What’s Hidden Inside Your Firewood?
December 10, 2019
A warm crackling fire during the cold, dark evenings of winter is a great way to unwind and actually enjoy the weather. Who doesn’t love the smell of the firewood, the snap of the fire, and the almost mesmerizing sight of the burning flames? What many homeowners are not aware of during these idyllic moments is that your firewood may be harboring some unwanted guests…pests. Thankfully there are some steps you can take to ensure that your cozy firelight moments remain open to only those who were invited.
What’s Inside Your Firewood?
The bad news is that there are numerous types of pests that could be hiding out in your wood pile, and thus in your firewood that is carried into your home. One group of critters you will want to watch out for as you bring the wood inside are rodents. Rats and mice find wood stacks to be great places to nest and spend the winter. They are relatively protected from the weather and can be close to food sources. As you choose the wood to burn in your fireplace, inspect each piece to be sure you don’t have a mouse along for the ride.
Beetles are also a common firewood pests. They tend to burrow under the bark and into the wood. We suggest pounding the wood on the driveway or a hard surface before bringing it inside to loosen any pests that may be hiding. Always use the oldest wood first with a “first in first out policy.” That way wood is not sitting around for too long in your pile before it is used.
Carpenter ants and termites also find refuge in stacks of firewood during this time of year. A few taps should jar them loose but also remember to give a good visual inspection before bringing any wood inside.
There are several steps that homeowners can take to safeguard against transferring pests into the home via firewood. As we stated before, use the oldest wood first so that it has less time sitting outside for pests to move in. Secondly, keep your firewood stack at least 15 feet away from your home so not to encourage pests to find safe haven near your structure. Always inspect the wood and tap on it to loosen any pests that may have attached themselves. Finally, buy local wood so you are not shipping in pests from another area that may not be native to our region.
Need help getting rid of pests that entered your home through firewood? Contact our specialists by calling 800.287.4321 or via our website contact page.