Friday, December 30, 2011

Use Caution When Storing Firewood

Another pest control tip from Servall Pest Control:

Fireplaces and wood-burning stoves are very popular ways to heat, creating a demand for firewood.

Although wood, considered a renewable fuel resource, is relatively inexpensive, often readily available and can quickly warm a cold room, it also can serve as a home for certain nuisance insects and their relatives.

Homeowners become alarmed when sawdust is pushed out of the firewood, faint rustling or gnawing noises are heard and insects emerge to crawl or fly within the house.

For the most part, firewood insects are a nuisance by their presence and cause no harm to the home, household furnishings or humans.

Most firewood insects and their relatives are active from April to October. Many round-headed and flat-headed borers complete their life cycle in one year or up to two to four years. Keep in mind, most insects and their relatives found in firewood are considered either wood boring or shelter seeking.

Some adults prefer recently cut logs and others seasoned logs. Bark beetles and ambrosia beetles might have two to three generations per year and often attack weakened, dying and dead trees. Powderpost beetles complete their life cycle in three months to one year.

Powderpost beetles prefer wood that has been cut for several months (seasoned). Carpenter ants and termites prefer damp, moist wood such as old tree stumps and wood in soil contact. Carpenter ants can develop from egg to adult in about two months or up to 10 months in cooler weather. Termite colonies vary in their life cycle with low populations the first year and active, larger colonies in the fourth year. (Termite establishment is slow depending on moisture, temperature and food.)

Tips for storing firewood