I just bought some wormy chestnut from a reputable lumber dealer. Should I be worried that thee may be live beetles or live worms still in it? Some of the holes are full of little white "stuff;" most are clear. And it's too long to put in an oven.
Nobody here's going to be able to tell you 100% either way. I would suspect, however that if this is in fact a reputable dealer, that the dealer would have wanted to make sure the wood was pest-free before bringing it anywhere near his other lumber.
You could always call the person you bought it from, you'd probably get the most-informed answer there.
They are probably powderpost beetles (or some similar bug). Those buggers don't just stay in the wood-the holes you see at the surface are the mature bugs coming out. Once out they find somewhere else to lay eggs (usually on the same kind of wood, but not always).
They can be killed by heating the wood to 130 degrees for a few hours. Surely it's already been done, but if you're worried about it, nuke 'em. Hot attic, under clear plastic in the driveway on a sunny day, etc.
Unfortunately there's no easy way to see if they're still alive in the wood, as far as I know.
Edit: oh, but you can see if they're coming out by checking for new holes. Either mark the ones you already have, or look for sawdust piles under the wood.
In almost all cases, the black lined holes in wormy chestnut were made by ambrosia beetles. They are long gone. They are not a threat. As long as the holes are open (not plugged with flour-like sawdust) and with the black stain, you do not have to treat the wood.
Powderpost beetles are a different story. There holes and tunnels are packed with fine sawdust called frass.
Chestnut has tyloses, which are white crystalline structures that are part of how the tree grew. They are normal and do not pose any danger. That is probably what you are seeing. A picture would help.
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