Firewood and Pests

Who doesn’t love a good bonfire in the summer? Anyone with a bonfire pit or a wood burning fireplace in their home usually has a ready pile of firewood on their property. Having a stack of firewood on your property can cause many pest related issues down the line if you’re not storing your firewood properly. Termites cause nearly $5 billion in damages annually alone, not to mention carpenter ants and rodents. With just a few easy steps, you can prevent costly pest damage while enjoying the cozy glow of the bonfire.

Firstly, it is extremely important that all firewood be kept at least 20 – 30 feet away from the exterior of the home. Never store firewood in the garage or basement. By keeping firewood close to the home, you’re providing an easy path for wood eating pests to find their way into your home. Do not let firewood rest on the ground. Keep in on pallets, stone, or bricks. Letting the firewood rest on the ground provides yet another easy and direct way for termites and carpenter ants to infest it.

Keep it covered! By keeping your firewood covered and dry, you are not only making it easier to burn, you’re also discouraging pests from eating their way inside. Normally, pests like termites and carpenter ants enjoy eating and burrowing through wood that is moist or even decaying. They are less inclined to attack your firewood if it is nice and dry. Think of your firewood as a perishable item. Rotate the stack often, burning the oldest wood first. This will prevent a large infestation from building up and will also discourage larger pests, such as rodents, from hiding inside the stack. If you are lighting a fire in an indoor fireplace, only bring in enough wood for that current fire. It may be tempting to cut down on the number of trips you take back and forth from the house, but if any bugs have already taken residence inside the wood, you don’t want to give them any time to escape. The wood should go right from the outdoors to the fire.

If you find out there are termites or carpenter ants inside your firewood already, do not, under any circumstances attempt to treat it with pesticides. Not only will this cause the bugs to just burrow deeper into the wood to escape, but it will cause those harmful chemicals to be released into the air when you do eventually burn the wood.

If you’re concerned an infestation can spread to the house, call your local pest control experts.