Should we worry about these bugs?

Asked September 15, 2019, 8:02 PM EDT

Hi there,. We recently purchased Douglas fir lumber in Portland Oregon for a home renovation project. We have found lots of these bugs on the lumber. They appear to be light sensitive. The penny gives scale-they are less than a 1/4 inch in length. Should we worry about these critters doing damage to our wood? Is there a treatment for the lumber, or should we try to return it? Thanks!

Multnomah County Oregon

2 Responses

Thank you for your question. Sorry for the delay, but it had many Extension staff stumped, and our entomologists are unavailable. But we think they are termites, probably Pacific dampwood termites. You can read about them here: http://owic.oregonstate.edu/sites/default/files/pubs/termites.pdf Although the damp wood that supports them may be dried out by now, no one can guarantee they will not persist. Good luck!

Another expert has suggested beetles, although I can find none in our diagnostic handbook that resemble these. You can take samples to one of the metro county Extension offices to get yet another opinion: https://extension.oregonstate.edu/mg/metro/have-gardening-question