The last thing you want to have to deal with this winter is an insect infestation in your home because your firewood wasn’t bug free. In order to keep bugs out of firewood, prevention is key.
Follow These Steps to Keep Bugs Out of Firewood
Step 1: If you’re harvesting your own firewood do so during colder months when insects are less active. November to March is the best time to harvest firewood because insects are less likely to be infesting live wood.
Step 2: Dry your firewood as quickly as possible. Haul it out of the woods quickly after harvesting. If you have to leave your firewood in the woods for a bit cut your logs into sections to help them dry out a little faster.
Once you get home cut your firewood into smaller pieces and split it to your liking. This way more sides of your firewood will be exposed to the air causing it to dry faster.
Step 3: Store your firewood properly. Buy or build a firewood rack to keep your stack raised off of the ground. This allows air to flow beneath your wood helping it to dry even faster. Keep your firewood covered with a heavy, dark material such as polyurethane plastic. This type of plastic will only keep bugs out of firewood but also helps prevent larvae from hatching.
Additional Tips to Keep Bugs Out of Firewood
- Always inspect pieces of firewood before you bring them into your home. Any firewood that is infested should be discarded and never brought inside
- Move your stack after noticing an infestation
- Never treat your firewood with pesticides. Only burn untreated firewood to avoid a potential health hazard by releasing harmful vapors into the air
- Burn last years wood first and only buy firewood for one burning season at a time. This will keep your wood from rotting before you get a chance to use it. Rotting wood attracts bugs
- Only buy local firewood
Signs Firewood is Infected and Types of Firewood Bugs to Watch Out For
There are common types of firewood bugs that you should keep an eye out for. These may vary depending on the area you live in. Look for these signs that your firewood is infested.
Termites: Look for mud tunnels on the surface of infested wood. Termite colonies live in what resemble ant hills. Once inside your home termites can wreak havoc on anything wooden including furniture, walls, floors, and beams.
Powderpost Beetles: Look for small “exit” holes made by these beetles. Exit holes typically have a little saw dust underneath them which may be whitish in color. Identify Powderpost Beetles by their dark brown color and short horns. This type of beetle loves to inflict damage on untreated wood.
Longhorned Beetles: Look for signs of burrowing which often resemble haphazard tracks along wood. Also look for exit holes that are about 3 – 10 mm in diameter. This type of beetle prefers to leave it’s larvae between the wood and bark of the firewood. Longhorned Beetles can be identified by their long horns which extend away from their bodies.
Flathead Borers: These firewood bugs burrow in a similar way to termites by tunneling through wood. They leave exit holes that mimic the letter D or ovals. Identify Flathead borers by their metallic colors and small size.
Taking preventative measures to keep bugs out of firewood can save you time, money, and one heck of a headache. Next time you head outside check out your stack of firewood and stop an infestation in its tracks.