Air Drying Walnut

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Forum topic by Timberwerkz posted 11-28-2008 03:23 PM 4373 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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20 posts in 3731 days

11-28-2008 03:23 PM

I have about 250Bdft of of Walnut I’ve been drying for about six months. Yesterday I had to move it and saw all these bugs crawling around in/on it. What would you guys recomend for killing off the critters without staing the wood? I know it needs another six months at least to dry but want to keep bug damage to a minimum.

Thanks for you help,


8 replies so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4087 days

#1 posted 11-28-2008 04:29 PM

Chris, to me it sounds as if you have a pillbug colony that has taken up residence in your wood. if the bugs look like this:

These are pillbugs/sowbugs and they thrive in dark moist spaces. They are harmless and feed on rotting vegetation, algae and fungi so they will not harm the wood. But if you really want to control them here is an article that lists a way to get rid of them.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 4002 days

#2 posted 11-28-2008 05:15 PM

It would be best to buy some Timbor and spray all of the wood with it. It will dry on the wood and protect it from all types of bugs. This includes termites and wood boring beetles. This normally is done at the time of stacking. Walnut attracts beetles readily and should be treated before air drying.

The wood also should be at least 10” above ground that is dry. Stickers must be placed between each row.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4352 days

#3 posted 11-28-2008 06:24 PM

I got a bunch of sweet gum recently and it was buggy.

I made a tent from a tarp draped over the wood and put a bug bomb inside the tent.

2 hours later I was able to stack the wood in the basement and it has been bug free.


-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View dirtclod's profile


169 posts in 4125 days

#4 posted 11-29-2008 12:04 PM

I usually don’t have any trouble with an excess of creepy crawlers while air drying. But do get more paper wasp nests than I care for. The real problem bugs to watch out for are powder post beetles – and you usually don’t see them, just their damage. So if you see little holes in the boards and piles of sawdust under them – then it’s time to panic!

Without knowing what kind of bug it is I can only speculate as to what is drawing them to the stack. If it’s sow bugs then something about the location, method of stacking, or natural air flow is a problem. This is true of many other types of bugs. And excess moisture will lead to more insects. Walnut is forgiving and will take higher ambient moisture during drying without molding as bad as other species. John Ormsby said to keep the stack off the ground at least 10”. That’s good advice. Something may be leading to poor circulation under the stack and drawing the bugs to a ready-made palace. You also didn’t mention stickers or their sizes.

-- Wonderful new things are coming! - God

View johnpoole's profile


74 posts in 3731 days

#5 posted 12-01-2008 04:15 AM

you will almost never see insect damage in walnut.. wormy walnut? splated walnut? sorta rare.. i was told once that it has a high level of tanic acid.. never looked it up, but don’t add shavings or saw dust to your compost pile.. it kills an awful lot of plants.. the tree uses chemical warfare to insure it’s place in the sun.. small trees will not grow close to a walnut..

best bet, send it to me..

-- it's not a sickness, i can stop buying tools anytime i want

View Timberwerkz's profile


20 posts in 3731 days

#6 posted 12-01-2008 04:54 PM


I placed 1/2” stickers between the boards I have heard they need to be at least an 1” but it was all I had. I don’t know if there is an excess or not I’ve never tried to dry this much lumber before, but I didn’t see any little wholes. And the only sawdust I saw was put there by my shop.


I wouldn’t want to burden with the overwhelming task of having to care for and then find projects for the lumber. Thank you for your kindhearted effort to remove this large burden from me, but alas I must bear this cross myself.


View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 3978 days

#7 posted 12-01-2008 06:21 PM

You didn’t say what type of floor your wood is stacked over, is there more mositure there than in the wood ? I find that the more room for airflow around each board the better the the drying. Some times a fan or anything else that encourages air flow can be benifical. and of course a mositure meter which can be found starting around $30.00 is of great value in deciding what and when.pill bugs, if thats what you have, are harmless and my gut feeling is that bugs in general don’t like walnut.

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View johnpoole's profile


74 posts in 3731 days

#8 posted 12-01-2008 09:01 PM

thanks for looking out for my best interest.. it would take a while to decide which progect to start, and one that takes 249 bf

-- it's not a sickness, i can stop buying tools anytime i want

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