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Bark boring larvae infestation in oak firewood

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  • mike.hinson@bt.com
    Hi, I live in the UK in the northern part of Hampshire and have found that my dry oak firewood store is alive with larvae eating the wood just under the bark.
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 1, 2000
      Hi,
      I live in the UK in the northern part of Hampshire and have found that my dry oak firewood store is alive with larvae eating the wood just under the bark. The larvae I have seen are up to about 1cm and I have found exit holes that are up to 6mm at the widest point. The exit holes are NOT round.

      The larvae are superficially similar the picture at :

      http://www.msstate.edu/Entomology/pestmonitor/Fig4OHB.gif

      of Longhorn beetle larvae. They are light cream and have black mouthparts. The frass is of a fine texture.

      My questions are:
      1). What are they?
      2). Should I be concerned about the infestation spreading to my house?

      Many thanks in advance, I appreciate the effort involved in helping out people such as myself who have no specialist knowledge in this field.

      /\/\ +44 7710013106
    • BugClubQuestions
      Editors note: This is the original query from Mike Hinson, the reply from one of our experts follows: From: mike.hinson@bt.com Date: Sun, 01 Oct 2000 19:32:41
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 16, 2000
        Re: Bark boring larvae infestation in oak firewood Editors note:
        This is the original query from Mike Hinson, the reply from one of our experts follows:

        From: mike.hinson@...
        Date: Sun, 01 Oct 2000 19:32:41 -0000
        To: bugclub@egroups.com
        Subject: Bark boring larvae infestation in oak firewood

        Hi,
        I live in the UK in the northern part of Hampshire and have found that my dry oak firewood store is alive with larvae eating the wood just under the bark. The larvae I have seen are up to about 1cm and I have found exit holes that are up to 6mm at the widest point. The exit holes are NOT round.

        The larvae are superficially similar the picture at :

        http://www.msstate.edu/Entomology/pestmonitor/Fig4OHB.gif

        of Longhorn beetle larvae. They are light cream and have black mouthparts. The frass is of a fine texture.

        My questions are:
        1). What are they?
        2). Should I be concerned about the infestation spreading to my house?

        Many thanks in advance, I appreciate the effort involved in helping out people such as myself who have no specialist knowledge in this field.


        Reply:

        First, I think that Mr. Hinson can be re-assured that the larvae in question will not cause any trouble in his house timbers.  There are only a few beetle species that colonise house timber in this country and none of these develop under the bark of oak logs.

        If there are boreholes deep in the wood of the logs, and if the logs are very dry, there might be a possibility of infestation by beetles that could enter the house. If so, very small boreholes in the wood could indicate species such as the furniture beetle, powder post beetle or (if larger) death watch beetle.

        The exit holes that Mr. Hinson describes could be those of one of the jewel beetles (family Buprestidae), as he describes them as not being round.   The members of this family produce D-shaped exit holes, whereas the exit holes of all other families are either oval or round in cross-section.  If they are oval, the beetles could be long-horns as he suggests.   If they are of the D-shaped buprestid type, the species is almost certainly Agrilus pannonicus. This was a Red Date book (endangered) species but has become fairly common over the last few years.  Even so, it would be a great shame to incinerate them all by using all the logs as firewood.   As stated in the AES handbook "Habitat Conservation for Insects", the way to minimise harm to the deadwood fauna and flora when using firewood is as follows:

        1.    Never use wood that has been left dead in or near woodland during the spring and summer; and that has therefore probably been colonised by wildlife;  instead use wood that has been freshly cut from the living condition.  This is very important in the case of ancient woodland or wood pasture, where endangered species are more likely to be present.

        2.    Store firewood in a closed polythene tent, this will help to prevent the logs becoming colonised and thus becoming a decoy.  If the polythene is supported on a framework and kept away from the logs in a sunny position, the logs will dry out rapidly and soon become good firewood.




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