's no threat. The holes they've mined usually don't weaken the wood, yet a fungus they carry severely stains it. The holes and the frass coming from them give away their presence.

Insects Can Take Their Toll

Powder-post beetles like hardwood sapwood best With a strong preference for hardwoods, powder-post beetles go after the sapwood of seasoned and even kiln-dried lumber. Because the adults deposit their eggs in the wood pores, only species that have sufficiently large pores get their attention. In the United States, you'll find powder-post beetle damage in ash, hickory, and oak, although other species are susceptible, too, including black walnut. When adults emerge from the wood, usually in spring and summer, they leave 1/32"-to 1/18"-diameter holes. Fine, powdery frass near the holes marks their ongoing action, which can eventually render stock useless.

Continued on page 3:  Critter-containment tactics


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