Dealing with Termites in Firewood

Damp looking firewood

According to a survey conducted in 2015, nearly 57% of Ohioans have a fireplace of some kind in their home, and over 89,000 households were heated solely by wood in 2014.

If you own a fireplace and actively use it, you probably already know that you run the risk of getting termites when you bring wood in to burn it, and if you didn’t, you do now. So, how can you tell if you have termites in your firewood?

If you think you have termites in your firewood, carefully inspect individual logs for termite tunnels. If any of your wood has small tunnels in it, you might have just invited drywood termites or carpenter ants into your home.

At this point you can do one of two things, burn the wood or discard it. If you’re going to burn the wood, do not attempt to treat it with chemicals in a bid to remove the termites. Burning down your house with chemical-dosed firewood has the same end result as letting termites burrow through your home’s walls.

In the event of bringing termite/carpenter ant-infested wood into your home, you should definitely call an exterminator and arrange a WDI (Wood-Destroying Insect) inspection. Even if you think you discarded or destroyed the infested firewood in time, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

On the topic of an ounce of prevention, if you want to properly protect your firewood from drywood termites while you are waiting for opportunities to use it, there are two things you should do. 1. Store the wood in a position not directly on top of ground. Subterranean termites live underground, and will burrow upward to get your supply of firewood. 2. Cover your firewood with black plastic. This will help dry the wood and prevent insects from infesting it. If you are covering recently cut wood, poke a few holes in the plastic to keep the air flowing. For more information on how to effectively store firewood, you can read this article here.

If you think you have a termite infestation and live in the Southwest Ohio area, give Empire Termite & Pest Control a call at 513-267-1264, we specialize in termite extermination.

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