Tag Archives: bugs in firewood

Have Holly, Jolly Pest Free Holidays!

christmas-wreath-and-candles-2Christmas trees, natural garlands, wreaths and firewood make for a festive and fragrant atmospherechristmas-tree-clipart but can also bring pests (ants, spiders, ticks, termites, mice etc.) inside your home.

Here is how to “deck the halls” without bringing pests inside.

  • Inspect: Check out trees, garland and firewood for potential hitchhikers, and holiday decoration boxes, too, before you bring them inside. Look carefully for insects, nests or eggs. If insect eggs hatch inside the home, a major infestation can happen quickly.
  • Shake it out: dislodge bugs and loose material outside.
  • Vacuum: Indoors, use your most effective pest control tool, your vacuum, to suck up pests you see in and around the tree, garland or firewood pile. Always dispose of the vacuum bag or clean out the canister when you are finished. Never leave the used bag or uncleaned canister in the house. Insect pests are talented escape artists!do-not-spray-sign-3
  • Do Not Spray! Never use over-the-counter pesticides to spray a Christmas tree, garland or firewood. They can be dangerous to your health and can also be flammable.
  • Call a Professional: Do-It-Yourself tips are very helpful but when pest related situations get out of hand it’s time to call in the experts.  You may be experiencing infestations that are unrelated to the decorations and the pest control professional can take care of them fast and safely, giving you time to get back to enjoying the festivities in a pest free home.

Perhaps the most important step you can take to prevent pests during the holidays comes at the end of each season, when it’s time to take storing-holiday-decorationsdown the tree and pack up the decorations. Store holiday decor in hard, plastic bins with tightly sealed lids instead of cardboard boxes or bags that can easily be chewed through. This will save you money in the long run, you won’t be throwing out broken and soiled decorations and you will be preserving those family heirlooms for future generations.

If you are having trouble finding the perfect gift, for that person on your list that has everything, consider giving them the gift of a pest free home. Call in the professionals of Corky’s Pest Control, and pests will  be a problem, no more.

red-nose-reindeer-4620133_640Happy Holidays                                                                                     from all of us at Corky’s Pest Control!

A warm beverage, A romantic fire and BUGS !

Even sun worshiping, Southern Californians like the aroma,  romantic ambiance and the warmth that a fire in a fireplace brings to their homes during cool, damp, fall and winter evenings.  Although some enjoy the atmosphere of an electric fireplace, nothing beats  a real wood fire.

Be aware! Anytime you bring materials from the great outdoors into your home, you may be importing hitchhikers. Firewood, pine cones, seedpods and other natural items often host insects and arthropods. The majority, of these pests don’t pose a real threat to your home, furnishings or family, but it’s nice to avoid the unexpected fright and frustration tha their presence can elicit.

Firewood inswood-pileects usually belong to one of two groups:

  • those that actively feed on wood and
  • those only seeking shelter.

Here are some creatures that you might run into and some tips for keeping them  out of your home.

Beetles are the most common group of insects found within firewood. Wood borers often attack dead or dying trees and are in the woodeucalyptus_longhorned_borer_01 when it is cut. Often, the first indication of beetle activity is the presences of a powdery dust or frass coming from holes on the wood surface. Adult beetles may also be seen on or around the firewood.  Longhorned beetles (Cerambycidae), Flathead and metallic wood borers (Buprestidae), Bark and ambrosia beetles (Curculionidae), Powderpost beetles (Bostrichidae) are a few you might run into.

Termites: Termites accidently brought indoors with firewood will not infest structural wood.


Their presence in firewood, piled close to the home, may warrent an inspection for termites.

Ants: Some species of ants- including carpenter ants can be found in wood. There is little chance they will nest in the home, but if wood is brought indoors and warmed up,

carpenter_ant_nest_creemorethe ants can become active and create a nuisance anytime of the year.


Wood Wasps: Species of wood wasps, horntails and other wasp-like insects breed in dead wood.As with most of the insects mentioned here, they cannot re-infest wood or cause damage to a structure.


Spiders, earwigs, wood roaches, sowbugs, crickets and small flies may hide and/or overwinter in firewood. Oh, and don’t forget rats and snakes find woodpiles quite homey too.

Earwig and Black Widow
Earwig and Black Widow
Wood roaches and sowbugs
Wood roaches and sowbugs


House Crickets

Insect invasions of homes from firewood can be reduced by following these simple rules:

  • Avoid stacking the wood directly on the ground. This will keep the wood from getting too wet and reduce the chances for infestation by termites and ants.
  • Don’t stack firewood in or against the house or other buildings for long periods of time. Termite or carpenter ant problems can develop and cause more serious problems.
  • Use the oldest wood first, for it is most likely to be infested. Avoid the tendency to stack new wood on top of old wood.
  • Cover the wood during the summer and fall. This will keep it drier and exclude some creatures seeking overwintering sites.
  • Shake, jar, or knock logs together sharply to dislodge insects and brush off any obvious structures such as webbing or cocoons before bringing it inside.
  • Bring in small amounts of firewood that can be used up in a day or so and keep it stacked in a cool area (e.g., garage or porch) until it is burned. When wood warms up, the creatures in or on it will become active.
  • Do not treat firewood with insecticides. It is unnecessary and potentially dangerous due to chemical toxins released while burning.  Pesticide treated firewood is a “Health Hazard”!

Always obtain your firewood locally. Firewood from other areas could harbor, non-native, invasive pests, and has the potential to create a destructive infestation where you live or camp. Most experts recommend that no firewood be moved more than 50 miles from its origin. If you are planning a camping trip, away from home, don’t bring your own firewood with you. Buy wood from a source near the camping area. buy-it-where-you-burn-it-banner