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Top Tips for Control of Firewood Pests

If you’ve ever had the experience of starting to use your wood burning fireplace when cold weather arrives and then before long noticing your room – or home – is crawling with insects, your firewood may be to blame. Or, more accurately, you may be to blame for not knowing how to control firewood pests.

All kinds of bugs and insects like to hang out in a stack of firewood. The pests include termites, carpenter ants, pill bugs, bark lice, sow bugs, centipedes and millipedes. As the person who stores and brings in the firewood, it’s your job to keep the bugs away. Here’s how.

Maintain a distance between the wood pile and the house

Wood-boring insects such as termites can easily start eating into any wooden part of your home if their wood-pile home is right next to the house.

Firewood tips for a wood burning fireplace in Madison WIStack logs off the ground

Use a grate or pallet or some other structure to keep the log stack off the damp ground, where moisture will get into the bottom logs and attract all manner of insects.

Don’t store firewood indoors

This is just basic common sense and includes not just houses but also garages, workshops and anywhere people inhabit. It doesn’t take long for curious bugs and insects to leave the logs and go exploring and end up getting into everything. Your practice should be to bring logs in and put them directly into the fireplace for burning.

When wood should be cut

The longer wood is outside, the more likely it will attract pests. Ideally, use wood cut in the late fall, and exhaust the current supply before buying more wood. If you have spring-cut logs, stack them covered in a sunny area to kill off some or all infesting insects.

Rotate stock

Never stack new wood on top of old wood. The idea is to always use the oldest wood first. Having two smaller stacks rather than a single big one might make this easier: when one stack is depleted, start in on the other stack and then re-stock the first one.

Get rid of bugs before bringing in the wood

You can do this by banging logs together to dislodge the insects. This will knock many of them off. You also can use a non-flammable “green” pesticide to kill pests.

wood burning fireplace in Middleton WIIf they’re in your house

If more than a few insects have found their way from logs into other areas of your home, you can vacuum, spray or swat them. In severe cases, an exterminator might be a smart move, because then you know the bugs will be dead and new bugs will be discouraged from roaming the house.

Keep away from trees

Firewood pests can affect more than your home. If your log stack is near trees and bugs such as bark beetles are damaging them, move the stack somewhere else. Bark beetles can cause severe damage to a tree.

By thinking proactively, you can do quite a bit to prevent unwanted firewood pests from entering your home. Use these tips here to achieve success.

Chimney Specialists of Highland, WI believes owning and running a fireplace should be enjoyable and rewarding. If you need help with things other than bug-prevention – such as chimney cleaning, chimney repair or professional chimney inspection, we’re standing by.

Chimney Specialists Inc.

869 Main Street, Highland, WI

Phone – (608) 929-4887 / Toll Free (800) 395-6660

Dubuque Fireplace & Patio

925 Century Drive, Dubuque, Iowa

Phone – (563) 582-5156

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