Nothing reminds us of fall more than the rich aroma of a crackling fire. With fall on its way and firewood stacking up, people may accidentally get more than a cozy fire. Firewood is a common hiding spot for many types of bugs that want to stay near or even get in your home.
Keep reading to learn what firewood insects are and how to keep them out of your hearth this fall.
What Are Firewood Insects?
Insects get into firewood for one of two reasons: to eat it or to seek shelter. The shelter seeking bugs are a nuisance, but they are relatively harmless. The firewood feasters, however, can cause serious damage if they get in your home.
Dead trees, like firewood, are an excellent food source for some bugs such as wood borers, powderpost beetles, carpenter ants and termites because they are easy to chew into. Other bugs that need a place to live can be just as bothersome. Spiders, wasps and cockroaches are just three bugs that will hideaway or lay their eggs in dead trees and firewood. Once inside the warmth will cause them to become more active and your home will turn into their new shelter. That’s why it’s important to properly store wood so that bugs stay outside where they belong.
The Best Places to Store Firewood
Someplace Dry – Wood infesting insects prefer moist wood over dry wood because it’s easier to bore into. Plus, wet wood doesn’t do much good in a fire. Keep firewood in an area that is covered so that rain doesn’t increase its moisture content.
Up Off the Ground – Never sit firewood directly on the ground if at all possible. Invest in a firewood rack, which will hold firewood up and help to keep it organized. At the very least put down a tarp so that there isn’t direct ground contact.
Always Keep It Outside – Firewood should never be brought indoors. This includes the garage and basement.
Never Stack Wood Against the House – This will give bugs a direct path to your home and can lead to an infestation.
How to Make Sure Bugs Don’t Come in with the Wood
Don’t Bring Wood in Until You’re Ready for a Fire – Some insects like wood borer beetles will actually work their way into the firewood as larvae. They have been known to emerge from the wood as adults after being brought indoors.
Restack Wood Every Now and Then – When wood sits around for extended periods of time bugs are more likely to set up shop. Termites and carpenter ants in particular tend to target wood that doesn’t get disturbed. This can be avoided by regularly restacking the wood. It’s also a good idea to restack anytime you pick up new wood so that the oldest wood stays on top where it will get used first.
Inspect the Wood Before Bringing it Inside – Give each piece of wood a good once over, even if it’s going directly in the fireplace. Look for small holes where insects have burrowed in and mud from the tunnels that termites form. It’s also a good idea to knock the pieces of firewood together to shake loose or dislodge bugs that may be hiding inside.
A good pest control company can help you keep your yard and home bug-free without adversely affecting your firewood, which should never be sprayed with pesticides. Instead companies like Vulcan Termite & Pest Control can strategically treat different areas so that the bugs don’t have a chance to get at the firewood in the first place.