How to Keep Bugs Out of Firewood

It is important to keep bugs out of firewood. Termites infesting your firewood could find their way into your home. To keep bugs out of firewood, prevention is your best option. Store firewood properly and you will protect the wood and your house from ants, termites, beetles and other invasive bugs.

Things You'll Need

  • Two pieces of wood (2 inches thick, 4 inches wide, 8 feet long)
  • Four cement blocks
  • Dark polyurethane plastic

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Harvest living trees during the late fall or early spring, which allows the cut wood to dry before the winter and spring. Bugs, such as wood-boring beetles, are in the inactive development stage during those months. Firewood from dead trees is more likely to have diseases and infestations of bugs such as bark beetles.

Remove the logs from the woods and split the wood as soon as possible. Wood that is not spilt with the bark intact is very attractive to wood-destroying bugs. The split wood should measure less than eight inches in diameter and less than four feet long. Once the wood is split into smaller pieces, the quicker it will dry, becoming less desirable for bugs.

Determine the location where you will store your firewood. Find a level spot outdoors in an open area that is as far away from your home as practical.

Set up your cement blocks and pieces of wood to create a simple storage rack. Stack the firewood in loose piles on top of the two-by-fours. Allow an air gap of at least 10 inches between the ground and the firewood.

Cover your firewood with a large sheet of dark polyurethane plastic. Not only will this keep your wood dry, but it also will kill various stages of insects during the summer, as the area under the plastic will build up heat and evaporate the moisture needed for the bugs to survive. Ventilate the plastic cover if water vapor collects on top from the green, unseasoned wood.

Bring only enough firewood into your home to be burned immediately. You may stack pieces closer to your home when the cold weather arrives, as long as your stack is on a rack, patio or deck and not on the ground.

Tips & Warnings

  • Inspect firewood during the summer months for active bug infestations and move or restack your firewood if necessary.
  • Burn older wood first and try not to carry over large quantities of firewood from season to season.
  • Do not treat firewood with any pesticide. Burning insecticide-treated firewood indoors can release harmful vapors into the air, causing a potential health hazard.
  • Discard any wood that contains a colony of ants, beetles or termites outdoors away from your house.

References

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