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Natural/Wild Wood for Enclosure?

Discussion in 'Tarantula Enclosures' started by Dustin Amack, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. Dustin Amack

    Dustin Amack Well-Known Member

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    I have seen some use wood that they have found in the wild for their enclosures. I have came across some great pieces of natural Elm bark and was hoping to use this in some of my arboreal displays. I have heard it is wise to bake it somehow first, also heard to freeze it... any thoughts on this and how it would be best to disinfect or clean the wild wood? Thanks all!
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  2. yeahhtrue

    yeahhtrue Active Member

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    How big are the pieces? For smaller pieces of wood, I've used the boiling method...just throw them in a big pot of boiling water for a while.

    If the pieces are too big for that, you can throw them in the oven instead. If you google this you can see people have varying temperature and time advice. Some people say 200 for 1-2 hours. Some people say 350 for 30 minutes. I personally lean more towards the higher temp, shorter bake time because I'm impatient lol. Obviously keep an eye on it on the off chance it does catch fire...
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  3. Dustin Amack

    Dustin Amack Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! these are bigger pieces and I'm hoping to use it in my larger enclosures. I have seen it used to create tubes for pokies and thouht it was cool but I want to be sure I am not introducing anything unwanted in the enclosures. I agree with the higher temps as well...
  4. Enn49

    Enn49 Moderator Staff Member 3 Year Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Just a point regarding tubes for arboreals, the chances are you'll never see them. I'd cut the tube in half and lean it against the wall then the T will be visible even when it thinks it's hiding.
  5. Dustin Amack

    Dustin Amack Well-Known Member

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    True, thank you. I have my adult A. urticans in an enclusure with a tube and yes, I never see her.
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  6. Dave Jay

    Dave Jay Well-Known Member

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    It is a good idea to treat wood somehow just to avoid adding unwanted 'critters' to the enclosure, in my experience this is usually spiders or egg sacs, it can be annoying trying to remove them once they are in. The tannins in wood are what inhibit rotting, boiling removes these so I think an oven is better. I often use acacia bark in enclosures and I found that the stuff that was boiled then baked dry developed mould much more readily than the untreated bark. The freezer idea sounds good, I haven't tried it myself but I can see the merit in the idea, I think I'll try it.
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  7. Arachnoclown

    Arachnoclown Well-Known Member

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    My female Ornata never leaves her tube...not even to hunt. She waits for it to come to her. She's getting a slab laid against the back wall when I rehouse her.:p
  8. Arachnoclown

    Arachnoclown Well-Known Member

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    I bake my wood at 250 for 30 minutes. Then shut the oven off and leave it in there.
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  9. Dustin Amack

    Dustin Amack Well-Known Member

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    Same with my adult P. irminia, thanks for the advice about temps and all!
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  10. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    I agree with baking at 250.

    Then just freezer it overnight. Of course, let it come to room temperature before adding the tarantula!!
  11. Dustin Amack

    Dustin Amack Well-Known Member

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    I have heard the idea of freezing the natural wood, however I'm kinda confused because I'm in a part of the country that has rough winters. The wood has been in sub-zero temps (colder than my freezer) for a couple months. What good would it do to put it back in my freezer? I would also have to break it into much smaller peices to get it to fit in the freezer which I'm not to interested in doing. I did bake several peices of this bark for roughly 15 mins at 275 degress but I was a little worried about a fire due t othe strong smell.
  12. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Freezing won't kill everything, but it will kill tropical parasites and mites on wild caught tarantulas

    Some pests just love the cold. Others love the heat. I can't think of one, with the exception of prions, that like both.
  13. Arachnoclown

    Arachnoclown Well-Known Member

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    Freezing doesn't kill bacteria efficiently ...bacteria dies at 165-212 degress. There's not a living organism on earth that can survive 250 degrees. However there are lots of things that can live or survive long periods of freezing... especially micro organisms. Freezing would take 50x longer to sterilize an object and that's not even with 100% confidence. Infact scientists are very cautious when the examine ancient frozen human remains...
  14. Dave Jay

    Dave Jay Well-Known Member

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    Freezing would be a good way for people in warm climates to kill 'hitchhikers' , I may do it for that reason, but obviously if it freezes for months where you live the 'bugs' have ways of surviving. Personally I think it's futile to try to sterilise wood/bark/leaves, I just try to avoid unwanted guests in my enclosures as most are very hard to remove without wrecking the display.
  15. Aviculture1

    Aviculture1 Member

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    Also, when baking wood, it is best to soak it first. Soaking it in water will start the process of removing foreign entities from the wood and while baking it will create steam which is hotter than just baking and will be more effective at killing anything left on the wood and it also prevents the wood from scorching and it catching on fire.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
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