Hitchhiking Pests: How to Prevent Pests From Entering Your Home on Firewood
While you might think firewood can’t invite pests into your home, it’s unfortunately true. Many pests, such as termites and carpenter ants, make their homes in or on firewood.
When the winter season rolls around and you’re looking for fuel to put on your fire, you might give them a free ride when you bring that firewood into your home. From there, they spread to the rest of your home, and before you know it, the health of your family—and possibly even the integrity of the construction itself—is compromised.
These hitchhiking pests can be dangerous, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Clegg’s Pest Control wants to help you prevent a disaster, or if an infestation has already been identified, shut down the invading pest before matters get worse. In this article, we’ll help you identify a few major firewood pests in North Carolina and include tips for control of firewood pests.
What Are the Most Common Hitchhiking Pests?
Our first course of action is to clarify the threat and how it can directly impact you. Let’s identify three of the possible pests you could accidentally take home.
Although termites don’t necessarily live in firewood, especially for the long term, they’ll spend much time foraging for the cellulose found in wood, as that’s their primary source of sustenance. During these periods, you’ll likely catch pests hitchhiking a ride with you.
Termites might appear similar to ants but with an off-white color body, darker heads (usually brownish red), and ringed abdomens. They burrow into soil and other decaying plant material.
Most species of wood-boring beetle are under a quarter-inch in length, with six legs, a dark brown color, and two antennae.
Of the firewood pests in North Carolina, this one is especially troublesome. Wood-boring beetles carve tunnels that compromise the structure of the wood they eat and can cause significant damage. Hardwood flooring, interior trim, sills, and support beams are common feeding grounds for a hungry wood-boring beetle. If left unchecked, they can make your home unsafe, or at the very least, they can significantly reduce the resale value.
This firewood pest can vary in size, from very small up to half an inch in length. Workers are most commonly black with bent antennae and narrow waists.
Like other pests listed, you’ll likely find carpenter ants on firewood. However, unlike termites, carpenter ants don’t eat the wood. They simply carve it out so they can make it into their home. This can destroy your house, and at worst, result in a required teardown of the entire building.
How To Prevent Pests From Entering Your Home
Preventing hitchhiking pests is easy if you take just a few critical precautions against them. Below are a few tips and tricks to avoid hitchhiking pests from entering your home.
Keep Firewood Away From Your House
One of the simplest ways to prevent pests is not to leave firewood inside your home. Find a location nearby where the pests can continue to do their thing, but you still have quick access. We recognize that you’ll probably need to go outside, which isn’t pleasant in the cold months, but we promise it’s better than the alternative.
Use a Tarp
Another simple preventive method is to cover your firewood with a tarp. Doing so can prevent any hangers-on from escaping into the rest of your home and causing chaos.
Utilize Insect Deterrents
Take advantage of the many insect repellents and deterrents available, and spray down the area around your storage space. This will kill the pests already on the wood you’ve gathered, prevent new ones from hopping aboard, or both.
Bring in Only the Amount of Firewood Immediately Needed
Avoid excessive storage of indoor firewood. Keep the rest of your firewood outside so the pests stay outside, too. When needed, bring in only the firewood you need now, and make sure to use it all or return what’s left.
Inform Others in Your Home
None of this matters if you’re the only person in your household who knows the strategy. Take five minutes to inform partners, children, or whoever else of what you should do with firewood and the dangers of going astray from that plan.
Level Up With Clegg’s Pest Control for Firewood Pests
Clegg’s has seen firsthand the damage wood-eating pests can cause. Even if the most dramatic is avoided and the home remains intact, a substantial amount of structural damage still reduces the market value by leaps and bounds. The damage they do is not always irreversible, but it can be costly. If you take the time to prevent an infestation before it can take root, you’ll be much happier in the long run.
If you need professional support to exterminate a firewood pest problem or prevent hitchhiking pests from taking over, we encourage you to reach out to our team of professionals. We call North Carolina our home, so we’re familiar with handling North Carolina firewood pests, from identification, to fumigation, to preventive follow-ups.