A fire in the fireplace is a great way to help take the chill off a winter evening and enhance your home's ambiance, but you may also be inviting wood-infesting pests into your home. While most pests that live in and around firewood will be harmless, a few can cause significant damage to your home or become a nuisance.

A few small steps can help protect your home and family.

  • Begin outside your home with how and where you store firewood.
  • Stack firewood away from the home. Do not stack it against the home, another structure such as a shed or a wood fence. This will help to reduce termite and carpenter ant problems. Also be sure not to store firewood inside your home, where termite, ant, beetle and other firewood insects can easily spread.
  • Stack firewood off the ground to help keep the wood dry and reduce termite and ant infestations. Also, do not stack new wood on top of older wood, which may house an existing termite or carpenter ant colony.
  • Use older wood first because it is most likely to be infested.
  • Use a tarp or other cover to protect and keep firewood dry. Wet wood will be more inviting to pests and can also lead to wood rot. Plus, wet wood obviously won't burn as well. Keep stored wood in a sunny area to help it stay dry.
  • Only bring wood into the home that you expect to use within a day or so. Keep it in a cool area such as on a deck, porch or in a garage prior to use. Pests will become more active when the temperature warms, so storing the wood in a cool area will help keep pest from spreading.
  • Shake and brush off insects, webs, cocoons and other debris before bringing wood into your home.
  • Every time you bring a load of firewood inside this winter, you may be opening the door for wood-infesting insects to make your home their home. Not to worry, though. Most insects brought into the home on firewood are harmless, and their numbers can be greatly reduced by following a few simple steps from the Entomology Department at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.
  • Never treat firewood with insecticides or pesticides. It can produce noxious fumes when burned.

Termites cause $5 billion in damage to homes across the United States, including many in the Washington, D.C. area. We offer termite inspections by highly trained VPMA Certified WDI Inspectors who know how to identify signs of potential damage and infestation by termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees and other wood-destroying insects and organisms. My Pest Pros termite inspections and warranties protect Washington, D.C. area homes including in Fairfax, McLean, Alexandria, Arlington, Washington, D.C., Bethesda and Potomac. Call us today for a free pest inspection and let us protect your home against termites and wood destroying insects.