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Pests In Your Firewood – What Carolina Homeowners Should Know

As we reach the midway point during what has been a typical Carolina winter (70 degrees today, 20 degrees tomorrow) we know that many of our customers and others in our service area enjoy the functionality of a nice wood fire in the fireplace. But what isn’t often considered is that a woodpile (and indeed, bringing wood or storing wood in your home) can be a source of harmful insects and pests that get into your home and can cause all kinds of havoc. So what should you be aware of and what should you do? As your Carolina pest and moisture control experts, Nelon-Cole can offer both expert preventative help and sound advice on steps to keep these common pests out of your home.

termites in your firewood are common for Carolina homes that prefer a wood fireplace

termites in your firewood are common for Carolina homes that prefer a wood fireplace


The majority of insects and pests that are commonly found in and around your woodpile are relatively harmless; they are either seeking a safe place to lie dormant for the winter or simply for food and shelter. However, there are some that deserve recognition, concern, and action as a homeowner. These can include (but are not limited to)

  • Termites

  • Carpenter Ants

  • Carpenter Bees and Wasps

  • Powderpost Beetles

The sound of bees and wasps is never a welcome sound around hour home, but with carpenter bees the potential for property damage is present, too. Additionally, termites, powderpost beetles, and carpenter ants all bore through your homes’ wooden structures, whether to eat the cellulose within in the wood or to make nests. It is estimated that termites alone are responsible for up to $5 billion in property damage to US homes annually.


For woodboring homes in the Carolinas, the above pests can be a real cause for concern. Most readers will be thinking that even if pests are in the wood they are burning then surely the fact that the wood will be burned will kill off any would-be invaders, and for the most part this is correct; pests that have burrowed into wood will likely be destroyed in the fireplace, rendering them harmless.

However, many homeowners have an indoor woodbox, woodpit, or crate to keep firewood close and dry. Others keep firewood close to their fireplace outside on a porch or underneath a tarp, right up against their home. This is an open invitation for invaders to take a nice lunch break on the structure of your home. Not only are you making it easy for common wood pests to have access to your home, but you are also actively giving them a place to gather, feed, and even reproduce – all with easy access to your home. If your woodpile or wood supply is left in a vulnerable state you could develop and contribute to an ongoing pest problem. Consider these solutions to help prevent infestations

  • Keep your firewood off the ground and covered. Woodpiles left directly on the ground are perfect for attracting carpenter ants and termites that live in the soil beneath. Keeping your woodpile stored in a rack off the ground will reduce your chances of developing an infestation.

  • Keep your firewood at a reasonable distance from your home Your woodpile should not be left resting against the side of your home. The further away you store it, the less likely your home will become infested.

  • Burn older wood first: When you take wood inside to start a fire, make sure you pick the older logs to burn first. Older logs are more likely to be infested, but if you get them into your home and burn them quickly, the pests shouldn’t spread around your home.

Keep firewood elevated and away from your home

keep firewood off the ground and away from your home if possible

You might be surprised at how often a Nelon-Cole pest control technician will point out a standing woodpile as a possible cause for infestation. If left undiagnosed, such problems can lead to thousands in repairs as destroyed wood has to be replaced, not to mention the health and safety issues that pests can cause to your family inside the home. Knowing the issues specific to homeowners across the Carolinas, Nelon-Cole technicians routinely see this and other pest issues that we point out to homeowners.

Our quarterly pest management plans are an affordable way to protect your most valuable investment – your home – from the damage these pests can do. And we don’t just come out with a spray bottle for 5 minutes and leave – we actively look for issues in and around your home, and take preventative and proactive steps to keep your property safe.

See why Nelon-Cole is the most trusted and awarded name in pest and moisture control services in the Charlotte area and across the Carolinas. Nelon-Cole is the name you know and the name you can trust to get the job done right. Call us at 1-888-7-TheWeb and put our expertise and experience to work for you!

The Best Charlotte and Carolina Pest Control | Nelon-Cole


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