There is nothing better than a cozy fire and a beverage of choice on a cold night. Humans have enjoyed it from the bonfires of Samhain, the campfires of our youth, to Burning Man. If you have channeled your inner Paul Bunyan and split a cord of wood, you must now make an important decision -where to stack and store it. Improper storage can lead to a pest infestation of your firewood. Insects could be eating the wood, or just seeking refuge in it. Termites, carpenter ants, and wood borers can all be unwanted guests in firewood. Earwigs, centipedes, millipedes, beetles, cockroaches, stink bugs, scorpions, and spiders can all be squatters as well.  It is best to split and stack wood in the fall, as wood that has started to season will be less attractive to insects in the spring. Be sure to store your wood off the ground, and away from buildings and homes. Stacked wood in a sheltered area is seen as free lodging and nesting areas by rodents. Good air circulation ensures the wood can dry quicker, which means less chance of pest problems. Always inspect pieces before you bring them inside your home, and only bring in small amounts as needed.  This approach can help keep insects outside and prevent larva living within the wood from emerging inside your home. Make sure you rotate your wood – last in, first out. Never treat pest infested wood with pesticides – discard it or burn it outside in a fire pit. Follow these tips and you can stay as snug as a bug in a rug.

Source: UF/IFAS Pest Alert

Note: All images and contents are the property of UF/IFAS.

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