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Wood eating insect

Our railway sleepers, which act as a retaining wall, are being eaten by something.  There is no access from any angle to see what is causing this.  Can anyone suggest a cause and treatment.  The soil you see at the bottom of the photo is our veggie patch, so we are limited in terms of chemicals we can use. 


  • LynLyn Posts: 22,873
    What are your neighbours doing on the other ride? Looks like it’s fallen through the fence panels 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • JellyfireJellyfire Posts: 1,139
    I’d imagine it’s some kind of wood boring wasp. I doubt it would have any structural effect on those big oak sleepers so I wouldn’t worry myself 
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,819
    That’s not a fence Lyn, those are the sleepers that are being eaten.  Jellyfire, I think you are correct, but the amount of sawdust each day is alarming. 
  • maf20maf20 Posts: 1
    Just noticed that we have the same, exact problem.  Did you manage to sort it?  Would be great to hear how you solved it, if you did? Thanks
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,819
    We never did solve it, although I used to see wasps entering the gaps between the sleepers.  We have not seen a repeat of that particular problem but we do have other wood eating insects in other parts of our sleepers and raised beds.  There may be a pesticide for it, but we garden organically so we just live and let live.  Rot caused by the weather is a more serious problem and we don’t yet have a solution.  
  • PeggyTXPeggyTX Posts: 556
    Do you ever hear buzzing around there?  Don't know if you have carpenter bees in the UK, but Texas is wrought with them. Their buzz is quite loud even when they are deep in their excavated holes.  My last home was made of limestone and they would even burrow holes into that!  Tough little guys.  They prefer unfinished wood, so they might just like sleepers.  Their tell-tale evidence is sawdust as seen in your photo.  I found a site with a nice video and some suggestions to rid yourself of them if that is what is creating the problem in your photo:

    My low-carb recipe site:
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