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Tiki Termites?!?!

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I have a 3 foot coconut palm tiki that seems to be suffering from dandruff. Upon closer inspection it appears to be sawdust that builds up on the top and around the eyes and mouth. I brush it off with a soft brush, but in a week or so it's back. I'm wondering if my tiki is being eaten by termites! If so...how can I get rid of the little pests without harming my tiki?

Hi, Joey,

I had the same problem with mine. Poor Lyman had sawdust building up in his mouth.
Several people told me that he may have to be put down... but no... NO! I just couldn't bear to do that.

I called an exterminator at first, but it did little good and cost me a lot of money. Plus, when it wasn't working, the guy told me that he would have to drill all over the face of the Tiki, and, again, I did not wat Lyman to be marred. So I asked someone at a store that imports wood statues, etc. from Africa, and here's what the guy told me to do.

I got some chemical concentrate from Home Depot that targeted my specific problem bug (in my case, wood beetles, which I actually found out from the exterminator, so maybe he wasn't totally worthless). Then, I took the Tiki outside and sprayed him down with the stuff. I coated every inch of him with the chemical (wearing a face mask and gloves and heavy clothes, of course -- wishing I had a radiation suit), and then I sprayed him down again. When he was completely saturated several times over, I put him in a big plastic bag, tied it, and then put him in two more tied plastic bags. I left him like that for about 24 hours (you don't want to leave it too long as you don't want him to get mouldy!). When I pulled him out, the problem seemed to have been solved.

Another alternative, I have been told, that involves no scary toxic chemicals is to wrap the Tiki in a big plastic bag and put it in a freezer for a couple of days. If you are fortunate enough to have a freezer that will hold him, then this would probably be your easiest and least chemical-laden bet.


I forgot to mention that the plastic bags I used were the heavy, clear, industrial kind that are available at Home Depot.

Raku the Tiki!!

aloha modchick65,
Thanks for the info. Sorry it's taken me so long to reply...I've been really busy lately at work and turning my patio into a summertime tiki oasis (that includes building a bamboo bar, shelving, wall coverings & numerous decorative projects). Whew! I think I might opt for the freezing method if I can find a large enough freezer. Of course I can always wait till winter & me and my tiki can take a drive back to Maine to visit a freind and go ice fishing. That should do it.

KAHAKA posted on Fri, Aug 1, 2003 8:41 PM

I found sawdust on the top of one of my tikis as well, and actually saw a little bugger burrowing/eating the palm brains out of it. I was pissed! I carried the poor tiki outside, squirted the holes full of lighter fluid, and scorched the little bastards outta there. Haven't had a problem since. :)

I remember reading this post a while back. I have recently gotten some palm tree tiki carvings for my pad. I have the exact same problem... wood beetle infestation in my carvings. I am attempting to wrap the two carvings in plastic bags and throw them in a freezer for a few days. I have been noticing some of the dead beetles around my apartment in other rooms. Once the carvings are bug free, would I need to bug bomb my place to rid the household of any loose live bugs? Did anyone have problems with these critters on other wood in the same room- wood furniture, wood floors, etc.? Down with wood beetles!

I recently found a large mask at a flea market and as soon as I got the piece back to my truck, I was covered in ants. I also found that the mask was completely filled with holes & was chipped and falling apart with the slightest pressure (Argh).

I saturated the mask with raid and wrapped it in 3 large trash bags. A week later, I pulled it out & wood puttied the holes. The thing looks like hell!!!

I am not giving up hope! Damn little buggers!

Damn Bugs, i feel your pain, I do a lotta native American stuff, not tiki, but interesting to me as it's my heritage and i like all da primitive art. Any how when i make a totem guy named Grandfather Northwind
these bugs eat the rabbit hair off him and the porcupine quills too, which are technically hairs as well, i dunno if they are moths or what But next time i'm gonna smudge the totem with sage and ask great spirit, Gitchie manitou, Wakan Tanka for his protection, mebbie if u say a prayer to the tiki gods your bugs will go bye bye, heh heh,
don't no bugs mess wif your tiki if it's taboo'd wit sum juju. Good luck!!


On 2003-08-26 03:35, Sneakytiki wrote:

don't no bugs mess wif your tiki if it's taboo'd wit sum juju. Good luck!!

I'm gonna put some serious juju on my tikies.
Hey brah, do you carve?

I carve to the extent dat I chisel out logs from the inside, hollowing them, for making drums. Some day I hope to learn the fine art of the tiki carver though. I'm hollowing out a rotten log right now an gonna smudge her. It might not hurt to put sumpthin fer the possible bugs in along with the Juju!!


I carve tikis for a living. Your method is the best for killing the dreaded palmwood beetle. I recently had to do the same thing on an 8' tall rootball tiki. By the way, good ole' bleach water, a toothbrush, and some sunshine works great on mold.

Tiki Mon

SES posted on Mon, Nov 3, 2003 4:15 PM

Simple Green kills ants.

Well, the hollow log drum is finished, chiseled out the termite eaten core of the log and put citrus oil and a coat of varnish into/ontah the wood. Might put a cool tiki painting one one of the heads(it's a two headed drum). The rawhide lacing and heads are drying as I write this. Will be fun to put in my jungle room (bedroom). I've appreciated da tips on bugs on dis page as I was alil' nervous bout dem termite marks but I'll smudge the drum an if it has buggies after that I'll just refer back tah this link. Thx 4 the info tiki brethren.

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