Termites can do serious damage to any home, especially if a part of your home is built with wood. Areas that are prone to having termite infestations tend to treat the wood with chemicals in order to stop the termite infestation. However, even if you often use chemicals to get rid of the termites you will most likely miss a couple of spots, and given enough time the termites can do some serious damage.
If you have termites in your firewood and you want to get rid of them then check the firewood for small holes, split the firewood into smaller pieces, keep the firewood off the ground, don’t stack the firewood next to a wall, throw away any rotten wood, cover the firewood with a tarp after seasoning it, use nematodes to get rid of the termites and not pesticides. Ideally, you should prevent any termites from eating away at your firewood and by far the easiest way to do this is by not storing the firewood directly on the ground.
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The main reason why nobody is recommending to store firewood in the garage or in the house is that once you bring the firewood inside you are increasing the chances of termite and other bug infestations. This is why it is extremely important to check every piece of firewood before bringing it inside the house. The good news is that if you get a piece of firewood that has a couple of termites on it then the odds of an infestation are fairly low.
Most people think that termites live in the wood, this is false, termites live underground and they feed on the wood. If you get a piece of firewood into your house with a couple of termites on it then odds are that they will simply die off as they will not be able to find their way back to their nest. Although in the worst-case situation the termites can find their way back to their nest and you will start seeing more and more termites on your firewood.
Once the termites have found the firewood they will start exploring the area for more wood, and at that point, you will start hearing the termites feeding in the walls. The best way to get rid of termites on the firewood is by never having termites on the firewood in the first place. If you want to store the firewood in your garage then check out my recent article Storing firewood in garage ( In 8 Easy Steps ).
Check the firewood for small holes
Before deciding how to get rid of the termites on the firewood you have to identify it if the firewood is infested by termites. Termites tend to make small round holes in the firewood, although other bugs also tend to do this but termites tend to make a lot of them. So if your firewood looks like swiss cheese then odds are that you have some termites. It is extremely important to check the firewood before getting it into the house, no matter if you have bought the firewood or if you have seasoned it outside.
Even if you have bought the firewood from a store it could still contain a couple of termites. If you store the firewood outside then make sure to check the bottom layer of the firewood which is in direct contact with the ground, usually, these ones will be the first ones destroyed by the termites. If you want to know how you can start a fire without a lighter than check out my recent article How to make fire without a lighter? ( Top 16 Methods ).
Split the firewood into smaller pieces
One of the main reasons why your firewood contains termites is because you have not split the firewood into smaller pieces. Termites tend to love wet or damp wood and they will usually stay away from dry wood. The bigger the piece of firewood is the longer it will take to season and dry off, this gives plenty of time for the termites to start eating away at the firewood. By splitting the firewood into smaller pieces you will allow it to dry off a lot quicker thus reducing the risk of a termite infestation significantly.
Keep the firewood off the ground
As termites live in the ground they will make small tunnels and that is how they find wood to eat. Once one of these tunnels opens up to a steady source of wood like your firewood stack will be then more and more tunnels will appear and sooner or later the entire termite colony will feed on the firewood. By simply eliminating the contact point between the firewood and the ground you are lowering the risk of a termite infestation.
Ideally, you should have as few contact points with the ground and with the firewood as possible. Think of a simple table it has 4 legs, these are the contact points with the ground, if you take off the legs it will have one massive contact point and it is safe to say that termites are less likely to infest the firewood which is on an elevated platform. Some people use a tarp to break the contact with the ground while others use brick or other material.
No matter what you do you should not use wood to break the contact between the ground and the firewood, even if the elevated platform is made out of wood and sprayed with pesticides these pesticides will eventually expire and become ineffective. If your firewood is wet then you can still start a fire with them, for more information check out my recent article How to start a fire with wet wood? ( Fast & Easy ).
Don’t stack the firewood next to a wall
In recent years more and more people have started stacking firewood next to their outside walls. While it might look good this can be extremely damaging to your house in the long run. If you stack the firewood next to a wall then less air will circulate behind the stack of firewood which means that it will take a longer time to dry out and in some cases, it will create an extremely good environment for the termites which love wet wood.
In addition to this, you are giving an easy access route to your house with the firewood stacked next to your house, a small dent or hole in the wall will allow the termites an access point to your house. Even if you have plenty of firewood outside, termites will continuously search for new sources of wood, and once they have identified your home as a good source of wood then you will have to get rid of the termites as fast as possible before they do any serious damage.
Throw away the rotten wood
If you have been seasoning the firewood for 6-12 months already and some of the wood is still damp then you should throw them away. At that point, the wood already started to rot which will invite all kinds of bugs to feed on it. Place the rotten wood into a garbage bag and seal it properly, do not just throw it in your trash as who knows what kind of bugs have laid their eggs in it and the last thing you want is to let them hatch in your home.
On the other hand, you can use the rotten wood for compost, but if you have a problem with termites then you should probably just throw the rotten wood away.
Cover the firewood with a tarp after seasoning it
After the firewood is dry and ready to be used, you should cover it with a tarp. The tarp will protect it from the elements and during the summertime, the heat will be trapped under the tarp and most bugs will simply avoid the area as they do not like the high temperatures and the dry environment. Just keep in mind that rodents tend to love dark areas so you should check the firewood for rat or mice nests. If you are also storing charcoal then check out my recent article Does charcoal go bad? ( Fact or Fiction? ).
Use nematodes to get rid of the termites
If you have a problem with termites infesting your firewood and house as well then you can get rid of them by using nematodes. Nematodes are worm-like creatures that are parasitic, once they find a host they will attack it and lay their eggs in the host. Nematodes are good not only for getting rid of termites but other bugs as well. The good news is that nematodes are harmless to humans and they can be easily bought from any garden supply store.
Don’t use pesticides
If you have termites in your firewood you might be tempted to use pesticides to get rid of them. The problem is that if you spray the firewood with pesticides then sooner or later you will use the same firewood to heat or cook in your home and while the firewood is burning it will release the dangerous chemicals which were in the pesticide. Instead, make a barrier between the ground and the firewood and spray the barrier with pesticides and not the actual firewood.
Termites in firewood are fairly common, no matter if you have just bought the firewood or you season them in your garden. Termites can be a serious pest but with a few preventative measures you can avoid termites getting inside you home and doing any damage. If you are at a point where termites are living in your home then you should call an exterminator before they do too much damage.