Common Pests That Are Associated With Firewood
February 20, 2017
There is nothing worse than heading outside into the yard or the shed thinking you are going to come across a couple of nice logs for the fire, only to find that they are infested with pests. This is more common than one thinks and it can be hugely frustrating. People try a number of things to prevent this from happening, only to find that the pests have reappeared.
The basic fact is that there are many pests that love feeding on wood. This especially happens in the cold winter months, when they need a place to hide and to find a little warmth. You won’t only find things like beetles and certain types of wasps and bees on the surface of the wood, but they have a nasty way of climbing inside of the wood.
Beetles are commonly associated with firewood. They can survive a long time in the logs. Beetle larvae will cause holes and tunnels in the wood, and this turns into sawdust. It is the larvae that do the bulk of the damage. The drier the wood, the better, because they enjoy a diet which contains less moisture. You will start to detect round holes with fine powder emerging around the inside. As the larvae develops into an adult, they too will lay eggs, so it is a never-ending cycle. It can particularly become severe when the area is not well ventilated.
To prevent beetles from invading your collection of wood that you have prepared over the last couple of months, it is important to start off by reducing the moisture content. Proper ventilation is required. Inspect the wood and make sure that there are no holes that are visible. If you suspect that there are beetles in the area, you can apply a product, which is does not contain chemicals and which helps get rid of them.
The Carpenter ant is another common insect which is found among wood piles. They work in big colonies at night. They will usually hunt for food and other insects in and around the wood, rather than attacking the actual wood itself. They may gather in moist environments and make nests here. Wood will become damaged in a short space of time, especially when there is a large colony working together. They may also do more damage to a wooden shed where there is moisture available on the outside, and it will attract them to the wood.
There are certain types of termites that can gnaw away at your firewood in no time at all. They work in a colony, making things worse. The colony will keep on growing, and this is dangerous when you store your wood next to your home, because they can easily enter into your home and start chewing away at some of the wood, causing havoc. You will start to notice pellets and wings scattered about, which should give you a clue that you have a problem. It is recommended that you use a spray or recommended solution, which is not harmful in order to prevent termites from spreading.
On occasion, you may also come across a couple of spiders, wasps, flies and roaches. Generally, these are not as dangerous and will only last a couple of days. Some of these insects will feed off the more harmful insects. It is a good idea to do an inspection from time to time and make sure that your firewood is in good condition.
Tips to Prevent Insects and Pests from Infesting into Your Firewood
In order to prevent pests that are already in the wood, it is recommended that you buy your firewood locally. A lot of the wood that you get these days has been transported from somewhere else miles away. Make sure you ask about this, before you buy it. When they transport it, it is more common for the wood to be infested by pests that one is not able to take control of. If you are chopping wood on your own, it will be fresh, and this is where you are more likely to come across most of these pests. It is essential that you take it out of the forest as soon as possible, and get it dried out. Do this in the summer months.
When you are sorting through your wood, make sure that you throw the rotten logs away. These are the ones where a lot of the pests like to head towards, especially the carpenter ants.
It may seem like an easy enough solution simply to buy a product that is advertised on the market in order to kill off all these pests. Of course, this can help prevent any further buildup of insects that are going to develop in the future. However, one has to be weary of chemical products. Nobody wants their health to be affected when you light your next fire and you are exposed to roaring toxic fumes.
Knowing where you are going to store your wood is essential. Avoid a garage or a shed which is susceptible to leaks. The best place is outside of the home, where it is protected by a roof or covering. Don’t store the wood against a wall because this is where there is space for pests to creep in and for moisture to develop. Firewood should preferably be raised above ground level so that it is elevated.