How To Keep Your Firewood Supply Termite-Free


How To Keep Your Firewood Supply Termite-Free

While most homeowners are concerned about termites and the possibility of an infestation, they often tend to overlook their firewood when trying to keep termites away from their house. Part of the reason for this is that many homeowners who have a fireplace or wood-burning stove just don't think about the possibility of termites in their firewood, and in many cases even if they do they'll just shrug it off and figure that the wood is just going into the fire anyway so there isn't really much to worry about.

Even those who bring in extra wood to keep nearby so that they can feed the fire without multiple trips don't usually give much thought to termite infestations. To be honest, there isn't really much of a danger of the wood that you bring into your home causing a termite infestation at all. The queen of the colony will still be outside, and they can't begin a new infestation without her. Unfortunately, if you have termites in your firewood then the stray termites that you might bring into your home on pieces of wood are the least of your problems.

Dangers of Firewood Infestation

If you have termites in your firewood, then it means that you have termites on your property. These termites can find their way into your home through a variety of means, including cracks in your basement or unchecked vents in the side of your house. The problem that arises when they begin their infestation in your firewood supply is that the colony will have a very large food supply, meaning that it can grow at exceedingly fast rates. As the colony grows it will begin looking for ways to expand its territory and your home could be a prime target.

Another problem that can arise from having termites in your firewood is that many people stack their firewood up next to their house. If there are any cracks or seams in your bricks or siding, or if you have wood siding or a log house, then you're greatly increasing the chances of those termites finding their way into your home. As they work their way through the firewood it will be no trouble at all for them to continue into your home through any openings that they might find.

Avoiding Pesticides

A lot of people use pesticides of one form or another to combat termites, but if they have infested your firewood then this is pretty much out of the question. Applying pesticides to your firewood and then bringing it into the house to burn can introduce harmful pesticide vapors into the air, even if the pesticides have already dried by the time that you do it. It can make your family and any pets that you have sick, and with some pesticides it may even cause additional health problems down the road.

To make matters worse, applying pesticides to your firewood supply wouldn't actually be effective anyway. Neither chemical nor organic pesticides would be able to penetrate into the wood deeply enough to kill off all of the termites that have infested your woodpile, and the queen who controls the colony will still be underground and safe from the pesticides anyway. The only pesticide treatments that might be effective would be ground spikes placed around your firewood supply, but even with them there is still a small danger of contaminating some of your wood.

Keeping Termites Out of Your Firewood

The best way to keep termites from becoming a problem when they have infested your firewood is to stop the infestation in the first place. Make sure that your firewood supply is several inches away from your home or its foundation, and take the time to create a firewood stack that doesn't have direct contact with the ground. Ideally you should use a piece of tin or other sheet metal as a base for your firewood stack, making sure that the bottom pieces of wood only touch the metal and not the ground itself. Having a metal base with small "walls" to create a shallow box can also be very useful, as it will not only give support to your firewood supply but will also prevent termites or other pests from just crawling over the edge of the sheet.

If you do discover a termite infestation, call an exterminator and have them inspect your home. Once they have completed their inspection, disassemble your firewood stack and re-stack it elsewhere to help root out the infestation. Use a metal sheet or other ground covering as mentioned above to help prevent additional infestations in the future.

Termite Control