Countless homes across the Carolinas utilize a wood-burning fireplace or stove as either a primary or secondary source of heat during the colder months. A wood-burning fireplace gives a certain ‘feel’ and ambiance to a room and can warm up your holiday spirit without equal. While these fireplaces have some significant benefits and advantages, the wood that you burn can inadvertently introduce a litany of creepy crawlers into your home without you realizing it, and significantly increase the chances of damaging infestations. Let's take a look at some of the pests that thrive in winter woodpiles.
This may be one of the more obvious culprits, and certainly one of the most damaging. Termites thrive on wood, and there is no bigger source of wood for them to eat than a huge and easily accessible stack of wood placed neatly near your home. While termites are normally burrowed deeply into the wood and thus are likely to be destroyed by fire, it only takes a few that are at or near the surface to fall off and make their way into your home. Small termites are difficult to see on plain flooring and nearly impossible to spot if they fall into a rug or carpeting. Once they take hold and find their way to wood floors or walls in your home they can be nearly impossible to find and (if left untreated) will eventually surprise you with expensive repair bills.
termites are commonly found in woodpiles in the Carolinas
Another fairly common pest around wood stacks, ants of various species love to find winter shelter here, and can often find their way into your home in the same way as termites. Unlike termites, ants can often be found near the surface of wood pieces, or just underneath loosened bark.
Carpenter ants can be found deeper inside the wood pieces, and like termites can cause significant damage to your home if left unnoticed or untreated. Due to their small size and muted colorings, ants that fall off wood can be hard to spot on both bare floors and in rugs and carpets. While ant infestations can generally be easier to spot than termites (who rarely show their signs until real damage has been done), you nevertheless should show diligence with your pest control measures to prevent unseen damage to wood floors, subflooring, and inside walls.
ants can easily find their way into your home inside firewood
Many species of beetles will try to find cold-weather shelter in woodpiles. Depending on the species found, these beetles may range from mostly harmless to seriously destructive. While larger beetles at or near the surface of the wood can usually be easily seen and removed, others can bore into the wood and be difficult to see. Those that are stuck inside the wood and are unaware of their situation will be killed in your fireplace, but others can (like termites and ants) find their way into your floors and walls. Once there, an infestation can do significant structural damage as any other invasive pest will do, and treatment options can be expensive if an infestation is significant. Such beetles may include longhorn beetles, ground beetles, powderpuff beetles, bark beetles, roundhead beetles, and more.
unlike John, Paul, George, and Ringo, these beetles can be destructive to your home
While these are some of the more common pests that are found in and around stacked woodpiles, there are certainly others that are also commonly found. Such pests include snakes, many species of worms, mice, scorpions (though thankfully not at all common around our region), centipedes, millipedes, crickets, sowbugs, cockroaches, and more. Some of these can be quite easy to spot due to their size, and many will try to run away if their nesting area is disturbed – making a quick exit. But you should be acutely aware of any pests that call these area home; especially as they try to make their way into your own home.
centipedes are an intimidating pest to find around a woodpile for Carolina homeowners
WHAT TO DO
There are several tips for best practices when it comes to keeping wood for the winter.
Try to keep wood stacked neatly and away from close contact with your home
Make an effort to keep your woodpile covered with a waterproof tarp
Try not to store more wood pieces inside your home than necessary
Inspect and ‘shake’ each wood piece before bringing it into your home
Try to keep your woodpile outdoors and raised off the ground
Immediately vacuum the area around your fireplace after starting
Nelon-Cole takes the pest control measures in your home seriously, and our award-winning services are trusted by thousands of homeowners across the Carolinas. In addition to our regular quarterly pest and moisture control inspections and services, we want to make sure you stay reminded of good practices such as these that will help keep your home safe not only in the winter months but also throughout the year. Call us today and speak with an award-winning team member at Nelon-Cole, and find out how our services can help protect your most valuable investment – your home! Call 1-888-7-TheWeb.