Protecting Fresh Wood from Bugs

Chemical means have drawbacks and are not very effective. So good drying and careful hygeine in the the yard are your best methods for keeping wood bug-free. April 20, 2011

Is there a insecticide that I can use in a fogger to kill ants and bugs in my freshly sawn stickered lumber stacks? When we sawed the lumber some had bad spots with ants. I have a stack of hard maple sawn about five years ago that powder post beetles got in to and made it into wormy maple. I read that you need to heat the lumber to get rid of them. What can I do to prevent them from getting in to this newly sawn lumber?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor B:
There are spray-on products available at your local wood sales store that will help you; remember, though, that they are a poison, and that you will need the MSDS copy to give to anyone that you give or sell the wood to.

From contributor D:
Because the insects are in the wood and any mists will only protect the surface, you cannot spray or mist for good control. You can use a poisonous gas, but you must be licensed and it is very dangerous to fumigate with this gas.

So the best way to avoid PPB damage is to keep freshly sawn lumber away for potential sources of this insect. Keep air yards clean, do not put freshly sawn lumber next to lumber that has been out for a while or wood trash or debris, do not use old stickers that have not been heat treated (and 4x4s), etc.

From contributor B:
Guess I could have been more specific; I agree the wood with bugs cannot be well protected with a spray-on product, but the freshly sawn wood could be unless it is already infested as well. My suggestion was intended for the wood that is freshly sawn and deemed bug-free; apology for any confusion.

From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
The PPB does not like wet wood. So, if you put something on when the wood is wet, it may lose its effectiveness as the wood dries as time goes on. Again, surface treatments are seldom effective over a long time. You also need to be sure that any chemical applied to the surface will not be there when someone is planing, sanding, etc. as it probably is not safe to breathe the chemical.

So, the best approach is to use an air yard that has no wood debris in it and stickers and 4x4ís that were recently in a kiln so they have been heated to over 133 F recently. Then, after the lumber has been air dried (several months), get the lumber into the kiln and have it heated to 133 F or hotter. Once done drying, then keep it in a place where it will not have contact with wood that might be infected.