It is that time of year again. Chopping and stacking wood fills our fall afternoons. Unfortunately, that wood pile you’ve made may become home to many insects native to Saint Louis and Missouri. Beetles, ants, termites, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, sow bugs, and even the occasional wasp all thoroughly enjoy infesting the firewood that you have painstakingly chopped. So what can you do to avoid bringing all of those bugs inside the house with you? Follow these simple wood storage tips:
Leave the wood outside – I know, you have to bring it in to burn it, but only bring in what you will burn in one day or less and keep it in a small firewood rack next to your fireplace. Carefully inspect wood before you bring it into the house, removing any bugs that you find. Avoid the temptation to stack a week’s worth of wood in your mud room. After a couple of days the insects inside will start to warm up and crawl out.
Stack the wood off of the ground – Stack your piles of firewood at least five to six inches off of the ground. This greatly reduces the number of bugs that will be able to reach and infest your wood. One simple way to achieve this is to use cinder blocks as your base, with boards laid across them to stack on.
Use a wood shed – It is preferable to use a small shed to store your wood in. The garage should only be used if it is not connected to your house. Wood should be stored 20 to 30 feet away from your house.
Allow for plenty of air circulation – Avoid stacking your wood directly against a wall. Having space underneath your wood and both in front and in back of the stack allows air to circulate through and greatly speeds up drying time. Not only does dry wood burn much better, it is much less appealing to most bugs.
Do not treat wood with pesticides – This is perhaps the most important tip on this list. Most insects that infest wood burrow down below the bark, so the pesticide most likely will not kill them. Burning wood that has been treated will release fumes into the air that can be harmful to both you and any pets you might have.
Following these few tips will greatly reduce the risk of bringing in unwanted pest hitchhikers with your wood. Burn your wood in peace this winter, and warm your home, not your local insect population. If you already have a pest problem in the St Louis area, Rottler Pest and Lawn Solutions can help. Call us today, or contact us online to schedule your free inspection.