1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Avoiding Termites

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Catfish Cleatus, Apr 6, 2013.

  1. Catfish Cleatus

    Catfish Cleatus New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Messages:
    11
    Loc:
    New Jersey
    I'm dealing with a small yard and don't have a lot of room to put my next stack. It would be on pallets in the open CSS. If it is about 5 feet from the house and I mistakenly bring homw wood with termites can or will they make it to my house? Someone at work said not to stack too close to the house or the termites can make their way into and start damaging the house. Let me know if you have had any experiences with these nasty bugs. Thanks much!

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Messages:
    1,731
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    I don't have any experience with Termites.....but I do not stack the wood close to the house out of fear of Termites, or other critters that like to nest in the stacks. When I bring my burning supply into the garage, each piece gets wire brushed and inspected.
  3. ironworker

    ironworker Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2011
    Messages:
    138
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    Termites only live in wet or green wood and do not live in firewood.
  4. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Messages:
    1,731
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    Will they leave the wood as it seasons ????.....stacks start out green
  5. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    7,116
    Loc:
    N.E. Penna
  6. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,174
    Loc:
    northwest Virginia
    Termites need access to the ground - if your wood is off the ground you should be fine. They build mud tunnels from the ground into the wood that you should be able to see. Dry wood off the ground should be fine.
    ScotO likes this.
  7. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,539
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    I would also stack your wood as far from your wooden structures as possible. I set wood aside that has borer and beetle damage and burn that wood outside. Aka bonfires. lol. You can get a patio firepit. I would not take chances.
    Powder Post beetles are indescriminate and aggressive fliers.
    You could find a pesticide that is available for general use and spray a barrier around house and stacks. April and May is acctive months for wood boring insects.
    I inspect wood carefully if brought inside.
    Beer Belly and Backwoods Savage like this.
  8. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    termite colonies are underground (sub-terrainean). That is where the queen of the colony resides. The workers and soldiers are the ones who venture out and harvest wood pulp for the colony. They cannot live without moisture, hence the reason they build mud tunnels. Bringing firewood home with termites in it shouldn't form into a colony, but I wouldn't bring any wood that's infested with ANY bugs home. Even carpenter ants. That's one of the reasons I split the wood on the jobsite when possible. That always isn't the case, but when I can, that's how I do it.....
    BrianK and Backwoods Savage like this.
  9. Lumber-Jack

    Lumber-Jack Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,892
    Loc:
    Beautiful British Columbia
    If I lived in an area where termites, or any other type of bug, were a problem, I would get some pallets and buy some wood preservative, and saturate the pallets with the preservative and use them to stack the wood on.

    As it is I have a deep layer of drainage rock under my woodshed which keeps my firewood very dry, and no bug problem to speak of.
    I also live on a small lot, and agree with your work mate that it's not a good idea to stack wood against the house, not for long periods of time anyway.
  10. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,523
    Loc:
    SE Mass
    I can walk 25 feet from my house, dig down with my fingers in the top layer of dirt/mulch and find you termites.
    The (few) damaged pine trees they are in have sawdust piles around the base.
    I stack on top of concrete blocks that are either on their sides so they can't build tubes up the hollows or the hollows are filled with concrete and solid.

    Keep the stacks up far enough of the ground to minimize access.

    We also have ticks, so the poison granules get spread around the house, walkways and stacks anyway.

    I've found once wood is cut up into small pieces and split the colonies die out.
    A really badly infested round is usually the equivalent of a punky useless piece of wood anyway, so those splits and rounds get tossed back into the woods to naturally decompose and become future forest floor and nutrient. No reason not to give some back, especially when the opportunity presents itself so obviously and conveniently.

    I've watched the blooms of flying termites in the Spring spew from the ground colonies from pine roots from old stumps, even when the stumps are ground or removed. Quite a few get by the food fest the small birds that eat them are enjoying. They are looking for the same damp environment to call home. Keep the wood off the ground and dry and you'll minimize and likely avoid problems.

    Mice and snakes are another story .........
    !!!
  11. Cutterman

    Cutterman New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2012
    Messages:
    25
    Loc:
    Catskill / Hudson Valley Region, NY
    Ortho make a product that deters / kill termites an carpenter ants. If you are concerned you can purchase this product and spray it around the perimeter of your home (ground and foundation). Since these termites travel underground this stopps them before the gain access to your house. Make sure you follow the label directions if you decide to use it.
  12. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,452
    Loc:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Fortunately PP beetles are only interested in hardwoods, so the framing and siding of most houses is safe from them.
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,815
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Normally it is best to stack wood at least 100 feet from the house.
  14. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Messages:
    732
    Loc:
    Maine
    I am glad I don't have to worry about termites... we have carpenter ants... but for whatever reason, they have left my home alone for nearly a century and a half...
  15. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,452
    Loc:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Oooom-possible for this city boy. I will have to rely on good woodpile hygiene. That, and the fact that my house is covered in bricks.

    That aside, I wonder why termites would move from a nice, juicy, easily-accessible woodpile close to the ground, to a dry house way up on a foundation?
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  16. Riggs

    Riggs Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2013
    Messages:
    91
    Loc:
    Eastern PA
    i don't even chance it....have a local pest control company come out and treat the outside of your house/foundation for carpenter ants/termites...for $150 bucks it's a cheap insurance policy.

    that is unless at some point in the past your house was treated with Chlordane (before late 1980's)...then you're good to for...well, forever :)
  17. hickoryhoarder

    hickoryhoarder New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2013
    Messages:
    35
    Loc:
    Indiana
    I would say the risk of termites in firewood is low, especially hardwood, but I like to get it a good twenty feet away from the house. Once we get frosts, I put a two-month supply four inches from our stone siding, under a big overhang. In places like New Jersey, PA, and Indiana, milder winters have meant more termite problems. These of course primarily affect garages, basements, and crawl spaces -- dark and damp, but it doesn't hurt to be careful with firewood. Termites can be found right under tomato stakes, landscape timbers, and things like that, which sometimes are set next to houses. Very urban settings are in no way immune -- I had my first termite problem in a neighborhood of few trees and row houses.They seemed to start in my neighbor's tomato stakes, ten feet from my foundation.

    My termite inspector says store-bought bark mulch near a house is not a problem, and he's not real concerned with oak firewood. But I tell him I'm keeping his revenues down and stacking it far from the building. The holes I often see in red oak firewood he attributes to a type of beetle larvae.
  18. hickoryhoarder

    hickoryhoarder New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2013
    Messages:
    35
    Loc:
    Indiana
    Thank you, Dennis. I can print this out for my neighbor two houses up the street when I stack in their driveway.
    Bster13, Joful and Backwoods Savage like this.
  19. Hills Hoard

    Hills Hoard Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2013
    Messages:
    634
    Loc:
    Melbourne, Australia
    i brought some scrounge wood home once that ended up being infested with (excuse the aussie terminology here) Piss Ants...apart from this horrible chemical smell, they are harmless...but i had these all through out my car for 3-4 days...horrible...
  20. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,815
    Loc:
    Michigan
    No doubt you have good neighbors and they won't mind. ;lol
    hickoryhoarder likes this.
  21. Wooddust

    Wooddust Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    84
    Loc:
    Missouri
    Tell that to millions of homeowners with termite damage and totally eaten 2x4's
  22. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,963
    Loc:
    southern ontario
    Snakes are your friend in a woodpile....at least non-venomous snakes. Love to see the garter snakes sunning there.
  23. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Messages:
    732
    Loc:
    Maine
    I'm glad I live in an area with ZERO venomous snakes..... But when I lived in KY.... it was always a good idea to smack the woodpile with a long stick to see what came out.... I found more than one copperhead that way....
    hickoryhoarder likes this.
  24. shoot-straight

    shoot-straight Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    295
    Loc:
    Kennedyville, MD
    my processing, stacks and woodshed are WAY away from the house. i get criticizm for this, but i bring load up on a weekly basis to the covered porch and onto a nice high rack.

    i buy bags of the insecticide pellets and dump a heaping portion on the ground under each row of wood i stack in my shed. my rows are on lanscape timbers and off the ground, but its cheap insurance.
  25. ironworker

    ironworker Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2011
    Messages:
    138
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    How are they're homes still up with out 2x4's

Share This Page