How to Properly Store Firewood to Avoid Termites

Firewood is a great source of heat and fuel, but it can also be a breeding ground for termites. Termites are small insects that can cause extensive damage to wooden structures in your home.

To ensure that your firewood remains safe and termite-free, there are a few simple steps you can take to store your wood correctly.

Let’s look at some ways to properly store firewood to avoid termite infestation.

Key Points For Storing Wood Properly

  • Keep your firewood store a few feet away from any structures on your property, including your home.
  • Keep the woodpile at least 10 – 15 inches off the ground.
  • Placing a sheet of metal at the bottom of your firewood stack will keep the bottom pieces from touching the ground.
  • Cover your firewood stack with a tarp or plastic sheeting to keep it dry. Keep the wood covered at all times, even when you are using it, to prevent attracting insects and other pests.
  • Don’t use pesticides on the wood, as this will neither rid of termites nor stop new ones from coming.

Why It’s Important To Store Firewood Properly

Termites thrive on wood, making them a particular problem for homeowners with large piles of firewood stored outdoors.

Unstacked or improperly stacked logs provide the perfect environment for termites – they’re sheltered from the elements, offer plenty of food sources, and have enough room to set up their colonies and reproduce.

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If left unchecked, these colonies can quickly spread throughout your yard and even into your home if the wood is brought indoors.

To prevent a termite infestation and protect your home, it is important to store your firewood correctly. This may involve taking steps such as stacking wood properly, covering the pile with tarps or other protective materials, and keeping the area free of pests like insects and rodents.

How To Prevent Termites In Your Firewood Supply

Fortunately, preventing termite infestations in your firewood supply can be a relatively simple process – all it takes is you adopting some proper storage techniques:

  1. Stack logs off the ground – Stacking logs directly on the ground gives termites easy access to their ideal habitat. Instead, build a platform out of treated lumber or non-porous materials like concrete blocks and stack the logs on top of it. The platform should be at least one foot off the ground and should extend slightly past the edges of the log pile so that no part of it touches the ground directly. 
  2. Keep wood dry – Wet wood attracts moisture-loving pests like carpenter ants and termites; make sure you stack your wood in a dry area away from sprinklers or other sources of water. If possible, cover the pile with a tarp or plastic sheeting during rainstorms or when not in use (but remember to leave plenty of airflow). 
  3. Remove old logs – Old firewood is more likely to attract pests than fresh logs; replace any logs that have been sitting around longer than six months in order to reduce the risk of an infestation developing in your log pile.  
  4. Avoid pesticides – Despite what you may have heard, using pesticides on your firewood will neither kill termites nor prevent new ones from coming. Skip the chemicals and focus on prevention instead.
  5. Use a metal sheet – To make sure that your firewood is not in contact with the ground, place a sheet of metal beneath your log pile. This will also stop any bugs that may be located in the soil from making their way up into your wood pile. 
  6. Cover with a tarp – Finally, be sure to cover your entire stockpile with a tarp or plastic sheeting. This will keep it dry, prevent leaves and other debris from falling into it, and prevent insects from getting in.
  7. Inspect areas of moisture buildup – Though termites thrive in damp environments, they cannot survive for long without access to moisture. As such, it is important to inspect areas of your yard that may be collecting standing water or otherwise retaining too much moisture, and take steps to address any issues found there.
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Does Firewood Attract Termites

Yes, firewood provides termites with an ideal environment for making nests and breeding.

Termites love wood because it’s moist, warm, and easy to burrow into. Stacked near your home, firewood provides quick access to potential nesting sites that allow these pests to move from the woodpile directly into your walls or ceilings without anyone noticing.

Certain types of wood are more prone to attracting termites than others, including pine, cedar, and eucalyptus. These types of wood tend to contain more moisture that attracts termites from afar, while also providing a high-energy source for their colonies as they burrow into the logs.

Hardwoods such as oak, ash, and hickory are less attractive to termites because they contain less moisture. That said, if softwoods are left in damp conditions for extended periods of time (for example, if they’re stored against a home’s foundation or near water sources), then they become much more attractive to these pests.

Final Thoughts

Storing firewood correctly is essential if you want to avoid termite infestations in your home and yard.

By stacking logs off the ground on a treated platform, keeping them dry, replacing old logs regularly, and using insecticides when necessary, you’ll ensure that your firewood remains pest-free all year round.

If you have access to a stockpile of wood or use a tree-cutting service, be sure to take these precautions into consideration before stockpiling wood near your home.