Can termites live in a vacuum?

I got some tree trimmings from a couple not too far from us and I am planning on using it for smoking (meats).. It's from a nice large (and dead) nectarine tree, but upon cutting it down it was found that there were termites consuming it to some degree about midway up the 20' tree.. I suspect they've been there a while.. Anyway, they don't really pose much of an issue for what I'm using them for, but I would like to ensure that the little buggers can't get out and start eating my (or a neighbors) house.. If I had an average sized vacuum pump which could be used to pull a vacuum on a trash bag with some of the infested branches in them, would that be sufficient to kill the termites (similar to taking them to the moon?) after a while (several days or weeks) in that environment?..
Anyway, just thought I'd check as I'm sure nobody has done that sort of experiment
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Rick F. wrote:

Hmmm....that could work, as could laying the bag in direct sunlight to get the internal temp up. Or a few repeated applications of small chunks of dry ice. (oxygen displacement from the sublimating CO2)
good Q-ing!
Carl 1 Lucky Texan
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snipped-for-privacy@swbell.not says... :) Hmmm....that could work, as could laying the bag in direct sunlight to :) get the internal temp up. Or a few repeated applications of small chunks :) of dry ice. (oxygen displacement from the sublimating CO2) :) :)
......or lay out the cut wood on the drive way then cover the wood with black plastic for a couple of hours.
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Would (no pun intended) that actually get the wood hot enough to do the job? I'm not sure at what temp these little buggers cook, but I'm assuming a bit over 100-120 degrees might do it? I've got some of that black weed block fabric, but I'm not sure that would be suitable for this purpose as it might breathe too much to do the job..
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says... :) > ......or lay out the cut wood on the drive way then cover the wood with :) > black plastic for a couple of hours. :) :) Would (no pun intended) that actually get the wood hot enough to do the :) job? I'm not sure at what temp these little buggers cook, but I'm assuming :) a bit over 100-120 degrees might do it? I've got some of that black weed :) block fabric, but I'm not sure that would be suitable for this purpose as :) it might breathe too much to do the job.. :) :) I have never tested the thickness of the wood that can be "treated" this way, but over the years have heard a number of times from PhD types that one can treat railroad ties in this manner.
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Lar

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Hmm.. I found this article that sounds like what you're talking about :
http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/waac/wn/wn23/wn23-2/wn23-207.html
I might have to try this out -- the data seems to prove it.. My only concern would be with the relative thickness of my pieces of wood -- some are about a foot thick which would take a long time to penetrate. Of course, that's easily solved by chopping the wood into smaller pieces..
The other thing that would certainly work and work better (meaning a higher ambient temperature) would be to build a large solar oven that could house as much wood as I wanted and those I gather can easily reach 200 degrees or higher with nothing but the sun.. I've got some scrap plywood at home sitting around and this sounds like a great experiment I can get the kids interested in participating in.. The nice thing is that something like this can be made using scraps from around the house and I would probably only need to buy a few cans of black paint and perhaps some hinges.. The nice thing is that I could use this also for cooking.. (8-> I guess I've talked myself into the Solar oven thing since I've been wanting to play with them for quite some time now..
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A few bagged termites may eat some wood but without a queen they would not live long. Think of a colony as an entity.
You could start an active compost by mixing wood chips with grass clippings. A properly mixed heap will raise the temperature to 120 degrees.
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Hadn't thought of that -- however, I might have the queen too for all I know.. I did pretty mich remove the entire tree down to ~1' of stump which I left behind..

True true.. The only downside to that is the wetness involved in keeping the compost hot.. That would lengthen the amount of seasoning time needed, but would likely kill the termites.. Most of my compost piles when very active can easily reach >140 degrees for >24 hours at a time.. The other thing that would work would be to cut the wood in pieces and place them in a large cooler and put in a bunch of dry ice and let it sublime until gone -- that would certainly do the job, but is more costly.
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snipped-for-privacy@nobody.com says... :) A few bagged termites may eat some wood but without a queen they would :) not live long. Think of a colony as an entity. :) :) I would find his scenario impossible to spread a termite colony, but actually when you open up a wall or old stump and come across termites scampering about, a percentage of those are actually secondary reproductives that can mature to become the new colony's (colony separated from the original colony)queen and king and survive on their own.
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g'day rick,
waht you are seeing is probably the wroker termites gathering food, the nest and the queen will be far removed from that tree. and once disturbed the other termites that may have visited there as well will move to somewhere else.
not all sub-terrainian termites attack homes but all you can do is make sure your termite inspections and treatments are up to date.
just because there are termites in the agrden doesn't mean they are in or going to come into the house.
snipped With peace and brightest of blessings,
len
-- "Be Content With What You Have And May You Find Serenity and Tranquillity In A World That You May Not Understand."
http://www.gardenlen.com
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Well, it gives me a bit more piece of mind if I can guarantee exterminate any I've picked up along the way with these wood gatherings I'm doing.
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On Mon, 02 Oct 2006 05:59:08 GMT in

Not sure about the vacuum thing, but I'd sure as hell call for a "free termite inspection" from one of the established companies.
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I doubt a trash bag could hold any serious vacuum without rupturing.
On top of that, insects are extraordinarily recuperative. You can drown a housefly for hours or even days, then dry him off in a pile of salt and he'll fly away.
The important concept in termite prevention is to have a chemical barrier between the soil/outside stuff and the house's wood. So don't bring the branches inside, and don't lean them against the house, and you'll be fine.
-- spud_demon -at- thundermaker.net The above may not (yet) represent the opinions of my employer.
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Thanks.. I've got about 80% of them in a fully sealed 50G plastic drum that I picked up a few weeks ago -- if any start wandering about, they'll not escape that drum with it's tight fitting lid.. The last few larger stump pieces are in my garden shed (all plastic -- no worries there) near the rear fence in my back year -- about 100' away from the house.. I'll be axing that wood this weekend to break it into smaller pieces for easier storage/treatment if needed. I really didn't see more than a few termites, but some of my cuttings at 3-4' long and up to 10-12" in diameter so there's lots of room for them without me seeing them.. One interesting thing I found was that some of the branches seemed to be almost wet under the bark and they looked like they had started to get some mildew.. Perhaps a side effect of what the bugs did a while back -- you could see where they had been travelling below the bark before they found a suitable place to setup shop. I guess I've never seen this sort of thing so much in fruit trees.. Must be pretty common, but has never happened to any I've owned.. (knock on wood).
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Rick F. wrote:

OK, why not BBQ the wood? Use the cheapest lump (or wood) and 'cook' the wood in the pit at 175-225 for a few hours.
Or set the wood near an ant pile (I guess grease eating ants) for a coupla days.
Carl
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wrote:

I could do that, but then you're trading one fuel for another.. I'd prefer not to use my existing "fuel" source for heating wood.. I think I've decided on building a large Solar oven that can easily reach ~200 degrees with nothing but the sun's rays.. The good thing is that I can build one as large as I want (within reason) and my kids can help me..

Yup.. The ants were already harvesting the termites when I cut down the tree.
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