A COZY HOLIDAY FIRE CAN MEAN FIREWOOD PESTS
By Chris Williams on November 20, 2017.
With the holidays on the immediate horizon, we’re thinking cozy thoughts of family gatherings complete with a roaring fire. Those thoughts don’t include big black ants, termites, large black beetles, spiders, and other unmentionables that might crawl out of the firewood to join the celebration (see When Pests Come in With the Firewood!).
WHY BUGS LIKE YOUR FIREWOOD PILE
Firewood stacked outside attracts insects and other creatures for several reasons: it provides winter shelter, moist conditions, and if you’re a predator, it also provides prey. Some firewood insects, like termites, wood-boring beetles, or carpenter ants live and tunnel inside the wood, while others seek shelter from the cold under loose bark or under logs. When firewood is brought inside, these creatures slowly warm up and may become active indoors.
There are several things you can do to keep from bringing pests in with the firewood this holiday season:
• Make sure firewood is stacked up off of the ground. Rotate firewood stacks with older wood on top to keep air circulating within the stack. Burn older wood first to keep pest populations from building up in the wood.
• Bring in small amounts of wood, only enough to use at the time. The longer the wood sits inside, the more likely insects will become active. Removing the bark before bringing the wood in will also remove many hidden insects.
“WILL THOSE THINGS INFEST MY HOME?”
This is the number one concern when insects come in with the firewood. The answer is almost always “no.” Insects that bore into firewood will not attack wood in your home – indoor conditions and low wood moisture prevent that. Most firewood insects, spiders, millipedes, sowbugs, and other nuisance pests will die once inside because of the drier indoor air.
Firewood pests usually appear in small numbers, if at all, and move about sluggishly. The best way to get rid of wandering firewood pests is with a vacuum. Never spray firewood with pesticide to kill pests. It’s not necessary and your family has to breathe that air if the treated wood is burned.
For more Colonial tips on how to have a pest-free holiday season, see:
• How to Have a Pest-Free Holiday Season! – Tips From the Pros
• Plan for a Pest-Free Holiday
• Tips to Avoid Insect Pests on Christmas Trees and Greens
• When Thanksgiving Guests Bring Bed Bugs as a Side Dish!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM COLONIAL PEST CONTROL!