Owners of rustic log furniture should look a little closer to see if they’re living with uninvited guests.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) suggests owners of rustic log furniture look for signs of insect damage. Insects can live in this type of furniture for two years or more.

State and U.S. Department of Agriculture officials work with importers and customers at various retailers to collect and destroy infested furniture. But some infested furniture has not been located, state officials said.

Last year, state agriculture officials investigated two incidents of infestations. The brown fir beetle (Callidiellum villosulum) was found in rustic pine log furniture and the velvet longhorned beetle (Trichoferus campestris) was discovered in rustic walnut log furniture, which was described as hickory. In each case, the furniture was imported from China.

“This is a good reminder that invasive insects, which can do great harm to Minnesota’s natural resources, can get into the state in many ways,” said Geir Friisoe, Director of MDA’s Plant Protection Division. “There is furniture manufactured in this style that is safe out there; however, it is important when shopping for this type of furniture to remember that buying local is always best and reputable sources should be used.”

Signs of insect infestation include:

• Sawdust around the furniture that may indicate the insects are active in the wood.

• Small round tunnels that indicate insects were in the furniture and burrowed their way out.

• Loose bark and other wood damage with tunneling underneath may indicate that the wood was infested at some time.

The MDA urges customers who suspect they have purchased infested furniture to contact the MDA’s Arrest the Pest line at 888-545-6684 or go to http://www.mda.state.mn.us/arrestthepest

For more information, go to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture website.