Possible Beetles in Leopardwood sapwood

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Forum topic by MrWolfe posted 08-15-2020 02:07 PM 246 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1055 posts in 971 days

08-15-2020 02:07 PM

Topic tags/keywords: leopardwood post powder beetles

Just wanting to get some advice on a possible Post Powder Beetle issue.

I’ve recently bought some leopardwood and was just about to mill it for my next project.
I’ve noticed a couple of beetle holes in the sapwood that runs along the edge of the board.
The board is 5 inches wide and the sapwood is about an inch of that width. I did not see any frass or powder, only the clean holes. I’ve decided not to use this wood for this project and I’m thinking of these two options.

Scrap the board and throw it away. I’ve only got about $30 in this lumber and I don’t want to cross contaminate any of the other lumber I have. Also the idea of making a commissioned project and have an infestation break out in the finished piece in the next couple of years is not a good idea.

Trim off the inch or so of sapwood to throw away and wrap the remaining board in black plastic so it can bake in quarantine for the next 2 months. I’m in Texas and we’ve been above 100 degrees Fahrenheit for a while… August and September are still incredibly hot here. I would check for more holes at the end of that period and then still keep it isolated from my wood pile for another 6 months or so.

I’m not too interested in Bora or heating the wood in the oven or microwave.
Like I’ve said I’m only $30 into this so I’m not sure its worth the headache of #2.

Any thoughts on this?

I’ve contacted Woodcraft and they are sending a replacement piece so I feel like they are making good on the issue. But I have noticed a black sharpie mark on the end of the board (see pic). I bought this board on sale and I am wondering if they put lumber on sale if it has PPB holes and try to get rid of it. Anyone else have issues like this?
Thanks in advance.
Should I keep it or toss it?

7 replies so far

View splintergroup's profile


3978 posts in 2070 days

#1 posted 08-15-2020 02:45 PM

Given the strict regs on imported wood WRT drying and debugging, I myself wouldn’t worry too much. I would however probe the hole with a needle and possibly a spritz of carb cleaner into the hole. I also totally agree with your logic about wasting time dealing with it especially since you are getting a replacement. Bonus if they don’t want the original sent back 8^)

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


1976 posts in 395 days

#2 posted 08-15-2020 06:25 PM

I would go with option #2.

Just a guess, but I would expect that the wood is kiln dried, which I think would kill any bugs. Always better safe, especially if will be in someone else´s house.

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: The Big Bang: Nothing - exploded into Everything. Thanks to Nothing.

View MrWolfe's profile


1055 posts in 971 days

#3 posted 08-15-2020 08:24 PM

Hey Bruce and Brian,
Thanks for replying. I’ve been working in the shop all morning and early afternoon, cool to see some suggestions just now.

Yes… I’m leaning that way now… option 2.
Woodcraft is now saying its out of inventory so I am probably going to eat the $20 and salvage it. I did cut off the sapwood that had the holes and I am going to wrap and put it the hot Texas heat.
Still wondering about the sharpie marker mark on the end.

View therealSteveN's profile


6245 posts in 1422 days

#4 posted 08-16-2020 05:39 AM

Jon, you have to wonder if the sharpie mark was saying this is a bad board? If so it didn’t work, at least didn’t get them to NOT send it to you. That Horsepucky about it being out of inventory isn’t an excuse for them selling you crap wood. Shoot at 5” wide, and 1” crap wood, thats a 20% rip right there, before the bugs start. Anyone seeling online and sending you 20% bad wood, won’t stay in biz long. Squawk like a duck, until they make good on it. If they refuse, the ultimate return policy is through your credit card company. You start eating Corporate America’s problems, you’ll get full really fast.

Splint, is Carb Cleaner the quickie debug for PPB? I think I’d hit it with a shot of Permethrin 36.8% and see if Billy the Exterminator is right. Kills em all, and lets God sort em out.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Lazyman's profile


5797 posts in 2235 days

#5 posted 08-16-2020 01:59 PM

Those look like exit holes and it is unlikely that the beetles are still there but to be extra safe, go get some clear plastic drop cloth and make yourself a quickie solar kiln. Basically just wrap the wood in the plastic, sealing it closed with tape, and set in a spot that will be in the sun all day long. A concrete driveway would be ideal. Leave it there for several days. It will work even better if you sort of make a tent and put the wood on some stickers to get some air space around the wood. Most people think that black plastic will get hotter but you want the greenhouse effect so you need the IR rays to penetrate the clear plastic and be trapped inside. It can easily get up to over 140° in the Texas heat. If you have an infrared themometer, you can check the temperature from time to time. If you see a lot of condensation, you may want to open it and let it dry out before you close it up and repeat.

When open it up , look inside the plastic for any signs of escaping beetles. The may be pretty tiny.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View splintergroup's profile


3978 posts in 2070 days

#6 posted 08-16-2020 02:08 PM

Carb cleaner is perfect for all sorts of vermin! With the nozzle tube it does wonders on black widows and if done carefully, it’s lots of fun when the time of year arrives for those fat, half dead deer flies in the shop. These are the ones that land on your nose in the middle of a critical operation and can’t be shooed away….

View farmfromkansas's profile


219 posts in 462 days

#7 posted 08-16-2020 02:28 PM

There can still be bug eggs in the wood that are live unless the board has been heat treated. I used my wife’s oven to heat a board to 150 for a time to save a really nice piece.

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