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Subject: Wood borer infestation

Wood borer infestation

From: Katja Telp <katjatelp>
Date: Monday, April 2, 2007
A polychrome wooden sculpture I am restoring has some alarming wood
borer infestation, and it is nothing I have ever seen before. The
exit holes are enormous, about an inch long and oval. The undigested
wood shavings from the holes are 3/4 inches long.

The sculpture is from Mexico, approximately 150 years old and about
3 feet tall. It came to California last summer (2006). When I got it
in August 2006, it had two of those holes in the back which I
attributed to amateurish transport measures. Astonishingly, there
were no (other) signs of wood pests.

However, within the last two weeks (March 2007), five new holes
appeared throughout the wooden body, and it happens quickly: one
hole was there within 30 minutes when I was out of the room. And
there are more to come: I can hear the scraping noises inside by
just putting my ear on the sculpture. The sculpture is wrapped in a
plastic bag for the time being to make sure I catch anything that's
crawling out of it, but nothing yet.

To summarize: I'm looking for a borer that is native to Middle
America, affects very dry wood, is solitary (no colonies), matures
in early spring, produces long, undigested wood shavings, and makes
impressive exit holes. Extensive net search hasn't produced as much
as a hint, so I'm hoping to find someone here who could tell me what
I'm dealing with.

Katja Telp
Conservator of Wooden Sculptures
El Segundo, California
310-529-4566


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                  Conservation DistList Instance 20:49
                  Distributed: Friday, April 13, 2007
                       Message Id: cdl-20-49-019
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Received on Monday, 2 April, 2007

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