A wood-burning fireplace may be perfect for a chilly fall or winter evening, but it also presents an opportunity for ants and roaches to find their way into your home.
Insects burrow into firewood or hide under bark, and lay dormant until the wood is brought indoors where they welcome the warmth of your home and begin their invasion.
Below are four pest control tips for wood-burning fireplaces that will help you prevent a roach or ant problem during the colder months of the year when your fireplace is in use, and help keep your home pest free.
1) Store Wood Properly: Always store your firewood outdoors; not in the garage, basement or on the porch. It should be kept at least 15-20 feet from your home, and should not be piled up next to trees or other plants. In addition, keep firewood about a foot off the ground or keep it in an enclosed box.
2) Keep Wood Dry: Insects are far less likely to occupy dry wood. Keeping wood elevated off the ground allows air to circulate around it so it dries out quicker. Dry wood also burns more evenly and cleanly. If possible, only use locally cut wood harvested in late fall or winter months; ants and roaches are less active during those months, so it’s less likely for them to burrow into your firewood.
3) Check for Insects: Carefully inspect firewood before bringing it into the house. If you see bugs, simply brush them off away from the rest of the wood pile. Even if you don't see any, it's still a good idea to knock logs and pieces of wood together to jar free any insects that might be hidden from view. As a matter of precaution, DO NOT spray wood with insecticide. Burning wood treated with insecticide could release harmful vapors inside the house.
4) Burn Oldest Wood First: As you restock your firewood supply, be sure to rotate it so that the oldest wood is used before the newer wood. And only bring into the house the wood you intend to burn. Logs and other kindling should never sit on or beside the fireplace overnight.
In addition to these pest control tips, Combat® Ant Baits and Combat® Roach Baits can also be used as precautionary measures by placing them around your firewood storage area, as well as around your home in areas where ants and roaches like to hide.