Author Topic: Bug damage on horns  (Read 773 times)

Offline Tim Hamblen

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Bug damage on horns
« on: May 18, 2022, 01:17:03 AM »
Maybe not the correct forum but I'm seeing some sort of damage on my powder horns. Something nibbling on them.They start as a small"pit"if you will and get bigger.Not mice I'm sure some sort of bug or worm. It may depend on locale I guess. Anyone else seen this and is there a cure ?

Offline iloco

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Re: Bug damage on horns
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2022, 01:31:33 AM »
Keep the horns in lots light. Those bugs like dark places to do their damage.
 I am sure someone will have a good solution to your problem.
iloco

Offline TN Longhunter

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Re: Bug damage on horns
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2022, 10:10:58 AM »
Spray a bug killer (RaidÖ) on a rag and give them a rub down and let dry. Or store them in a cedar chest.
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Offline Elnathan

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Re: Bug damage on horns
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2022, 03:41:33 PM »
Carpet beetle larva, probably. The adults look like tiny little brown ladybugs - you've probably seen them a hundred times. The adults are harmless, but the larva will make a mess of anything off an animal - horn, feathers, bone....I think wool might be at risk too.

After a nasty infestation a couple years back that cost me nearly completed scrimshaw-grade horn and a whole lot of lesser stuff (my main horn and my stash of raw horns escaped largely unharmed, thank goodness), I now store all my horn objects in 2-gallon plastic ziplock bags.

Old horns may have been treated with iron or copper solutions to bugproof them. The Mad Monk had a post or two on the subject, IIRC. I suspect that the smoke off an open fire, plus regular handling, may also have helped preserve them back in the day.
A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition -  Rudyard Kipling

Offline Not English

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Re: Bug damage on horns
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2022, 06:22:32 AM »
I wonder if geographic location might have something to do with it. Up here in Wi. I haven't had a problem. Knock on wood.

Offline davec2

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Re: Bug damage on horns
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2022, 08:32:40 AM »
I have horns that I made 30 or more years ago and many more that I have made along the way.  We do have carpet beetles out here in So Cal and some of my raw horns have been attacked, so I know the bugs are around.  Many years ago I was refurbishing a cedar chest for my sister and used cedar oil to refresh the interior and restore what I have always believed was the natural bug repellant properties of cedar.  Personally I don't mind handling most chemicals, poisons, etc., (after all, the primary rocket propellants I use at work are mono methyl hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide !!!) but just wiping my horns down with cedar oil every now and again seems to have made them un-appetizing enough to keep the bugs away.


"No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned... a man in a jail has more room, better food, and commonly better company."
Dr. Samuel Johnson, 1780

Offline Elnathan

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Re: Bug damage on horns
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2022, 03:16:59 PM »
My problem came after the upstairs neighbor (I lived at the time in a basement apartment), whose responsibility it was to maintain the yard, let the grass grow to about 15" high. The adult bugs live on flowers, I believe, so keeping the grass trimmed and vegetation away from the house should lower the risk of getting them inside and looking for places to lay their eggs.

I never really had a problem, or any real idea that there could be a problem, with bugs until that spring. Then, while cleaning out the house to deal with the bugs I discovered mold all over my leather and had to discard pretty much every leather thing I owned, and then the septic tank failed and I was told I had to move out of my apartment, and then I injured my arm at work, and then I got in a car accident.....exciting year, all told.
A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition -  Rudyard Kipling

Offline Marcruger

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Re: Bug damage on horns
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2022, 08:04:13 PM »
I would suggest storing horns where people live, and not in garages or sheds.  Also, keep the stopper in the horn.  The beetles crawl inside and lay their eggs.  The eggs hatch and the bugs eat their way out.  I spray insides with Raid or Bengal, and wipe the exterior with the same.  Black powder inside seems to keep the bugs away too.  I believe Bill Knight discovered that.  I hope this helps.  God Bless,  Marc

Offline Ken G

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Re: Bug damage on horns
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2022, 08:10:14 PM »
I had the same problem with some future project horns stored in a shed.  I took a paper towel and soaked it with Raid and sealed everything up in a large plastic container.  No more horn beetles.

Ken
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Offline JBJ

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Re: Bug damage on horns
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2022, 02:56:28 PM »
More than you wanted to know, but it contains a lot of useful information. I personally store horns in a 2 gallon Zip-loc storage bag together with a few mothballs (1,4-dichlorobenzene - I think). So far, it works for me.

http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7436.html

J.B.

Offline Jeff Murray

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Re: Bug damage on horns
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2022, 03:29:09 AM »
Mice will get after horns as well.  I had an infestation in my garage a few years ago.  Baby field mice can get through almost any crack or opening.  They chewed on a couple of nice raw horns.  Droppings confirmed that they were mice.  Plastic tub and sticky traps solved the problem.  Hanging finished horns on the wall also helps and you get to enjoy them.

Offline jdm

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Re: Bug damage on horns
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2022, 05:13:24 PM »
When ever I bring something made of horn into my collection I quarantine it in a sealed container . They are wiped down with raid and left for a week or so. I forgot this rule a couple of years ago and set a antique snuff box in with some other horn items I had on display. It must have been infested that's the only time I've had a problem.
JIM

Offline Trad bow

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Re: Bug damage on horns
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2022, 04:27:25 AM »
I have several thousand feathers for arrows and Iím obsessed with keeping the bugs away.  Between my horns, leather goods and those feathers itís a big out world around here