Monthly Archives: May 2015

SOFTWOOD-BORING INSECTS, PROTECT YOUR SAWLOGS

black pine sawyerIt’s springtime again, and time to look out for the bugs that will destroy your sawlogs before they get to the mill.

This picture is of a Black-Pine Sawyer, who’s two favorite foods are Eastern White Pine and any member of the spruce family.  This picture represents a mature insect, who is not responsible for most of the damage.  This not so little guy, only goes after dead or dying pine trees, including all of your stacked logs ready for the mill.

damaged tree dead tree1) Black-Pine Sawyers do not attack healthy trees.  If you see this, the tree is dying and cannot be save, and the lumber won’t be worth cutting.

2) It is not the adult that does the damage, it is the grub.  However, it is the adult who lays the eggs below the surface of the bark.  Once hatched, the grub naturally bores deeper and deeper into the sawlogs, faster than you can imagine.  They are so aggressive that you can actually hear them chewing from 30 feet away, and you’ll notice little piles of sawdust on the underside of the stacked logs.  Interesting note about these pests, they bore from the bottom of a horizontal log, because if they bored in from the top, whenever it rained, they would drown.

grub stageHere’s a picture of one of these little beauties.  They are even more disgusting up-close and personal!

HOW CAN YOU PROTECT YOUR SAWLOGS FROM THESE BUGS, until your are ready to have them sawn?  Try this old remedy:  Go to a grocery store, look for Borax, you can try the laundry section for 20 Mule Team or similar.  Mix one part Borax and two parts water, put in a garden sprayer.  Take the garden sprayer and the rest of the box of Borax and go out to your log pile.  (Please note: Borax can be harmful if it makes contact with your eyes or if ingested. Call the poison control number on the box for further emergency information. Wear safety goggles and gloves when working with borax and keep it out of reach of children and pets. ) Spray the underside of the log and sprinkle the powder on  top, and spray or sprinkle a perimeter around the log for additional protection.  This should keep the logs protected until you are ready to mill.

Next time…Carpenter bees!

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