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I have done a lot of research on this and have tried several things.

Here is what I found...

The wood must be heated to a minimum of 150 degrees F. to kill the larvae.

I will put smaller pieces in a paper bag and microwave them for a minute at a time until the wood is uncomfortable to hold.

Larger/longer pieces need a steam tube or some kind of enclosed box and a heat source.

I am working on ideas for a larger box because I have some beautiful sticks that I need to save at all cost.

Borax is supposed to work by drying out the larvae and it is abrasive enough to their digestive system that it kills them from the inside.

I am going to try mixing borax with water and use a syringe to inject it into the holes and tunnels.

I know people who use insecticides and other harsh chemicals and don't worry about the dust.

But I have contacted the companies that make the stuff and they have said that it should never be used this way.

"Absolutely Not" was used quite a bit in the conversations.

I can understand some saying to just destroy the sticks and don't take the chance.

But I can't do that to a really nice stick if I can find any way to save it.

I hope this helps someone.

Thanks,

Dave
You might be able to kill the larvae just by leaving a few sticks at a time under car front and back windows on a sunny day. Metal surfaces under summer sun can heat to over 160F. Assuming you have a sunny location, make a long box, several layers of cardboard will do, and paint or surface the inside w. black. Lay in the branches, and cover w. glass, sealing as well as possible.

I made a solar oven that way which would reach 210F in about 2 hours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I know people who use insecticides and other harsh chemicals and don't worry about the dust.

But I have contacted the companies that make the stuff and they have said that it should never be used this way.

"Absolutely Not" was used quite a bit in the conversations.
Dave, thanks for the info on your research. When you refer to "dust", do you mean the dust released during carving and sanding, including residual insecticide? Or only dried insecticide on the surface of the wood?
 

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What they were worried about is the insecticide that has been absorbed into the wood.

When it is power carved you will obviously get chemical infused dust that will carry into your lungs.

Dust masks would not stop it and they would not guarantee that a respirator would be enough protection.

When knife carving, if you cut yourself instead of the wood you have now provided an opening into which the insecticide can enter the bloodstream.

All this is why they would not recommend or suggest a product to use.

(the "they" that I am referring to are the chemists at the Deft and Ortho companies)

Most people don't realize that these same hazards are present when working with pressure treated lumber.

If you read the MSDS sheets for it, it says to use a respirator, safety glasses, and gloves when cutting or handling it.

I'm not a doomsday kind of person.

I just want us to be safe when doing what we like to do.

I hope this helps someone,

Dave
 

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The employees at the chemical companies cannot tell you to use their product other than the company line. If you did get sick after they said it was ok, they have opened themselves up for a lawsuit.

I also do not understand why are they telling you a respirator will not stop chemically infused dust?

As a Heat and Frost Insulator I spent a great deal of my working career in oil refineries, power houses and chemical plants and had to wear respirators of one kind or another for protection from chemicals like benzene, chlorine, sulfur, & dusts like silica, fiberglass, mineral wool and asbestos. (part of the job was asbestos abatement) Dust chemically infused or otherwise will be trapped in the proper respirator when worn correctly.

Food for thought. The living tree has already absorbed whatever contaminants are in the ground water and that can be just about anything including mercury from acid rain, PCB's, dioxins, insecticides from farms fields etc.
 

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A conrevesial subject ,but overall think that your health and safty comes 1st, many chemical effect our health and most have only just been found to be the cause of some aliments so who knows and you will only get conflicting reports and whats right today may be wrong tommorow

But overall you may be importing pest to your local area so is it really worth it?
 

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I'm going to stay away from using chemicals, enough bad things in this world to worry about without adding to them.

As far as importing pests to my area... these sticks came from my area so I'm trying to export them permanently. :)

I think I can put together a quick heatbox to try the cooking method on a couple of beautiful sticks that I just can't give up on.

Thanks all,

Dave
 

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I debarked a seasoned dogwood and found galleries riddling it. There were scores of critters --didn't look like bark beetles, looked more silverfish shaped, maybe a couple of mm in size. Any idea what they would be?
 

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I don't know what the other critters would be, but I have found other insects using the holes and tunnels if they need a home.

On the bark beetle issue...

I took a stick that I knew had some in it and heated it with a heat gun till it was just too hot to hold.

The beetles/larvae/worms that were home popped like a zit and then bubbled for a second or two.

That was a week ago with no further signs of life in the stick.

I'll now proceed with the larger hotbox experiment and see how that works.
 
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