How Should I Treat Worm Holes in Pine?
Issue: Issue 300
Posted Date: 5/1/2012
I am building new kitchen cabinets and trying to decide what type of wood to use for the face frames and doors. A friend has some well-seasoned blue pine that he logged and milled on his property. It does have little worm holes filled with sawdust, so I'm concerned about using it. If I use a polyurethane finish, or something similar, will that kill any eggs, larvae, etc., and do I need to worry about an infestation spreading to the rest of the house if I choose to use it? Thanks for your help! - Katie Wheat
Tim Inman: Odds are that whatever caused those little holes has long since left the building. Odds are..... They may have just moved over, too. I'd take positive steps to be sure the insects were gone or "done in" before I added that wood to my home. Finishing over the critters will just encourage them to find better ways to do what they do. It will not "eliminate" them.
Rob Johnstone: Don't use it unless you treat it for infestation! The bugs could be dead -- or they could be powder post beetles, or something else, and the polyurethane likely won't be enough to kill them.
Chris Marshall: I agree with both of my peers here, and I'll add one more thought. While you might really like the rustic look of cabinets with worm holes in them, that look is quite a break from conventional kitchen cabinet appearance. If the day comes that you need to sell your home, "wormy" cabinets might make the kitchen look less appealing to some potential buyers. I think clear, "conventional" lumber might be the better choice for high-visibility kitchen cabinets.