Insect-infested rustic log furniture. Photo credit: Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - The Minnesota Department of Agriculture recommends anyone who may have bought rustic log furniture to look for signs of insect damage. The agency says insects can live in log furniture for two years or more.
What to look for
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.
What to do
The MDA urges customers who suspect they have purchased infested furniture to contact the state's Arrest the Pest line at 888-545-6684 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bugs found in furniture from China
Last year, the agency investigated two incidents of rustic log furniture harboring invasive insects – the brown fir beetle and velvet longhorned beetle. In both cases, the furniture had been imported to Minnesota from China.
States have been working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and 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, Minnesota’s director of plant protection. "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."