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Discussion in 'Habitat and Exhibit' started by unluckyducktaxidermy, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. First of all I am new to taxidermy and have learned quite a bit from these forums but I have run into a problem I hope I can get some help with. I decided to go out the other day and collect up some beautiful pieces of driftwood by the river to mount my waterfowl too. It is rather cold here mind you and many of the pieces were "frozen" so to speak. Needless to say, after a couple hours in my nice warm home I woke some unwanted little friends living in my pieces of driftwood. Tons and tons of ants! Lets just say the pieces of wood are back outside but there were very nice and I would still like to use them. Which brings me to my questions, is there a way to treat a piece of driftwood to say remove my pesky friends and anything else that's on the wood? would an oven work? or boiling? Any advice would be truly appreciated!
  2. Big plastic garbage bag and a can of raid or bug bomb.

  3. Baking is a good method, boiling water would probably do it, or a few days in the freezer.
  4. The bug bomb seems like an excellent idea for my over run piece of driftwood, but for curiosities sake, if I was to bake the piece of wood what temperature would I put it on or would I have to do something special to it before I put it in? Also, as I thought more and more about the boiling solution I don't know how well it would work as it floats like crazy and wouldn't stay in the pot very well.
  5. If you set the oven to 400, let it heat up, then turn it off, that works.

    It depends on the shape and sie of the driftwood Some pieces you could just dunk in boiling water for a minute and be done. But it's it's a huge huge piece you'd have no chance.

    I've made furniture using drift wood before, and on the really large pieces I just set it on the asfault in the sun on a hot summer day, and it ran anything out of it that was left.
  6. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    HOLD THE PHONE! Before you start broiling your wood, you should understand that wood can spontaneously burst into flames at any temperature over 300 degrees F. Setting your oven at 400 is going to fill your house with smoke, set off the smoke detectors, and likely get you a visit from the Fire Marshall. Baking wood is never a good idea to eliminate insects. Wood is a terrific insulator and if the piece is thick enough, the core temperatures will never reach a destructive point before the outer layers start to burn.

    The best thing I've found is Raid Ant and Roach. Spray the wood down heavily. Then place the wood inside a plastic bag, tie the end tight, and set it out in the sun for a day or two. After that treatment, take the wood out and let it air dry for a few days to eliminate residual smell.

  7. Have you ever tried? It is a regularly used method used to bake wood shavings and branches to make them safe to give to pets for climbing, decorations, or chewing.
    I assure you nobody's house is going to burst into flames.
  8. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Rhasputin those are commercial convection ovens that do that "every day". You MIGHTget away with it in an electric oven that was vented to take flammable gases away but not in invented gas or propane ones. Its simply not a safe practice to advocate.
  9. I don't know about gas or propane stoves. So you're probably right about that, I wasn't even thinking about a gas stove.
    Good point.

    Electric ovens are safe to use, however.
  10. duxdown

    duxdown New Member

    George, you are spot on! I live next to 4 major river systems and the two largest man made lakes in the US. I assure you i can and do collect drift wood for mounts, I just bag and bomb the crap out of them. I mean if were talking about small stuff i can see the possible benifits of bakeing, but George is correct on the core temp issue. Best to plan ahead and de-bug and dry your wood naturally, in the sun or warm shop.

  11. Sikk

    Sikk Member

    If heat is the preferred method, we used to sterilize our wooden greenhouse beds with steam at 180 degrees soil temp for 30 minutes, kills insects, bacteria, fungi, not sure on viruses. So make a plywood box with a raised rack, put the driftwood on the rack,hook a steamer( turkey fryer, boiling water , hook a radiater hose to the lid and vent to the box under the rack, make sure the box also has a vent on top) up to it and let it cook. all outdoors, easy and safe, no mess in the wifes kitchen. paul
  12. Sikk, that's a great idea. I'm going to use it net time I construct something with natural wood pieces. I wonder if I could use a tacked down tarp, and funnel the steam under it, so that I don't have to build a full-on permanent structure?
  13. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Sikk, heat should NOT be the preferred method. What part of the insulation factor are you people unable to comprehend? Steaming might word great on shavings, chips and sawdust, but we are talking DRIFTWOOD. A 4 inch log has an insulation factor of R-4.5. Certainly not what you'd expect of R-20 fibergas insulation, but significant enough to tell you that it would take steam OR HEAT, hours if not days to totally penetrate. Wood has an R value of 1.5 per inch. Steam is less than 220 degrees Fahrenheit, so that would mean that the wood, to the center of the log would be 2 inches. With an R value of 3, you would never get the center hot enough to do squat.

    All commercial "driftwood" is cedar. It's cedar for only one reason - the insecticide properties of the wood itself. Pitch pine would be next followed by sassafras. Otherwise, fumigate your "driftwood" as I explained. Not only will it kill the bugs present, it will continue to repel them - UNLIKE HEAT OR STEAM - for up to a year after treatment.
  14. bmdakk

    bmdakk Report to moderator

    Yea put some chocolate in with it and then you can have Chocolate covered ants..... WOW!!!!!
  15. I would have loved to see the look on George's face when he read this post. I am just sitting here LMAO.
  16. Nancy C

    Nancy C Active Member

    Well ... I have been drying as well as de-bugging driftwood in the oven for decades, and it has been very effective.
    I set the oven at 275F. and leave the wood in for a minimum of 2 to 3 hours, even longer for bigger pieces. I try to do it in batches since I don't like the smell of toasting driftwood.
    (I am even less fond of the smell of insecticide!) I leave it in until it is bone dry and it stays hot to the touch for quite a while.

    Note: I have an electric oven; 'not sure if a gas oven would be safe at any temperature, and I don't think I would even try it.
  17. madarchery

    madarchery callmaker

    If the wood is small enough and you can find an old microwave you will be impressed what a 15 second burst of microwaves can do to little critters in wood. The microwaves travel through the wood killing them inside and the larva and eggs to. Do a few bursts and stick in a bag for a few days just to make sure. And it dries the wood as well, wood turners have been doing this for years to dry wood blanks.
  18. diggitydave1

    diggitydave1 Taxidermy and Golf, both will drive you Crazy!

    trash bags and bug bombs
  19. Jhay

    Jhay New Member

    TBH I kind of scrolled through the other posts.

    I've personally baked (at 250) wood for a short amount of time, but that was mainly to dry it out and try to keep things from growing. The "growing stuff" was an issue because I use CO2 on mine. I usually had a large well sealed aquarium in my garage to do this with. I'd put in a couple things of dry ice, pop down a tight lid on the aquarium, and leave it be for a while. Then take off the lid to let it air out. Problem is if it has any plant matter on it (moss or anything else) it'll grow like nobody's business. That's why I baked it as well. Baking tends to dry and kill the plants that might grow, and the CO2 usually killed off the insect problem. I agree with the others, be careful with baking the wood. I have had a problem with a particularly old piece I picked up trying to simmer a bit. Turned out it was a bit moist inside, and the temperature change like that was creating a bit of a problem. I wish you luck