Killing insect pests inside wood by vacuum dehydration
Insect pests can be transported around the world in wooden shipping containers. To prevent the spread of wood-borne insect pests, it is necessary to kill insects within the wood. The wood is placed in a vacuum container having a flexible wall. The flexible wall presses against the wood and enables the wood to be heated by conduction. The wood and flexible wall can to be heated by contact with ambient or heated air, for example. Desiccant or dry air can be used to increase the rate of dehydration. Insects in the wood are typically killed after losing 25-50% of their body weight by dehydration. This technique will kill beetle larvae, nematodes and other invasive and destructive insects that live inside solid wood, and is particularly applicable for rendering wood acceptable for use in pallets and other containers shipped internationally.