Your fireplace not only sets the right ambiance for romantic evenings. It can also add value to your property as potential buyers consider this feature a pleasing and functional one; it enhances the overall style of a home and keeps it comfortable during winter. And an essential part of your fireplace is the firewood, which might come with a few, nasty surprises: bugs.
Firewood is Home to Bugs
Some bugs or insects can live in firewood. Among them are the long horned beetle larvae, bark and ambrosia beetles, horntail wasps, carpenter ants, pillbugs, sowbugs, termites, and bark lice, to name a few. The kind of bugs you get will depend on the firewood. With dry firewood, you will generally get carpenter bees and horntail wasps. With damp firewood, you might get sowbugs and bark lice.
While bugs in firewood might not damage your home, it might be unsettling to have a few wasps come out or centipedes crawl out when you’re about to make a fire. Also, you may have to spend your time swatting and vacuuming bugs out of some rooms, instead of sitting before a roaring fire.
So it’s best to keep the bugs outdoors, where they belong, and the firewood indoors, where you can sit and enjoy the warmth.
Keeping Bugs Out
The main thing to remember is to not use pesticides on firewood. When you burn chemically treated firewood, you may be exposed to toxic fumes. So do not spray your firewood with pesticide.
Here are safer ways to keep the bugs out of your firewood:
- Keep firewood dry. Dry logs become unattractive places to live in for bugs. Store your firewood properly, off the ground and with enough airflow beneath the pile. This will reduce, if not prevent, moisture.
- Keep firewood away from trees. Some bugs may migrate to your trees. Bark beetles in firewood may tunnel their way into the live tree and damage it.
- Always use the old wood over the new cut wood. This will prevent pest buildup in wood piles.
- Cover up new cut wood and place them in the sunniest area of your property. This helps to kill off any bugs living in the firewood.
- Never store firewood indoors. A pile of logs could attract other pests like rodents.
As a last bit of advice, always get your firewood locally. Locally sourced firewood prevents the infestation of insects from other areas. Insects or bugs from other areas can damage native trees, affecting an ecosystem. So when you’re going on a camping trip, get firewood from local sources. Never bring your own.