Well, we certainly are grateful this season if we have the warmth and beauty of a log burning fireplace. Here in the north Pittsburgh suburbs many of us have one or more wood burning fireplaces. This week our fireplaces are getting lots of use. Wood is a wonderful thing. You can make a home with it, burn it for warmth, use it for furniture and crafts… and possibly end up watching in horror as it becomes invested with vermin that share your love of tree-based products.
Today, we’re going to tell you about some of the pest species that might take an interest in your firewood and other wood materials, the problems they cause, and how to protect your house, belongings, and family from them all year long. Follow these guidelines and make sure you keep the wood loving pests outside in the cold and not inside by hearth and home.
What wood loving pests are attracted to wood?
Termites are infamous for breeding and eating rapidly – so much so that they can quickly devastate wood-based structures.
The National Pest Management Association estimates that these voracious vermin cause over $5 billion in damage to American homes every year – a cost that isn’t covered by insurance.
The damage to a single building can cost thousands of dollars, especially if the infestation goes untreated for a long time. A termite queen can produce 30,000 eggs per day, so the colony can grow very quickly if left unchecked!
- Carpenter ants.
These ants are named after their tendency to excavate wood in order to build their nests. Like termites, they’re known for carving tunnels in buildings, support beams, and other structures made of wood, which can weaken the structural integrity of your house and necessitate costly repairs.
Mice aren’t fond of the cold, so while they’re happy to hide in your outdoor firewood stack during the summer, they will likely spread from the pile to your house during the winter months.
Once inside, they eat your food, gnaw holes in your walls and belongings, create smudge marks where they travel, and leave droppings almost everywhere they go.
Even worse, they’ve been known to chew the insulation off of the wiring in walls, which can allow the hot wires to touch the flammable materials around them and set the house on fire.
On top of that, they can carry additional unwanted guests into your home, such as fleas, mites, ticks, lice, and a variety of mouse-borne diseases.
Like mice, centipedes tend to hide in firewood piles, and will seek refuge in your home once the weather turns cold. While they aren’t generally dangerous, their bite can be quite painful.
While spiders don’t eat wood, they often lay eggs in it. These eggs are supposed to stay dormant until spring, but if you bring the wood inside, they might mistake your house’s warmth for springtime and hatch, flooding your house with spiders.
To make matters worse, some spiders are venomous, which can be a serious threat to the health of your family – especially to small children and sick or elderly people.
How do I keep wood loving pests out of my house?
The best way to treat infestations in your wood is to avoid getting them in the first place. Here are a few things you can do to keep your home and firewood pest-free:
- Eliminate sources of moisture, such as standing water, that pests rely on to stay hydrated.
- Keep plants and tree branches from touching your home, so bugs like carpenter ants can’t use them as a bridge to get onto your house.
- Seal all cracks and openings in your foundation, walls and screens, as well as around your windows and doors.
- Place stacked firewood and other clutter well away from the walls of your home, so pests like mice that take shelter in it don’t spread to your house.
- After bringing firewood inside, burn it right away. Don’t leave it for more than 24 hours, to prevent any eggs in it from hatching.
- Store your food in containers with tight-fitting lids, and clean up any spilled food or drink immediately so it won’t attract mice or bugs that like human food.
- Hire a professional pest control service.
Do-it-yourself pest control is often costly, time-consuming and ineffective, and delays in successfully removing a harmful infestation like termites can cost you thousands of dollars in repairs.
By bringing in the experts to get rid of damaging or disease-carrying pests, you can save your bank account, your free time, your health, and your home.
How do I hire Boo’s Bug Stoppers to keep my wood and home pest-free all year long?
If you want to learn more about our comprehensive and affordable year-round service, see our clients’ testimonials, and get the details on our pricing and policy, click here to learn about our pest control maintenance plans.