How to Keep Firewood Free of Termites

Any time you have a situation where there is wood coming into contact with the ground, you have the potential for termites. Particularly in the south, if that wood is too close to your home, such as you might find in a pile of firewood, the termites will be drawn to the wood and can easily make the move from the pile of firewood to the home itself, where they can cause significant damage. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take that will keep termites away from your wood pile, and consequently, away from your home. While it isn’t always necessary to use chemical poisons to keep termites away from your firewood, If your area is particularly prone to termites, it may be a good idea for you to use chemical deterrents as an additional measure.

Move your current firewood pile and inspect the dirt underneath. If the wood at the bottom of the pile feels suspiciously light, you likely already have a termite infestation in the woodpile. If the problem isn’t with termites, it is in all liklihood carpenter ants, which can be just as destructive. Underneath the woodpile, you will see the holes and tunnels that the ants use to gain access to the firewood from underground. If these tunnels are present, use an ant killer chemical to destroy the nest before proceeding.

Till up the dirt in the area of the wood pile. This will destroy the system of tunnels and allow you to begin to prevent future infestations. Pack the dirt down tightly. If the soil is loose, it will make burrowing in the soil that much easier. When the area is packed down, put a layer of gravel down on top of the dirt to make it difficult for termites to build their sand tunnels up to the firewood pile.

Lay two pieces of 4×4 pressure treated and insect resistant lumber on the ground over the area you packed down. These pieces of lumber should be only as far apart as the length of the firewood. When in place, begin stacking the firewood on top of these pieces of lumber with at least 2 inches of space between each piece. Termites die if they are exposed to light, so allowing a small amount of air space between the logs will help keep them at bay while at the same time helping to season any green wood that you might have in the pile by allowing air to circulate around it more easily. Continue stacking the firewood on top of itself, regularly checking the airspace between each of the pieces to make certain that they are sufficiently open to air space and light.

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