Bugs in your bungalow? Buyers of imported rustic log furniture should look for signs

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ST. PAUL – The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) asks Minnesotans who may have bought rustic log furniture to look for signs of insect damage. Insects can live in this type of furniture for two years or more.

In 2016, the MDA investigated two separate incidents of rustic log furniture harboring invasive insects. The brown fir beetle (Callidiellum villosulum) was found in rustic pine log furniture imported from China into Minnesota. The velvet longhorned beetle (Trichoferus campestris) was discovered in rustic walnut log furniture – described as hickory – also imported from China into Minnesota. The MDA, as well as other states where furniture was sold, and the USDA have worked with the importers and customers at various retailers to collect and destroy infested furniture, but it is possible that some infested furniture has not been located.

“This is a good reminder that invasive insects, which can do great harm to Minnesota’s natural resources, can get into the state in many ways,” said Geir Friisoe, Director of MDA’s Plant Protection Division. “There is furniture manufactured in this style that is safe out there; however, it is important when shopping for this type of furniture to remember that buying local is always best and reputable sources should be used.”

Consumers that have rustic log furniture which was manufactured out of the country should look for several signs of insect infestation.

  • Sawdust around the furniture – This may be a sign that insects are active in the wood.
  • Visible exit holes – Small round tunnels suggest that insects were in the furniture and have burrowed their way out.
  • Suspect wood damage – Loose bark with tunneling underneath may indicate that the wood was infested at some time.

The MDA urges customers who suspect they have purchased infested furniture to contact the MDA’s Arrest the Pest line at 888-545-6684 or arrest.the.pest@state.mn.us.

Find more information on this issue at http://www.mda.state.mn.us/plants/insects/clhbeetle/detectingpresence.aspx