Do you have a wood burning stove or fireplace and are concerned about the pests in your firewood pile? Since we often field calls from our clients about problems with pests in firewood stacks and those that hitch a ride indoors during the winter season, we thought this would be a good time to remind all of our readers about the steps you can take to protect your home from firewood pests this year.
Your firewood stack is a perfect pest hotel. Inside the stack, smaller rodents and insects are safe from predators and the pile is usually warm and protective. Common pests that can find harborage in a firewood stack include:
- Carpenter ants
- Longhorned beetles
- Wood-boring beetles
- Bark beetles
- Mice and Rats
While it would be impossible to prevent insects from hanging out in your woodpile, it is possible to stop them from using your wood as a way to enter the interior of your home. Here are some prevention tips to follow:
- Keep your woodpile 10-20 feet away from your home to stop insects from infesting a stack placed right up next to your structure.
- Leave the firewood outside until it is to be burned. Bring in only what you need for the day/night. Burn the wood immediately. The reason for this is that insects in firewood stored outdoors generally require several days to warm up in your home before they become active.
- Bang or knock the wood before you bring the pieces inside. Many a mouse has been known to cling to wood while being carried inside!
- Keep the wood off of the ground and stack it loosely to improve airflow and speed drying.
- Use the rule of first in, first out when choosing wood to burn.
- Buy local wood to keep from introducing non-native species.
Have a firewood pest problem? Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll-Free: (800) 313-4733, and visit our website.