Many people enjoy having a fireplace or wood-burning stove in their homes for the warmth, and comforting and homey feelings they bring — particularly during the chilly winter months. But sometimes firewood isn’t always quite as comforting when in the home, as there are several household pests that can unintentionally be moved in alongside your firewood.
When you’re snug as a bug, curled up on your couch in front of the merrily crackling fire, you don’t need to be worrying about ACTUAL bugs! Thankfully, preventing and controlling firewood pests isn’t difficult at all.
Here are 10 ways to help keep firewood pests out of your home!
Store your firewood outside
Leave your firewood outdoors and be sure to take a minute and examine it for bugs and critters before bringing it inside.
Keep firewood away from buildings
Woodpiles should never be stored up against houses or buildings because wood-boring pests can easily tunnel from the wood directly into these structures. By stacking firewood against your home, you are basically inviting wood-boring pests to live there. It is recommended that firewood is kept several feet from any buildings.
Stack firewood off the ground
Bricks, Concrete blocks, or firewood grates are often used to keep wood from directly touching the ground. Moisture problems tend to attract insects, so maintaining airflow beneath the stack is also important.
Don’t keep firewood near trees
Piling wood beside trees is a bad idea. Insects from inside or under the firewood pile, like bark beetles, can crawl over to a live tree and cause severe damage.
Never stack firewood indoors
Firewood should not be stored indoors in any area – in the home, garage, or basement. Insects will easily be able to live within the structure, and an indoor firewood storage area also provides a nice home for insects, pests, and wildlife. You don’t want them in your home!
Use the oldest wood first
To help keep pests at a minimum, be sure to use the oldest wood first, and restack your woodpile occasionally for easier access to the older logs. This will help you with not allowing infestations to build up, and it will help keep anyone from bringing infested firewood inside.
Use local firewood only
When untreated firewood is carried from one place to another, it can bring insects not native to the area along. If the firewood is stacked outdoors, the insects can then emerge out from the wood to start invading and breeding in the new area. If you bought wood that is not from a local source, burn it as soon as possible to kill off any non-native pests.
Remove surface pests
Before carrying wood into your house to use, examine every log carefully: look them over, shake them, knock the logs against each other. Brush off and get rid of the pests on the surface or beginning to appear. If you’re using a carrier sitting on the ground, inspect the bottom for any insects that might be clinging there. Spraying wood is not suggested as this can cause harmful vapors when the wood is burned.
Burn firewood right after bringing indoors
During the cold winter months not many insects are active outdoors; usually, they will hole up in sheltered areas – like between or within firewood stacks. If you bring wood indoors and do not burn it immediately, the insects can crawl out from the wood into the warmth of your home. Then you have a potential problem on your hands.
Most of the pests that cling to or infest firewood are simply more irritating than destructive. If they are carried into the home, they can be simply vacuumed, swept, swatted, or sprayed. (Be sure to follow the directions on the label of any pesticide you use.)
These 10 ways to help with firewood pests will hopefully be useful to you. What is your favorite prevention method to use against pests?
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Dobbelare Distributing Hardwood Firewood is aged for a minimum of one year to ensure proper burning and minimize excess smoke. Our typical mix includes Oak, Cherry, and Hickory. Wood is available in select single specimens upon request.