Every time we bring firewood into our home, we may also be bringing in some insect along with the firewood. There are so many insect (arthropods) that inhabit in firewood. The good news is that most of the insect are harmless insect, i.e. they don’t pose any danger to human, they feed directly from the woods or they are nesting in these woods.
The best way to avoid these insect from entering one’s home and causing a nuisance is to leave the firewood outside your home until you are ready to burn them or use them. Attempting to use insecticides or pesticides on these woods might not be effective as the insecticide would not get deeply into the wood to kill the insects. In fact, I strongly advise against the use of insecticide on woods you’d be using in your homes because by the time you burn these woods, it can be hazardous and poison the air around your home which can be fatal. Whenever you suspect that an infested wood has been brought into your home and the insect are spreading, you should immediately call a local pest control service to manage the situation.
Insects That Can Be Found In The Firewood
- Termite: These insects mainly feed on woods that are piled up against each other. They form Mud tunnels just outside of the pile of woods and it is usually a gallery of these mud lines. The Queen of the termites stays in the main tunnel while the workers are the ones that burrow into the wood and feed off it. One should know that this insect would not create a new nest in homes unless there is a pile of wood nearby so it is advisable to move your pile far away from your home as possible.
- Carpenter ants: Carpenter ants do not feed on woods instead they make their nesting in this wood. They basically prefer woods that are moist for a long period. They form their hollow galleries too just like the termites but unlike the termite, their gallery is smooth and they go with the grain of the wood. The best way to avoid insect infestation is not to stack woods on the ground.
- Long horned Beetle: These beetles are attracted to freshly cut woods or dry woods. Their females go to the bark of recently felled tree to lay their eggs, after laying the egg, the larva formed burrow into the wood for about 1 – 3 years (the hole they burrow are usually the size of the head of a pencil), and these hole is packed with coarse dust. They get their name from the size of their horn which is about one and the half inch long.
- Metallic wood-boring beetle: This beetle is similar to the long horned beetle in that after laying their eggs, their larva burrow into the wood, and then the adult emerge from the hole after some extended period. The adult metallic wood-boring beetle has short antennae, with a metallic cover and is bullet shaped, this helps for easy burrowing.
- Bark beetle: The bark beetle often attack dry or dead trees and for this reason, they are mostly found in these trees, they are very tiny usually about 1/8 inch in length and they attack these dying or dead in groups, so in one dying tree, there can be hundreds of thousands of them and when they come into one’s home and start infesting, we won’t like the result, they crawl out of the wood and into your pillows or hidden corners of your furniture. It is best you treat these woods properly before you use them.
A few other types of pests that can be found are wood roaches, rodents and more.
How To Prevent Insects In Your Stored Firewood
First and foremost, you need to dry your woods as soon as possible, because the drier the wood, the harder it would be for the insect to burrow into the wood.
You should harvest your trees during winter; this is when these insects and beetles are less active.
You should immediately evacuate the woods you cut because the insect like to infest these logs and you should cut the firewood into smaller bits because the more surface exposed to the atmosphere, the faster they dry.
Firewood should be covered to keep moist out, and they should be stored off the ground. When storing you should keep in mind that it need air for easy and quick drying.
Avoid treating woods with pesticides. Most of these insects and beetles burrow way deep into the firewood and the pesticide would have little effect on them and like I have said earlier on burning this firewood already sprayed with pesticide can cause toxic fumes and are often hazardous to the human health.
Avoid moving firewood or avoid getting firewood from another place except your local source: Firewood from another place could be harboring some of these beetles and they can multiply in a very short period time. Some experts even recommend that one shouldn’t get firewood from places farther than 50 miles from where you live or want to camp, so if you are planning a camping trip away from home, you should not bother coming with your own firewood, and you should get firewood from a local store nearby the camping spot.
Alliance Pest Services has pest and insect programs to ensure that your home, condo, apartment, office and buildings are pest free.