Do You Know What’s in Your Woodpile?
PUBLISHED ON February 4th, 2011
A fireplace or wood stove can be a wonderful, cozy way to heat your home in winter and save on electricity bills. However, the firewood you use to fuel your problem can become a pest control problem if not properly stored.
The woodpile is a common source of home pest infestation, as it makes a highly attractive nesting area for termites, carpenter ants and other wood-destroying insects. If you keep a woodpile for your fireplace and are interested in exercising preventive pest control, consider the following storage guidelines for your firewood:
- Always store your firewood outside – not in the basement or garage – and bring it in as you need it. Once the fire is crackling and the temperature warms up, insects that remain dormant in cold weather can be fooled into thinking it’s spring and begin flying or crawling around your house.
- Buy only as much wood as you will use in a year. Any longer than that, and the risk of a pest infestation increases.
- Never stack firewood against the outside of your house, garage or any other structure. Instead, keep your woodpile away from the exterior walls of your home, preferably 20 feet away. Stack it at least six inches off the ground to prevent it from becoming a hiding place for critters.
- Do not buy or chop non-local firewood, as this can cause the spreading of invasive pests. This goes for camping, as well – leave behind any unused wood.
- Rotate your woodpile, burning the oldest logs first, as this will help prevent pest populations from taking hold.
- If you do find a pest infestation, do not spray the wood with pesticides. This can result in toxic vapors within your home when the wood is burned. Instead, seek the help of a professional pest control service.
By following these guidelines, you can prevent your woodpile from spreading a pest infestation into your home.