Logs? Sticks? How can they be made safe?

Discussion in 'Enclosures, Heating & Lighting' started by SpyderPB6, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. SpyderPB6 Embryo

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    Hey guys,

    I have a baby columbian boa, and I wanted to add some things to the cage for him to be able to mess around with. I saw the fake logs and stuff online but their prices are ridiculous, and even more so in stores like petco. I was wondering what the process would be for taking a log from outside (log, branch, stick, ect.) and making it safe to be put in the cage.

    Is it a matter of finding a dead piece of wood and baking it at a certain temp?

    Does bark have to be stripped?

    Should you clean with water and soap or somthing lol?

    Any help from people who have done with or have experiance in this would be VERY much appreciated. Thanks alot!
  2. SpyderPB6 Embryo

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    Real logs, stick, branches. How to make them safe?


    How can I go about picking up logs and branches and what not from outside and make them safe for putting them in my cage with my boa?
    Does the bark have to be stripped off of them? Do you cook them in the oven at a temp less then 200 degrees? Do you use soap and water?

    I cant find any information on this subject. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
  3. Tiny_Hendrix Embryo

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    RE: Real logs, stick, branches. How to make them safe?

    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!

    ©1995 Melissa Kaplan

    Just make sure the wood you take isn't from a national park/forest or anything like that, cause that's usually illegal :p

    Also, welcome to the forum!
    itStevens likes this.
  4. Bossk Embryo

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    I was searching for something else on here the other day and ran across the answer to this (figures I can't find it now). I know it mentioned something about keeping the wood somewhat wet and putting it in the oven around 275 degrees. Supposedly it kills off the bacteria and germs that are in the wood. Not sure how long you would do it for though.
  5. Fiddlinboy Embryo

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    i'd like to know this to, cause i found this hollow tlog perfect for a cool looking hide for my snake, but dont' know how to make it safe
  6. Clementine_3 Embryo

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    Moved and merged the two topics together, please only start one thread per topic in only one forum. If you accidentally put it in the wrong place it can be moved :p
    Welcome! Tiny has given good info, I worry about the bleach though...it can soak in and not come back out. I'd just soak it in water and then bake it. If it's small enough you can boil it or freeze it (or both).
  7. Retheat Embryo

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    Freezing doesn't necessarily kill even insects... I'm lucky because I can just stick everything that is too big for our oven into our sauna. ;D
  8. SpyderPB6 Embryo

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    Thanks for all of that great info, that really helps me out alot, and should save me big money since the smallest, dumb looking hides in pet stores and even online go for upwards of $30!

    Sorry about the double post!
  9. Fiddlinboy Embryo

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    i just spent an hour making a hide out of some boards and another 2 hours baking it, but then realized that the boards (even though they weren't treated) were made outta pine. does that mean i can't use it?
    then i started thinking about stuff i find in the woods. wouldn't some of that stuff have aromas/oils that are bad for snakes like pine? or does cooking/freezing destroy them? if it does then could you scatter pine shavings on a metal tray and cook them(lol)? I'm a little confused now.
  10. SpyderPB6 Embryo

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    My brother told me the other day, to also try to soak a stick or log or whatever you find outdoors, in salt water. Also he said you can mix hydrogen peroxide with water, which didnt make sense to me beucase essentially hydrogen peroxide is water.

    Do either of these two sound viable to you guys?
  11. Tiny_Hendrix Embryo

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    I don't think either would do much. To be safe, I would stick to soaking them then baking them that way whatever inside them is definitely dead!
  12. Fiddlinboy Embryo

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    i agree, but would that make pine things like the hide i made outta boards safe? i still need to know if i can stick it in my snake cage.
  13. SpyderPB6 Embryo

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    Yeah I know baking is great.

    Really though, a few things that I want to use are too large to put in the oven. Perhaps I could bring them to a pizza place haha.

    Is anyone sure that bleach is most definately no good? I know it kills bacteria and germs, but I dont want it to kill my snake.

    I am almost ready to just take out a torch and cook the wood that way, or even starting a fire in my firepit and roasting the wood if you will.
  14. Tiny_Hendrix Embryo

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    Fiddlin -I'm not sure about pine, I know you're not suppose to put cedar in there. Ask a person in the snake forum, I'm more experienced with lizards.

    Edit: I did some research for you, according to Melissa Kaplan, Dr Richard Evans researched various woods and this is what he found.

    Source: http://www.anapsid.org/cedar.html

    Also on http://www.moreptiles.com/default.htm

    Hope that helps. I'm sure someone in the snake forum can tell you what type of wood is safe for your snake.

    Spyder-Well melissa kaplan says to use bleach and that's the whole purpose of soaking it in water, to leach the bleach out, Melissa probably knows from experience, but like Clem said it might all not come out, so to be on the safe side just soak it in steaming hot water and make sure you bake it.

    You definitely might not want to put it in your fire pit or torch it, it will most likely burn the wood into ashes. Putting it in your oven won't do that.
  15. SpyderPB6 Embryo

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    I wasnt going to just put it in the fire pit lol. I meant pretty much roasting it like a marshmellow. Im sure I could get that bad boy real hot without burning it, using a welding glove and prolly about twenty minutes. I like put it in steaming hot water Idea. Im gonna check on bleach too, to see what I can do and what I cant do with it.


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