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
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)
1 Lucky Texan
:) 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.
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..
:) > ......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.
Hmm.. I found this article that sounds like what you're talking about :
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..
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
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
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.
:) 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
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.
With peace and brightest of blessings,
"Be Content With What You Have And
May You Find Serenity and Tranquillity In
A World That You May Not Understand."
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.
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).
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
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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