4 Icky Critters Lurking In Your Firewood  

Tommy Miles - January 25, 2018

firewood pests

As winter approaches and cool weather sets in, there’s no better way to keep your home warm and comfortable than by lighting up your fireplace. Wood fires bring an old-fashioned charm that modern heating can’t match, not to mention a pleasant, smoky smell that fills the house. But they also require bringing wood into your house. Depending on where you got it, firewood can harbor some unpleasant and unsanitary bugs. By taking it inside, you risk carrying these firewood pests into your home. Thus the next time you’re gathering wood, watch out for:

Powderpost Beetles

The most common type of insect to appear in firewood. Powederpost beetles lay eggs in the wood; the larvae then hatch and tunnel their way out, leaving small holes and a cover of dust. Powderpost beetles tend not to be a threat to wood floors and walls, provided that you varnish and sand those surfaces regularly. But they can infest your furniture, so avoid storing firewood anywhere near furnishings that contain significant amounts of wood.

Wood Cockroaches

This is a dark brown cockroach that is common along much of the East Coast. These insects take shelter in wood and will spread through your home if you bring that wood inside. Luckily, they are relatively easy to deal with. Simply keep an eye on the wood and swat any that emerge before they have a chance to get into your things. Even if you miss a few, they won’t be able to last long indoors. So there’s little risk of them multiplying and infesting your home for the long haul.

Carpenter Ants

Among the most serious firewood pests you can bring into your home, carpenter ants burrow into wood to make their nests. Once inside, they can easily spread from firewood into wooden walls and floors, tunneling into it and causing serious structural damage. They can only survive in wood that has significant amounts of moisture in it. So you can minimize the risk of an infestation by only bringing wood inside if it is completely dry. You should also keep standing water and moist objects away from the wood once it is indoors.

Termites

Like carpenter ants, termites tunnel into the wood in your home, creating structural issues. And as with the ants, you can keep the risk to a minimum by only bringing dry wood inside and keeping it separate from moisture sources. Termite control also requires being careful about how you store wood outside. Avoid stacking firewood against the side of your house, as this will attract termites.

For more information on insect control for firewood and all other activities, contact Clark Pest Control today.

Where Do Pests Go In The Winter? Hint: It’s Not As Far As You’d Like  

Tommy Miles - January 11, 2018

Winter Pests

With fall fading into winter and temperatures on their way down, you might assume that you’ll get a break from winter pest control. It’s during summer and spring, after all, that bugs have the heat and moisture to come out in full force, so it makes sense to think of winter as a reprieve.

While it is true that insects must take shelter from the cold, that doesn’t mean you’ll be free of them. It all depends on where they seek that shelter. Odds are, it’s not as far away as you think. As winter approaches, look out for pests in your:

Home

The worst possible place where pests could go is also one of their prime targets. Not only is your home warm, but it contains ample moisture and food. Combined with the fact that it provides cover from harsh weather, your house is vulnerable to:

  • Ants– Ants come into your house in search of food and then stay for the warmth and shelter. Some varieties of ants, such as carpenter ants, can also infest firewood. You’ll bring them in when you carry that wood indoors. These insects are always a health issue, and carpenter ants specifically threaten the structure of your house.
  • Cockroaches– As an insect that is suited for tropical environments, cockroaches are especially attracted to the heat of your house. They share with carpenter ants a tendency to seek shelter in wood, so more of them may end up in your home if you bring firewood inside.
  • Cluster Flies– A type of fly that seeks tight, remote spaces, this insect is hard to remove from your house once it is established. You’ll likely find them hovering around the windows of rooms you rarely use.

Besides insect pests, winter weather can send mice and rats into your house. These rodents are a serious health and comfort risk in themselves. They often bring fleas and other insects into your house, making bug problems worse.

Wood Piles

In addition to entering your house, insects and other pests can find shelter by burrowing into piles of wood. Carpenter ants and termites are particularly likely to do this, as they are suited specifically for life in wood. Cockroaches, moths, and flies also sometimes see wood piles as suitable places to lay their eggs.

Even if you never bring wood directly into your house, it can still harm your home and your quality of life. If you pile wood next to your house, for example, termites and carpenter ants will have an easy time spreading from such piles into the building. Thus if you need to store large piles of wood, make sure to place them somewhere as far from your home as possible.

Clark Pest Control is committed to eliminating every variety of pest in South Carolina. For more information on keeping your home pest-free during the winter and throughout the year, visit our website today.