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Mitigating wood boring insects

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by dac122, Oct 16, 2008.

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  1. dac122

    dac122 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    Messages:
    348
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    I have a good friend that is putting in a wood stove for the first time, and will be getting their first delivery of wood this weekend.

    The most convenient and relatively easy to store place to put the wood is in the basement. But we are worried about wood boring insects.

    The basement is not heated and the daytime temps in our area are now in the 50s with nights in the 40s. Termites are unheard of around here, but carpenter ants have been known to eat the sill plate under your house.

    Are we worrying needlessly, should we do something to mitigate any critters that might wake up once the wood is inside (traps, spray along sill, etc.), or should we just play it safe and store a distance away from any structure? The last option isn't much fun with all the snow and cold we get.

    Thanks in advance.

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  2. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    You can store wood in the basement but it should be well seasoned before putting it in there. Much better to store outdoors in the cold and snow. The wood will lose its moisture much better. Cover it (top only) just before the snow starts to fly. Don't worry about a little bit of rain as that will dry off the wood fast as soon as the rain stops.
  3. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,436
    Loc:
    S/W MI
    If your wood is already split it is not likely to have many pests as splitting destroys their home. That doesn't mean that the bark or wood is insect free. Termites go under ground in the woods in the winter and sun light will kill them. In the winter (not fall) carpenter ants are dormant. If you have a suspicious piece of wood stored out side split it before you bring it in. If the wood is infested put it to the side until you are ready to take your wood in. The infested pieces should go directly into the fire. Fire is something pests have not grown immune to. Always but always inspect your wood for loose bark and bore holes especially if you have not had a good freezing period. Loose bark will be the winter home of queen ants, spiders, centipedes and the list goes on but wood with bark in general can be the home of post hole borer beetles. The real "best option" for storage in the basement is a short supply of clean inspected wood. Large supplies can be stored outside in the cold forcing all the bugs into dormancy. To help in the snowy terrain pilgrimage go to Meijer's or Wal-Marts and buy a "Jet-sled" they are rugged and can hold a couple hundred pounds of wood when you have learned how not to dump a load in transit. Then pay to have the house inspected every couple of years just for peace of mind. After 19 years of burning wood in a basement located wood furnace I bought a wood gasifier (EKO 40) boiler. Now I don't break my back hustling wood into the basement and I don't bring the critters or mess in the house. As an extra bonus I burn about 50-60% less wood and I have a warmer home plus benefits I won"t bore you with. Have a happy winter...Cave2k
  4. bdog

    bdog New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Messages:
    48
    Loc:
    Western NY
    I think it starts with the wood itself. If I get some really buggy wood, out it goes into the firepit. Really wet wood (bark wet/heavy) I will try to lay out in the sun to dry before stacking.

    I find the best way is to store the wood is outside, some distance from the house. Early fall, and through thw winter I move smaller quantities closer, into a small shed (maybe a 1/2 to 3/4 cord. Lastly, I keep about 1 week's worth in the garage, and what I am going to burn that day in the house. I would not store any large quantity indoors, and, at least in my case, definitely not in the basement.

    To reduce insects from entering the wood I find the key is to keep the wood dry when storing it. Keep the stacks out in the sun with good airflow. When I see a heavy rain is coming I cover the tops with tarps, then uncover again for the sunny days. Early October I generally cover the tops for the winter through the end of April, as our weather can be fairly wet and snowy.

    Good luck.
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