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stacking wood against/near your home

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by kellerclan5, Apr 22, 2008.

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  1. kellerclan5

    kellerclan5 New Member

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    Can anyone advise if termites will invade your home if you keep your wood to close to your home. I have heard both sides of this story. I have the wood stacked 1/2 foot from my house. thanks

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  2. Dave_1

    Dave_1 New Member

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    Move the wood 50', that is, unless you like termites, bark beetles, carpenter ants, mice, & whatever else coming into your house. :lol:

    Our cat loves our wood pile & brings me her catches regularly, which freaks out the Mrs. :bug:

    edited

    Insects in Firewood

    Each fall as we cut firewood and bring it into our homes, we also may be bringing in some unexpected hitchhikers. There are many insects and other arthropods that may be living in your firewood. Luckily, most insects living in firewood pose no danger to humans, our homes, or our furniture. Insects in firewood are either feeding directly on the wood, nesting in the wood, or are overwintering under the bark.

    The best way to prevent the insects from emerging from firewood in your house is to leave the firewood outside until it is to be burned, bringing at most, a few days' supply into the house at one time. Insects in firewood stored outdoors generally require several days to warm up in your home before they become active.

    Spraying firewood with insecticide is of very little benefit and potentially dangerous. Therefore, we strongly advise against treating firewood. Insecticides will not penetrate deeply enough into firewood to control the insects. In addition, storing and burning insecticide-treated firewood indoors could be a health hazard if the insecticide is vaporized into the living area of the house.

    Two insects that may cause problems if you keep your firewood stacked against the outside walls of your house are carpenter ants and termites.


    <snip>

    To read more about the insects involved go to;

    http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortnews/2003/3-7-2003/firewood.html

    <snip>

    "Do not store the wood next to the house or under a shelter attached to your house. Termites come from the ground up, so you should keep the wood off the ground and should check occasionally to make sure no termite tunnels have been built up to the wood pile. If you keep a firewood pile in the same location in your yard year after year, you may want to treat the ground beneath the pile with a termite spray.

    Most insects that you can carry in with firewood will not survive long enough to infest your home. Some beetles will not emerge from the wood, and therefore, will be killed in the fire. Other insects, however, will become active once brought inside to the warmth of your home. Spiders and cockroaches will become active and can set up household in your home. The termites you may carry in are usually worker termites that won’t swarm or attack the wood inside. Before you bring in wood, especially wood you suspect may have termites, you may want to hit the wood together to knock out termites and their debris before you carry it inside. If debris falls off when you carry in the wood, sweep this up immediately and dispose of it outside. Often, insects can fall out of the wood with the debris.

    To cut down the number of insects brought into the house, bring in only wood you intend to burn in a day. Do not store any wood inside your house. You may want to store a small amount close to your house or on the porch or garage, but don’t keep the wood more than a day or two. Use up the stored wood first before you add more to the stack. Using the entire stack stored next to the house every day or two keeps ants, spiders, and termites from leaving the firewood and infesting your home.

    Never treat the firewood with insecticides. The fumes can be toxic and easily inhaled when broken down by the heat. Insecticides can also be flammable, which can become a fire hazard in your fireplace. If you find cockroaches, termites, or any other insect crawling from a few pieces of wood you have next to your fireplace, smash them or sweep them up. Do not spray an aerosol insecticide near the fire."


    <snip>

    To read more about the insects involved go to;

    http://www.approvedarticles.com/Article/Firewood-and-Pests--Keep-The-Home-Fires-Burning/2059

    Here is another site;

    http://pest.website2go.com/p8.html
  3. Jfk4th

    Jfk4th Minister of Fire

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    I have my wood about 6 inches from the house, I put terro granules all around the back side of the wood plus small terro ant traps. I have not had any problems, just be careful the wood is in an area where kids and dogs can't sniff/play around. I don't have the luxury of having my wood any other place because I don't want my son or dog near some of higher wood racks either. Plus my neighbor likes the fact I use the stuff so he does not have to worry about ants...the neat freak retired guy he is :)
  4. lobsta1

    lobsta1 Member

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    In 1976 I had a wall-to-wall fieldstone fireplace put in. Part of the job involved putting in a new joist across the floor in front of the stone. Around 1982 I had 12 1/2 cord dumped in my driveway running up to the corner of the house nearest the fireplace. In 1989 I started a total remodel of the fireplace room. Found the corner post, the sheathing boards, the 2x4 studs, the 8x8 sill AND that new joist were all eaten away. The outside shell of the wood was intact to about a 1/16" beneath the surface. Everything else was gone including the studs up about 5' from the sill. About 6' of the new joist closest to that corner was eaten away the same way.

    So the ? is; how luckey do you feel with the wood close to your house.
    Al
  5. Stevebass4

    Stevebass4 Minister of Fire

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    other than a shorter move when you need the wood, what's the benefit? everything i've read says keep wood at least 30 feet from your home

    better airflow - more sun - less bugs and critters
  6. MishMouse

    MishMouse Minister of Fire

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    I would keep the wood at least 30' from the house if at all possible, further if you can.
    Some poisons will keep the termites and maybe the ants away.
    But, you will still have skunks, mice, and any other creature who likes calling it home. :)
    Not to mention bees, hornets wasps and multiple other winged insect that likes to build a nest in the nice 1/2 foot space you have between your house and the wood pile.

    But, what you can do is keep a temp holding area nearer your house with wood that you know you will be using within a week. This would work the best for the main burning season when it is below freezing everyday and snowing.
    For Spring burning when it is above freezing, you would place a small pile of wood there and the next day you will have a tenant. :lol:
  7. Pine Knot

    Pine Knot Member

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    In this area another reason to keep wood piles away from the house. Copperheads love wood piles.
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    And roaches too. And chipmunks, etc.

    We don't pile wood by the house until in November. Then I stack it beside the porch, which gives us a nice place to get wood when the stove requires and also provides a wind break as this porch is on the north side of the house. I pile quite a bit there and around mid-February I quit bringing any more wood and just use off the pile. Usually by the end of April that wood is all used up. Works for us.
  9. colebrookman

    colebrookman Minister of Fire

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    Placing wood near your house not only invites little critters but also increases your fire load tremendously. All this nice dry wood just waiting to catch fire maybe from a spark, a grass fire or??. If you're in an area without hydrants your fire problem is even worst. It's not a very smart gamble although people do it and most firefighters have seen the results.
  10. chrisfallis

    chrisfallis Member

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    Here in Colorado the fire fighters suggest thjat you establish a "defensible" zone around your house. This means trimming trees, grass and underbrush from around the house, and moving your woodpile away as well. The last thing you need is a big pile of well seasoned splits and kindling catching on fire right next to your house.
  11. Jfk4th

    Jfk4th Minister of Fire

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    Good points but for me the wood is surrounded by pavement, a "natural" firebreak. Plus I have a fire hydrant in front of my yard, plus I have access to that water being a fireman as part of my job :) . This for me works and because of my little guy the wood stays there at least until he is older and knows better not to touch :cheese:

    I do agree with the chipmunks they like going there, but my dog has somebody to "play/chase" with during the warm months :lol:
  12. RedRanger

    RedRanger New Member

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    There is nothing worse than an infestation of termites or carpenter ants as for destroying your home. It is just ridiculous to even think of placing wood next to your house for the summer--Why not just put out a welcome mat saying-"Pests of all types welcome here-- Destroy at will- and you can be sure they will do just that"

    So,so hard to get rid of an infestation. And it`s not true that carpenter ants only carve out their homes in wet wood, once established, they will expand to whatever is available,including styrofoam. Don`t do it--!!
  13. Jfk4th

    Jfk4th Minister of Fire

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    I guess we will have to agree to disagree :)

    Five years and no ants in the house
  14. swestall

    swestall Minister of Fire

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    If you find it easier to rebuild your house than move the pile or go to get wood from it in the cold; then leave it where it is.
    On the other hand, if you don't like to take chances, then don't.
  15. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Me too. For twenty years five cords were stacked in the breezeway every year. Only moved to outside the back door the last couple of years for convenience sake. Sitting in the middle of five acres of woods I am convinced that if they are going to find the house they are going to find the house.

    Only termite damage I ever had was in bone dry Texas without a stick of firewood in sight for miles.
  16. swestall

    swestall Minister of Fire

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    And, then you could burn them out just in case; that would solve the whole problem.
  17. Jfk4th

    Jfk4th Minister of Fire

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    I hear ya Brother B, I guess whatever works. I am sticking with what works in my area, and so should everybody else. This is year six doing it right by the attached garage and like I have said before I stack it there because I don't want my little guy or the dogs around where my wood pile is. Is just works so I go with the old saying of "If it is not broke, don't fix it" I guess I have beat this dead horse enough so I will chime out and let others in. Nice thing is I am just about done with stacking and making wood racks, ahhhhh I can finally relax for the summer when it comes to chopping and splitting wood...Oh well I am sure I will find another job to keep me busy...That's right I am building a patio in the back yard...darn it I thought I was going to relax, I guess not for a while :)
    Cheers
  18. RedRanger

    RedRanger New Member

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    [quote author="BrotherBart"

    So,so hard to get rid of an infestation. And it`s not true that carpenter ants only carve out their homes in wet wood, once established, they will expand to whatever is available,including styrofoam. Don`t do it--!![/quote]

    I guess we will have to agree to disagree :)

    Five years and no ants in the house[/q

    Damn-but I hate to say it and I hate to admit it!!

    Alright, so I spent one year of my mispent youth, working for a pest control company. So, I gottcha, BB, I do know this field, give those suckers an inch, and they will take a mile. Sorry old boy, but seen too much destruction, once those suckers are in , they are in.--and then they will munch on anything and everything. Man, I fogged a place one time, that when I came back in the nice huge cedar post above the pool table was just super crawling with carpenter ants, and the beam just didn`t look like it was the day they installed it. The pool table beneath was black with dead ants.

    We are talking thousands and thousands of ants. Don`t f-#$l with this stuff. Nothing but grief if ya do,,..

    Keep the damn wood away from the house in the summer time, it just ain`t worth the headaches that might come afterwards.
  19. PAJerry

    PAJerry Member

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    I've stacked wood in the breezeway for 29 years and never had a problem. I think it gets so cold here in the winter that termites just don't happen here. The last two years, I sprayed Ortho Home Defense spray on the bricks prior to stacking the wood in there, just as a precaution. It got rid of all the spiders that used to hang out near the ceiling and corners.
  20. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    For logistical reasons I stack wood on 3 sides of the house. We had termites a few years ago (on the 4th side!) and so the perimeter is now treated with Termidor, and termites shouldn't be an issue for a while. Plus, I keep some separation from the walls, so I can look for mud tunnels, ants, etc. At most the wood will be there for 1-2 years before I burn it, so if I discover any infestations I can change my plans. So far, mostly just spiders and an abandoned nest or two.
  21. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    I have 4 locations where I will stack wood right up close to my structures. Those four locations are masonry-clad from the stemwalls up, so there is no exposed structural wood in proximity to the firewood. I keep an eye on what's going on (if anything) in the air space between the wood stacks and the structures. If I had wood siding, or a wood sill plate or any wood at all that was accessible in the area, I don't think I'd cover it up with a stack of firewood. I had to do some termite damage repair to my old house in Virginia, and it was a PITA. I've seen what carpenter ants do to a piece of wood while splitting, and I'd sooner they didn't do that to my house. Rick
  22. Jennifer01

    Jennifer01 New Member

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    termites are very harmful for homes and should be kept away.

    ============================
    Jane
    Homes For Sale
  23. gyrfalcon

    gyrfalcon Minister of Fire

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    If you have your wood that close to your house in the warm months, you are asking for trouble. Standard advice is to stack it 50 feet away or more. Don't know where you are in the NE, but in colder areas, you can move it in closer after you start getting frosts reasonably safely. My 150-yo house in mid-Vermont has an attached woodshed that was stuffed full every winter until about 50 years ago, and no signs of carpenter ant problems. (termites are rare this far north)

    As you stack it, keep an eye out for tell-tale holes in the wood pieces and leave those farther away until the dead of winter, then bring them in one or two at a time and throw them right on a hot fire without letting them sit indoors.
  24. Redox

    Redox Minister of Fire

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    We have been fighting carpenter ants for years and I think I finally got all of them. Our ant detector (aka the dishwasher) has been negative for two years. Now that it is getting colder, I'm tempted to stack my more seasoned wood against the concrete foundation of our addition to make more room for the splitting and seasoning. I know it won't be there next spring!

    I move my wood around too much for anything to live in it. If I had to keep it 30 feet from the house, it would be on the sidewalk. Hmm, that's less sidewalk I have to shovel...

    Chris
  25. gyrfalcon

    gyrfalcon Minister of Fire

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    The ants congregate in your dishwasher?? How strange!
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