Handling Firewood For Pest Prevention: Four Handy Tips

The crackle of a roaring fire brings cozy comfort to your home in the cold winter months, but your firewood can be a source of pests to threaten your home. Stacks of firewood kept outdoors provide shelter for everything from field mice to termites, creating a potential infestation point in your home as the logs are brought indoors. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to secure your firewood and keep it and your home free from pest invaders. Here are some things to keep in mind as you begin stacking firewood for the fall and winter. 

Build Several Small Piles

Large towers of firewood provide more hiding places for rodents and insects to create homes for the cold weather months. Instead of opting for one large pile, create multiple small piles in your yard. This makes it easier to manage the logs, and it can also help prevent piles from rolling onto your feet for added safety. Space the piles several feet away from each other to prevent pests from easily hopping from one pile to the next. Make sure the area around your piles is clear as well. For example, patio furniture placed under covers for the winter can provide shelter, providing more chances for pests to expand to nearby wood.

Keep Logs Away From Your Home

It might be tempting to place your log piles close to the back door of your home for easy access on chilly nights. However, close proximity to your home can make it easier for pests to get indoors. Instead, position the logs a distance from the exterior of your home and garage to create a barrier of space. You may have to walk a few extra steps to grab logs for the fire, but it's worth the extra exercise to prevent mice, spiders, and other pests from potentially invading your home in the winter. Remember that some pests are seeking warmth and shelter from the cold, and your home can be a prime target if it's accessible. 

Use Tarps For Cover

Wet firewood can attract a number of pests. The damp conditions create the perfect home for termites, carpenter ants, and other pests. Using tarps can shield your logs from rain and snow, helping prevent potential infestations. Use straps to tie down the tarps so they stay in place during windy weather, removing them only when you're ready to grab another pile of wood. Remember to check for holes and tears, as you don't want to trap moisture underneath the tarps. You may also want to consider placing each pile on a pallet or two to keep the wood elevated off of the ground. This extra elevation can help prevent pests and moisture from seeping into your stacks. 

Burn Wood Immediately

It may be tempting to keep a stack of wood next to your fireplace so you're always ready to light a fire, but this can give pests hiding in your firewood a chance to spread out into the rest of your home. Burning firewood right away helps reduce the chances of spiders, termites, and other pests invading your home. Be sure to grab each log from your stack individually to prevent mice from hopping a ride into your house. Once a mouse is indoors, it can be tricky to catch and send back outside. 

For more information, contact a pest control company in your area.