Starting in the Fall, we begin collecting firewood to keep us warm throughout the Fall and Winter months. Our fireplaces serve as an efficient way to heat our homes without having to run our heaters at full capacity at all hours of the day and night. From time to time, we’re sure you’ve noticed a hitchhiker or two making their way into your home by means of the firewood you’re bringing in. This is not uncommon as many pests are either overwintering in the wood, nesting in the wood or simply feeding on the buffet of wood left behind for their pleasure. With the exception of a select few, most of these pests are relatively harmless to us and our homes. This doesn’t mean we want them warming themselves up next to our fires when they happen to be brought inside though. What kind of pests make your wood piles their homes and how can you avoid a pest infestation in your stock pile? Stewart Termite and Pest Control will elaborate on this today.
Types of Insects & Pests Found in Firewood
Carpenter Ants– These wood destroying pests will see your firewood as a good place to hunker down and build their nests. Especially in larger wood piles that have a higher moisture content. When you bring in firewood that has become a nesting ground for carpenter ants, they will likely warm up after being in the house for a while and become active yet again. The chances of them attempting to nest in your home is small as they prefer to be outdoors, but wood piles stacked close to the home allow these pests easy access to your home.
Termites– Everyone knows that wood is a delicacy for termite invaders. The termite queen will live in a nest underground while the workers tunnel through and collect wood to bring back to the nest to feed the queen and king. The most obvious sign of a termite invasion in your wood pile is mud tubes on the side of the wood. Once inside, termites are not likely to start a new colony within your home. Always check your wood before bringing it inside your home. Damp wood or wood piles on the ground are the most likely to be invaded by termites.
Beetles– There are a few types of beetles that feed on wood and are likely to set up shop in your firewood piles. Most of them are attracted to freshly cut or recently killed trees. These beetles can become a nuisance inside the home but are not likely to damage furniture or your home. Female beetles will lay their eggs inside the wood which can also cause problems later down the line depending on how long the wood sits around.
How to Keep Pests Out of Your Firewood
Store firewood away from the house– Don’t stack firewood directly next to the house. It may be tempting because no one wants to run 10 feet away from the door to get wood when it’s needed, but this small step will take away these pest’s easy access to your home.
Store firewood off the ground– Firewood stored directly on the ground will attract termites and be an easy meal for them to access. Pests are attracted to damp or wet wood. By storing wood off the ground, it will help the wood to dry out more quickly and keep it from standing in water during or after rainfall.
Keep wood dry– Cover your wood piles with a tarp to keep as much moisture out as possible. Wet wood attracts pests, so you want to keep it dry at all times.