Tips wanted for storing firewood next to the home.
January 17, 2010 5:35 AM   Subscribe

I know that storing firewood next to your home is less than ideal, but I won't have any other choice so I'm looking for some tips to help prevent insects inside my home.

Many website say to store your firewood no closer than 20 feet to your home or other wood framed structure. I don't have any other space on my property to store a half cord of hardwood that I'll be using for my smoker. So I wanted to get some advice to possible help prevent any potential bugs that might arrive with the wood from entering my home.

The new firewood rack is made of metal, elevated from the ground, has a cover, and will be located in an area that the wind will swirl around and thus ventilate the firewood keeping it dry.

Just a few precautions I've consider to guard against termites and other nasties: Placing termite bait stations in the ground around the wood pile and monitoring them frequently for activity. Treating the ground surface around the pile with either granules that you wash into the soil or spraying the grounds surrounding the pile with pesticides specifically for termites and carpenter ants.

Any other tips from those who have successfully managed to store firewood next to the home yet have remained insect free?
posted by Jackie_Treehorn to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
As long as you aren't piling the wood against your house directly, I wouldn't worry so much. If you live in a termite-friendly area then termites are already around. It's more important to be sure your house isn't termite-friendly than it is to avoid exposure; they're not an infectious disease.
posted by jon1270 at 6:06 AM on January 17, 2010

I'm not sure I'd use any kind of pesticide with the firewood I was going to use for food prep.

I think keeping it off the ground is the most important thing here. If I were you, I'd get a couple bricks or some of those narrow cinder blocks that are only half as thick and put those under the legs so that they didn't sink into the ground when you had the thing loaded.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 6:33 AM on January 17, 2010

Sounds like you are more than covered. I believe that the use of pesticides would be overkill.
posted by Hobgoblin at 7:07 AM on January 17, 2010

Storing wood next to your house is less than ideal, but I don't think it's an absolutely do not do recommendation. I live in the Pacific NW and had a wood pile about 3 inches from my house for 2 years with no ill effects. I wouldn't add any insecticide and try to let the spiders stay and take care of some of the insects.
posted by surfgator at 8:24 AM on January 17, 2010

If you don't mind the visual impact, maybe a tarp on the side of the house, down and under the stack, to put a barrier between them?
posted by GJSchaller at 8:44 AM on January 17, 2010

Where I live (southern CA), this advice is related to fire prevention, not insect prevention.
posted by cecic at 10:29 AM on January 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yes I'd also worry about the fire prevention if you live in an area where that's potentially a problem.
posted by fshgrl at 4:11 PM on January 17, 2010

I pick up those free wooden pallets that businesses often have stacked by the roadside or dumpsters - it makes a great base for a firewood pile to keep it off the ground (helps keep down on pillbugs here). But it sounds like you're already covered keeping it off the ground on metal...that's the biggest single thing I think you can do.
posted by carlh at 7:18 AM on January 18, 2010

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