Insects in your firewood?
There is nothing cosier than a crackling log fire on cold dark day, but have you thought about what you’re bringing in with your firewood?
Some of the bugs and insects that take up home in your firewood stacks are harmless but others can, given the opportunity, cause a fair bit of damage.
How to store firewood
So, how should you store firewood to avoid providing a home for bugs and insect?
Summer Storage: It is recommended to keep your firewood approximately 20 feet from your house – further if you can. This is to prevent whoever may be living in your log piles from wandering into your house in search of food.
Winter Storage: It is rather obvious that firewood needs to be kept dry, so split and stacked in neat piles that are well covered and kept at least 8 inches off the ground (a strong pallet) , and in piles no more than six feet tall.
It is a good idea to store logs in a way that makes it easy to rotate so the oldest, driest logs gets used first.
Who lives in your firewood?
Firewood can provide a home for spiders, carpenter ants, bark beetles and also termites. Most of these hibernate in the winter, but when they are brought indoors, the dry warmth in your home gets them up and active again.
Firewood that has been acquired from trees that have died are more likely to be home to an array of wood boring beetles – it’s their job to invade and dead wood. Once in your home the dryness and warmth causes the larva to think it’s summer and then you have an infestation of adult beetles.
Left to their own devices they will happily move into hardwood floors, furniture, windowsills etc. This can have unhappy and costly consequences for you, so it is best to take precautions.
Bring in just enough firewood for a day or so, and leave the rest stored safely outdoors.
Keep an eye out for “frass” – the fine powdery sawdust stuff that is strong clue to some kind of beetle infestation and also try to be aware of where your logs originated from – in these times of ash-die back we are all aware of how easily disease can be spread.
If you have any doubts or concerns about creatures living in your firewood, take a photo of one and ask you local pest control company to identify it for you.
Enjoy your fire, and don’t forget the marshmallows for toasting.
photo credit: Markusram and osiatynskavia photopin cc
To book a pest control treatment or free advice then please call us at PEST UK: 0330 100 2811 (local rate) or 0800 026 0308 (free from land lines & some mobiles).