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Advice on keeping my stacks clean and bug free

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Trilifter7, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. Trilifter7

    Trilifter7 Feeling the Heat

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    I made a walk around my stacks today and noticed a lot of bugs in my piles. I pulled back some loose bark and found a nest of ant eggs in a few pieces as well. Saw a few wood boring bees flying around some stacks as well. What can I do to keep these critters out!!! I'm going to lowes tonight to see if I can find some insect killer I can mix in my pump bottle and spray the stacks down. Do you guys have any suggestions? Maybe I'm being paranoid and as they dry this will be less of a problem... I just don't want to see all my hard work eatin away by bugs!!!

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  2. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

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    Snakes......
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  3. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    They definitely like the wood less as it dries. That's one of the reasons I top-cover my stacks and elevate them off the ground. I get a lot of dead standing wood and when the bark is loose, I knock as much of it off as I can. I don't want to go as far as to mess with chemicals. Probably wouldn't be good for the cat anyway. At any rate, they never eat much of the wood. ==c
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  4. The Beagler

    The Beagler Burning Hunk

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    Probably the best suggestion is: don't worry about them.
    Insects & woodpiles are a way of life. You'll never keep them out & they want eat it all either. The only time I would spray a woodpile is if you have a wasp nest. I was mowing my grass one summer & almost got nailed by a wasp. It's nest was in a small gap just below the top of the wood pile. If I didn't have to mow the grass, I would have left it alone. However, I didn't want to get stung, so one shot of Raid took care of it.
    The wood borers & other bugs I never worry about.
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  5. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    I find that keeping logs high off the ground and in the sun does the best to keep critters our of stacks. After the wood is fully seasoned, most bugs that like to live under the bark disappear.

    by high off the ground, I mean landscape timbers as poles on top of cinder blocks:

    [picture to be added soon]
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I would not spray for bugs in any wood pile. As the wood dries, they will leave. Top cover the wood stacks if you feel the need but for sure no more than the top. We usually do not top cover until just before the snow starts flying. We split and stack normally in March/April. Yes, one can still get a few bugs and millers but this should not warrant spraying. For us, it means don't bring wood into the house until it is needed for the stove. All other wood stays outdoors until needed.

    The bees flying around normally is a sign of the sap being available yet but that goes away usually quite rapidly. Same goes for the ants. When we stack, we lay down some saplings so the wood piles are from 3-6" off the ground. We have stacked directly on the ground and this can cause some ants to take up occupation so is not recommended but as stated, we have done it in the past and know of many who continue to do this every year.
    ScotO and TreePointer like this.
  7. Trilifter7

    Trilifter7 Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks for the replies guys. I was hoping I was just being paranoid but I wanted to make sure. I have all my wood stacked off the ground on pallets and I kill all the grass around the piles so nothing is growing up into them. I've been laying loose bark on the ground as cover as well. Sounds like a should be good.
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I know a lot of folks kill the grass by the wood stacks. I've never worried about that at all.
  9. Trilifter7

    Trilifter7 Feeling the Heat

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    I mainly do it for the looks. I like the clean look but I hate weed eating so I spray everything! Lol
  10. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    I notice that I do not have a bug problem with my split and stacked wood, it is in the complete sun and gets a lot of wind on it. My rounds that are waiting to be split do get alot of bugs, but they are in a shady area near some evergreens, so lots of bugs there. Plus the last few scrounges, I know that I brought bugs home. I spray around the stacks and rounds, this helps quite a bit, I would not spray the wood, especially if your gonna use it soon, but you have time now to control it. I recommend doyourownpestcontrol.com I got some great stuff on there that works indoors and outdoors. It says even ok for kids and pets. But you can never trust that. Anyways it works great. Good luck.
    Trilifter7 likes this.
  11. Trilifter7

    Trilifter7 Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks Ram, I might still spray around them just for piece of mind. Def not going to spray on them though.
  12. Trilifter7

    Trilifter7 Feeling the Heat

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    One thing I noticed was that the bugs seemed to be the worst in the stacks that I have covered, mainly the ants. That is the oldest and driest wood I have. Prolly still not a problem but something I did notice.
  13. Hills Hoard

    Hills Hoard Minister of Fire

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    i had to once put some ant rid in a few little caps in my wood pile because I scrounged some wood in the dark that was FUULLLLLLLLL of ants....ants in my car, ants in my clothes, ants all over the wood prep area....ants everywhere.....i dont know if it was the ant rid or if the ants just evetually scattered but they were gone the next day

    Ant Rid BOTTLE ONLY sku2218.jpg
  14. mustash29

    mustash29 Feeling the Heat

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    I always keep a good "band" around the house foundation of lawn insect killer. It really helps take care of the creepy crawlers and also helps keep the ticks off the dog. I actually just spread today, and threw some down in the wood storage area too.

    When splitting, I keep a can of brake cleaner handy. If you get a chunk full of ants a quick shot drops them instantly. I learned that trick from an old co worker who just retired and burnt wood all his life.
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  15. Hills Hoard

    Hills Hoard Minister of Fire

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    haha....thats potent stuff! They wouldn't stand a chance.
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  16. loadstarken

    loadstarken Member

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    I had a bunch of stupid beetles in my wood pile so I dusted my wood stacks down with DE (diatomaceous earth) which I figure is better than using chemicals.
    So far it has worked out keeping them and other bugs away.

    I bought the DE at a feed store in a 50lb bag for about $15.
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  17. Trilifter7

    Trilifter7 Feeling the Heat

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    That's interesting! I'll keep that in mind.
  18. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Do you see birds near your wood? They eat the bugs, I have birds... They clean up
  19. Trilifter7

    Trilifter7 Feeling the Heat

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    That's a great idea! Never heard of anyone doing that.
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  20. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Or... Put a bird house near by. Give it food, when it runs out, the birds will eat the bugs...
  21. Trilifter7

    Trilifter7 Feeling the Heat

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    I haven't payed much attention but I'll see if I notice them around the stacks. Good point though
  22. Trilifter7

    Trilifter7 Feeling the Heat

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    Could work....
  23. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    I love the pictures of your last post, do the stacks get sunlight early in the day as well as all day? Maybe spray around that big tree that gives shade.
  24. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    +1
    They need moisture, split wood will dry & they will leave ;)

    The bugs that don't are BTUs :)
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  25. Trilifter7

    Trilifter7 Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks Ram! It's been a TON of work but very nice to have it done. My stacks are on the west side of my property in a line going north to south. They pretty much all get sun for a while in the morning then later in the evening. Only the left 3-4 stacks get sun all day. It is also the windiest spot in my yard.
    I picked up some granular as well as chemical insect control tonight so I'm going to spray and spread some stuff around the tree and piles this week and that should take care of it. I've arrived at the fact that the bugs are going to be there and should not really affect much but I'm gonna do what little I can to prevent some from being there. I already mix up weed killer to spray around the stacks so It can't hurt to spray some bug spray around them as well. Once I get that down I think the granular will help keep away some stuff. Might not make much of a difference all said and done but it will give me peace of mind that I tried.

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