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Subject: Wood borer infestation

Wood borer infestation

From: Helena Jaeschke <helena.jaeschke>
Date: Monday, April 30, 2007
Katja Telp <katjatelp [at] sbcglobal__net> writes

>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.

On a side note from the problem of identifying wood-borers, someone
mentioned that anything that can eat its way through wood is
unlikely to be stopped by a plastic bag. I can report that in the
UK, polythene bubblewrap can sometimes be effective.  A sample of
timber had been frozen to treat a common woodworm (Anobium
punctatum) infestation. The wood was then wrapped in acid-free
tissue paper and bubblewrap for transport. It was left in its
wrappings in store and when unwrapped recently several dead
deathwatch beetles were found between the tissue and bubblewrap.
Their fresh exit holes from the wood could clearly be identified, as
could their tunnelling through the acid-free tissue above. They
appeared to have then wandered between the bubbles and eventually
perished. No marks of chewing or exit holes could be found in the
bubblewrap. It's annoying that the freezing did not kill the
deathwatch larvae, but comforting that the infestation did not
spread to the store because of the bubblewrap.

Best wishes
Helena Jaeschke
Conservation Development Officer
+44 1392 665951
Royal Albert Memorial Museum
Queen Street, Exeter EX4 3RX


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                  Conservation DistList Instance 21:3
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Received on Monday, 30 April, 2007

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