Firewood and Pests Archives - Pest End

Category: Firewood and Pests

What to Know about Fireplaces, Chimneys and Pests

We often think about having a cozy fire during the cold winter months. We often envision being curled up with a loved one under a blanket watching a favorite show, reading a book, or just getting lost in the flames’ dance. Unfortunately, the fireplace and the connected chimney are two of the most common places where pests can hide or get caught unexpectedly. Let’s take a look at the pests that are most common, the signs of a fireplace pests, and what you can do to prevent these incidents from happening in the first place. Get back to enjoying your fireplace as soon as possible.

Most Common Fireplace Pests

If you have a fireplace, you know that it can be a welcome place of rest and relaxation in the winter. The same goes for pests! Chimneys and fireplaces are a quiet, safe, and warm place to nest, hideout or, sometimes, get trapped by accident. The most common pests that find their way into fireplaces are:

  • Birds
  • Bats
  • Squirrels
  • Raccoons
  • Rodents

 

Signs of a Fireplace Pest

Many times when there is a pest, (or a family of pests) taking shelter in your fireplace or chimney, there will most definitely be red flags or signs of an infestation. Here are the most common signs that you have someone other than Santa Claus in your chimney.

  • Droppings – All animals leave droppings near or around their nest. If you have a bird, bat, or squirrel living in your chimney, you may notice droppings in and around your fireplace, or even outside your home. The smell alone may key you off to an unwanted visitor.
  • Noises – Many homeowners report hearing scurrying, frantic flapping, or squeaking in the chimney. These noises could be the signs of rodents scurrying around, birds who have gotten trapped frantically trying to find a way out, or the sounds of wildlife making themselves at home in your chimney.
  • Pet Panic! – Many times, the presence of a pest in your chimney or fireplace will be just enough to set off a pet such as a dog or cat to act excitable. Look for those reactions.
  • Tracks – Some pests will venture into your home from the chimney and eat your food, or leave tracks or urine marks. Be on the lookout!

Prevention

One of the best ways to keep pests of all varieties out of your chimney is by shutting the flue after using your fireplace each time. Another method of keeping pests from entering your home via the fireplace is to install a door to your fireplace. If you suspect that you may be harboring pests in your fireplace or chimney, call us at Pest-End Exterminators at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.

Prepare for Summer Pests

Have you been preparing for summer? Got your deck chairs ready?  Is your fire-pit packed with kindling and ready to roast some s’mores? If so, then you probably have done some of the things needed to prepare for summer. But have you considered preparing for the pests that can ruin all your summer outdoor fun?  Some of the most common indoor pests during the summer are ants, stink bugs, and house flies. Let’s review some prevention techniques that you can take so that these pests don’t crash the summer party this year.

  • Carpenter Ants – Carpenter ants reside both outdoors and indoors in moist, decaying or hollow wood. They cut galleries into the wood grain to form their nests and provide passageways for movement from section to section of the nest. They are not eating the wood but rather finding their home in the wood. This activity produces wood shavings mixed with parts of dead ants which provides clues to nesting locations. Since these pests love to reside in homes it is important to control the access points to your home. Follow any ant trails you discover back to their source and be sure to seal or caulk any holes you notice. In addition, store firewood as far away from buildings as possible, remove nearby tree and shrub stumps and roots, and control moisture levels within your home since carpenter ants are attracted to wet or damp wood conditions.
  • Stink Bugs – Stink bugs get their name from the strong stench that they emit when crushed or agitated. Due to this stink bugs can be a malodorous problem inside homes. Locate and seal off the openings where these insects gain access. Typically, stink bugs will emerge from cracks under or behind baseboards, around window and door trims, and around exhaust fans or lights in ceilings. Call an exterminator if you notice these pests in your home because they tend to revisit the same homes over and over again.
  • House Flies – While house flies may seem like just a nuisance bug that gets in your home when a door or window is left open, they can be dangerous in that they transmit at least 65 diseases to humans, including typhoid fever, dysentery, cholera, poliomyelitis, yaws, anthrax, tularemia, leprosy and tuberculosis. Flies regurgitate and excrete wherever they come to rest and thereby mechanically transmit disease organisms. There are four basic principles of pest management important in controlling house flies: sanitation, exclusion, non-chemical measures, and chemical methods. Sanitation includes keeping their food sources to a minimum. This includes garbage cans, fecal matter from pets and moist areas around your home. Keep these areas clean. Exclusion means keeping flies out of your home using screens, calk or closing entrances to the home. Chemical and non-chemical methods can be used by professional pest control companies like Pest-End who know where and when to safety treat for these insects.

Control Firewood Pests

Crisp air, early morning frost and the spectacular color show that trees put on are just a few of the wonderful aspects of Autumn. It is the season to start up the wood stove or burn a nice fire by the hearth each night.  Who doesn’t love the smell, warmth and coziness of a wood burning stove or fireplace? Unfortunately with the firewood that is brought in for the fire can harbor a number of household pests. Here are some simple tips to avoid bringing pests into your home via firewood.  

  1. Wood Storage Correct placement of firewood in your yard is critical to avoiding infestation of pests.  Woodpiles should never be stored up against the house or other buildings. Firewood should also not be stacked near trees that could attract wood boring insects such as beetles.  In addition to staying away from structures and trees, it is important to stack wood up off the ground. Concrete blocks, bricks, or firewood grates can be used to keep the wood from directly contacting the ground. Maintaining airflow beneath the pile helps reduce moisture problems which attract insects.

  1. No firewood storage in the houseFirewood should not be stored within any area of any building – in the home, basement, or garage. Insects can emerge to take up residence within the structure, and the firewood pile can also provide attractive harborage for rodents or other pests. As soon as wood is taken into the home burn it to be sure pests are not given a chance to take up residence in the structure.  

  1. Wood Usage – Practice a policy of first in first out.  Pests will be kept to a minimum if you use oldest wood first.  The stacking and re stacking will make it easier to get to older wood as well as discourage pests to take up residence.  

  1. Use local wood – Non-native insects can be transported to a new area if local wood is not utilized.