With the colder nights that we are starting to have, many homeowners are starting to bring indoors firewood for heating their homes for the winter. This is something Vicki and I did for the …
With the colder nights that we are starting to have, many homeowners are starting to bring indoors firewood for heating their homes for the winter. This is something Vicki and I did for the past twenty-six years at our old house in Swan Lake. We used to burn around ten cord of wood a winter heating our entire house. But you need to be careful when bringing in firewood that is going to sit indoors for any length of time.
The reason is that insects like to use that wood for shelter and when you bring the wood inside, you bring the bugs inside too. Ants, fleas and ticks are the most common insects to come along for the ride and once inside can become a real problem. They might not show up right away but instead appear weeks down the road when eggs laid on or just under the bark of the wood hatch. I usually hear this problem from some of our weekender customers, they brought in wood off their porch Sunday afternoon before heading back to the city so that it would be dry and ready to burn Friday night when they returned, only to find an insect infestation as eggs on the bark hatched during the week. Then I see them on Saturday morning in to get all sorts of insect sprays to correct the problem.
Do yourself a favor now, before bringing in the wood, spray it outside. Neem oil insecticide is an easy way to prevent insects in your wood pile during the summer season. Horticultural oil spray will help in the fall and winter months by suffocating eggs laid on the bark. It can also be sprayed on your trees and shrubs to kill harmful insect eggs so that they won’t hatch out next spring and damage your plants. Besides the common insects that can be brought into the house some more damaging insects could come in too. Spotted lantern flies, emerald ash borers, Asian longhorn beetles and spongy moths could be brought in, either hibernating for the winter or as egg casings on the bark. If you see any of these insects, please call the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Liberty at 845-292-6180 and they will report it to the New York State DEC. These insects are on the most wanted list and need to be eradicated whenever possible.
That is why in New York firewood cannot be transported more than fifty miles from where it was harvested unless it is kiln dried, so that egg casings from a tree cut in Duchess County ends up in Greene County. The firewood that you see in stores and gas stations has been kiln dried, in fact there is a firewood kiln drying plant in Jeffersonville that supplies many businesses throughout New York State with kiln dried wood. If you buy wood locally from a logger you should spray it when you get it and then again about a week before you bring it inside to cut down on the chances that you will have a problem with insects. An ounce of prevention in worth a pound of cure.
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