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Old 09-08-2006, 10:51 PM   #1
wild caught wood

I want to get some heavy branches from the forest for my boa but do not know if i should avoid any type of wood.I will be treating it to kill anything that might reside in it so dont worry about that,any advice would be very helpfull.
Old 09-09-2006, 09:30 AM   #2
The only ones I can think of are the usual suspects, cedar and pine.
Old 09-09-2006, 10:12 AM   #3
Are they for indoor or in vivarium use?
If so evidence of Parasites would be useful to look for. (No holes bored in branch etc.) I have heard of people baking the wood (if small enough) to kill parasites. But I wouldn't use it if evidence is present. Also sealing it with a good couple coats of polyeurethane is helpful in preventing fungus or molds that may be present and minifest once in the right environment.

Of course avoid cedars especially. I have used pine stumps for pictures if aged enough. But I won't use it in a cage. Good woods if available would be aspen, birch, poplar, beechnut, oak, mohogany, or any hardwoods.

Hope that helps
Old 09-09-2006, 10:21 AM   #4
wild caught wood for boa vivarium

Wild-caught wood - branches and bark slabs you legally collect from outside needs to be deloused before putting it into your animal enclosures. There are a wide variety of wood-boring pests who would just as cheerfully dig in to eat and breed in your fine wooden furniture as they have in that lovely branch you hauled in from your latest camping trip!
1. Strip off loose bark and all leaves and undesired twigs.

2. Soak in bleach/water solution (1/2 c bleach per gal of water) for 24 hours.

3. Rinse thoroughly and soak in frequently refreshed fresh water for 24 hours (you are leaching out the bleach in this step).

4. Dry the wood in the sun for 2-3 days. Keep it away from direct contact with the ground to reduce the chance of it being re-infested.

Smaller pieces of wood can be stripped as above, then 'baked' in a low oven for 2-3 hours (200-250 F / 93-121 C). (Keep in mind that ovens may not be calibrated correctly so adjust the temperature down if necessary and stay close to make sure nothing starts burning.)

Branches, caves and other wooden furnishings you buy at pet stores and expos also need to be treated. Not only do you not know where that wood has been and who has done what on it, it may have been sitting in an area rife with reptile mites. Buying products which have been invaded by reptile mites while sitting in stores or storerooms is the most common way pet reptiles get mites. There's nothing like getting more than you paid for!

Treating Big Pieces of Wood
If the wood you need to treat is too big for your bathtub (or you don't have a bathtub), start hitting the garage sales and summer-end sales at toy stores and stores such as Target, K-Mart, etc. Look for sales on kiddie wading pools, and large watertight containers, including old bathtubs or water troughs (or buy a new water trough from a feed-and-grain/ranch/farm supply store). The wading pool is ideal as you can inflate it when you need to use it, and deflate it and easily store it until the next time.

Old 09-09-2006, 10:41 AM   #5
LOL.........How did I know that was coming.

Well, I guess you been "informed" than. Enjoy your wood.

Old 09-09-2006, 11:01 AM   #6
Its by far much easier to deep freeze the wood for acouple weeks then to introduce residual type chems like bleach. Freeze methods allow for retaining natural barks which add visual contrast enclosures and good/better quality pictures.
Home cooked(baked) wood is pretty well worthless without maintained(confirmed) core temps exceeding 150-180*
Be careful useing poly sealents,although dry to touch they will continue to "cure" for several weeks.Aromatics from these products (petro based) aint a good thing IMO.FWIW ... Same applies to the use of bleach overall.

My $.

Old 09-09-2006, 01:13 PM   #7
wild wood

I did not know about the freezing method,that sounds alot better.I have a big chest freezer i could treat alot bigger pieces in,thanks.

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