In the colder months of the year, fires become a necessity. They can help quickly warm up the house without raising the cost of your heating bill. However, sometimes pests like to hang out in these woodpiles and join the party. Once inside or simply closer to your home, carpenter ants can cause quite the problem. Consider these tips to keep carpenter ants away from your firewood.
Why carpenter ants like firewood
This pest is a big fan of wood. They prefer natural, damp wood that they can gnaw through to help make their homes in, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln noted. Normally, they follow the grain of the wood and create small avenues where the colony can hang out and build several nests. In the winter they normally hibernate, but if the season is warmer, or has significant amounts of precipitation, the ants will come out earlier. However, people are unaware of these burrowing ants and will bring the firewood into the house to be burned. Yet these ants are smart and won't be burned with the wood. Instead, they'll crawl out of the wood and make a warmer home for themselves somewhere else inside your house. These ants are incredibly destructive if given the opportunity, and usually go unseen. However, they are one of the more dangerous common pests as they can cause heavy items, such as a back porch, to collapse due to their deteriorative nature. If you're a big fan of natural fires, it's important to keep these pests out of your home.
Pest control tips
Use these tips to control these menacing pests.
Keep firewood away from the house
Though it can be tempting to place wood up against the house in an attempt to avoid trekking across the snow to retrieve firewood, it may not be the smarter action. Keeping the wood propped up against the house gives ants a good entryway to getting in, where they can nibble at the foundation of your house or try to snack on any type of wooden structure you have attached to your house, the University of Iowa noted. Once this occurs, it may cost a significant amount of money to repair your home and fumigate the ants.
Make sure firewood is dry
Though they may go after it occasionally, carpenter ants are much less likely to take a bite out of dry wood. They would much rather dig into some damp wood, that may even have begun to rot. Though some people know that damp wood only smokes when burned, it may have dried on the outside but still be damp on the inside. Regardless, if you've got a fresh pile of wood, it's important to keep it dry. Place a tarp around the wood, and tie it up in the back to prevent any critters from getting in.