Tips for Control of Firewood Insects

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Yesterday our blog featured an article about common insects found in firewood. We discussed, what types of insects live in firewood, can insects on firewood damage the home and why you should avoid moving firewood. With cooler temperatures in the Albany area, many homeowners turn to wood stoves and fireplaces as a source of warmth. Today’s post will dive into tips to control and prevent firewood insects.

10 Tips to Control of Firewood Insects:

1. Store firewood away from buildings. Woodpiles should never be stored up against the house or other buildings. Doing so literally invites wood-boring pests (carpenter ants, termites) to take up residence in the structure. It is recommended to store firewood a minimum of three feet away from a structure.

2. Stack firewood 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.

3. Store firewood away from trees. Do not pile wood next to or near living trees as insects from the woodpile, such as bark beetles, can crawl over to the live tree to tunnel beneath its bark and cause severe damage.

4. Never stack firewood indoors. Firewood 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 wildlife or insect pests. Only bring inside firewood you will use.

5. Seasonal tips. New wood that is cut in the summer should be piled in a sunny area and covered; this will help to kill off any insects that are infesting the wood. To further minimize new infestations of spring- or summer-emergent pests, cut wood in late summer to late fall.

6. Practice FIFO: First In/First Out. Use oldest wood first, restacking the pile periodically if it makes it easier to access the older logs. This will help to keep pests at a minimum as you are not allowing infestations to build up. And it will help prevent against carrying infested firewood into your home.

7. Use only local firewood. When untreated firewood is carried from one location to another, it can be carrying non-native insects with it. If it is then piled outdoors, the insects can crawl out from the wood to begin infesting and breeding in new areas. If you do have wood that is not from a local source, it should be burned as soon as possible to kill of any pests within the wood.

8. Eliminate surface pests. Before bringing wood into the house to use in a fire, inspect each log: look them over, shake them, knock them together. Get rid of the pests that are on the surface or beginning to emerge. If using a carrier that's been set on the ground, be sure to check the bottom of it for any insects that may be clinging there. Do not treat wood as this could cause harmful vapors when the wood is burned.

9. Burn firewood immediately when brought indoors. Few insects are active outdoors during the cold winter months; rather they will overwinter in sheltered spots – such as within or between firewood piles. If wood is brought indoors and not burned immediately, the insects can crawl out from the wood into the warmth of your home.

10. Indoor control of firewood pests. Most of the pests that cling to or infest the firewood are more annoyance than they are destructive, so if they do get brought into the home, they can generally be simply swatted, swept, or vacuumed. However, prevention is important, because some wood-boring pests, such as carpenter ants, can come in with your firewood. If you begin to see pests, seek a Ballston Spa pest control company to inspect your home to prevent structural damage.

To learn more about firewood pests and tips to control firewood insects, contact Thomas Pest Services your Albany pest removal experts. Thomas Pest Services serves the local communities of Albany, Schenectady, Colonie, Clifton Park, Ballston Spa, Saratoga, Lake George with third generation experience you can trust!

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