Firewood pests

 The following is from  Linn County Master Gardener, Claire Smith:

 

   Are you ready for the cold weather?  It’s been just plain chilly the past few mornings!  Does it make you think it’s time to get wood ready for your fireplace?  Is there a better way to spend a snowy day than with hot chocolate, a great book and a toasty fire? But, beware of bugs!  While the Box Elders and Beetles seemed not as prolific this summer, be careful you’re not transporting a host of other multi-legged critters along with your fire wood.

    Firewood is best kept out of the weather. Store it in your garage, a storage shed, or at the least protected under a roof. Whether you have your firewood delivered or chop your own, it’s a good idea to keep the wood up off of the ground.  Firewood holders with metal legs are wonderful as it is difficult for the insects to crawl up into the wood.  Insects will often seek a moist area to reside, so if a metal holder is not probable, at least use wood pallets to get the wood off the ground allowing it to dry and preventing rotting.

    To minimize the number of insects coming into your home, let the firewood you will use in one or two days set outside in the cold for one or two days prior to moving it inside as insects need a couple of days to warm up before becoming active   Never, never use insecticide on your firewood.  There is really little benefit to treating the wood, plus you create a potentially dangerous situation with vapors emitted into your living room. 

    Long horned beetles, metallic wood-boring beetles and bark beetles attack dead and dying trees.  Pillbugs, centipedes, millipedes and ground beetles are the most common insects found in firewood.  These insects are basically just a nuisance. None are harmful to you or pets so when you  see an occasional insect emerge from the wood in your house simply remove it from the premises, then enjoy the ambiance you’ve created.

 

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