A termite infestation can be a real nightmare. Despite their small size, these pests are capable of causing severe damage to crucial wooden structures in your house – which could cost thousands of dollars to repair. Though many homeowners go through great lengths to keep termites out, there’s one area that a lot of people overlook: the firewood pile. Nothing’s worse than accidentally bringing these pests indoors while trying to get cozy around a warm hearth. To keep your property protected, here are some tips on how to keep termites out of your firewood:
Properly Store the Firewood
Proper firewood storage will keep your logs pest-free and ready to burn. Thankfully, a good setup doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive to implement. To prevent infestations and keep your firewood in good shape, follow these storage tips:
- Move the firewood at least 20 feet away from your house: If the firewood is stacked right next to your home, then termites and other pests will have a direct path indoors. Keep the logs away from your home or any other wooden structures on your property.
- Cover the logs with a tarp or shelter: Termites thrive in damp environments, and they often infest wet wood that is partially rotted. Covering your firewood will not only prevent pests and rot, but it will also ensure your wood supply is dry and easy to burn.
- Elevate the firewood to keep it off of the soil: Any firewood that is sitting directly on the ground is more likely to rot or become infested, especially since termites travel through the soil. Elevate the logs by a couple of inches using a shed or some treated wood boards or place a tarp beneath the stack.
- Place older logs on the top of the stack: When you get a fresh supply of firewood, it may be tempting to just put the new logs at the top of your stack. However, older logs are more susceptible to pests. Try to re-stack your firewood to make the oldest logs most accessible so you burn them first.
Don’t Let the Wood Sit Indoors
A pile of firewood within arm’s reach may be convenient, but a termite infestation is certainly not. If a log sits inside even for just a couple of hours, any insects that are burrowed inside of the wood may wiggle out once they sense the warmth of your home. Termites aren’t the only pest you could accidentally invite indoors, either; from spiders to wasps, there are a variety of little critters that could be hiding in your firewood.
It’s best to keep your firewood away from your house until the minute it’s ready to burn. However, it can also be pretty inconvenient to walk outside on a cold winter night just to grab another log. If you want to keep a supply nearby, place a couple of logs on your porch or garage or anywhere else where wooden structures are out of reach.
Never Use Pesticides
Many homeowners use pesticides to deter termites and other common insects. While this may seem like an effective tactic for preventing pests, pesticides contain chemicals that could release noxious fumes when burned. To avoid potentially serious health consequences, you should never use pesticides or other chemicals on wood that you intend to burn, even in an outdoor pit.
Regularly Check for Signs of Termites
Most people forget about their firewood pile for most of the year, especially during the hot summer months. However, it’s important to catch a termite infestation early on so you can treat it before the colony has a chance to grow or spread. Take a few minutes every couple of weeks to look for these signs of termites:
- Live or dead insects
- Discarded wings
- Holes or damage in your wood
- Piles of frass on the ground
- Mud tubes leading to the wood
If you notice the signs of termites anywhere on your property, call the experts at Eastern Pest Services! Outdoor termite infestations can be stubborn and difficult to deal with, but even the toughest colony is no match for our experienced technicians. By using integrated pest management techniques, we are able to create customized solutions that provide long-term results. And with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can count on us to keep your property termite-free for good.