The Q&A Archives: Pesticides For Firewood

Question: Is there a pesticide suitable to use on firewood to keep it insect free while it is being seasoned that will not pose a threat to health when the wood is burned?

Answer: For a pesticide recommendation such as this I would suggest you contact your UMass Extension office. However practical experience tells me there may not be much need for such a pesticide. The wood should be kept in an airy place up off the ground on a rack and under cover from rain (or it will be stacked to protect it from ground contact and rain). This limits its exposure to the dampness and darkness preferred by many insects and makes it unlikely that termites would find it. Next, it is only kept for a year or two so the natural processes of decay should not have time to occur. Again, this limits is attractiveness to insects. Occasionally some insect will decide to make a nest there in the summer, but since you would not be using the firewood during the season when they are active this is not much of a problem, either. Finally, by the time you have gathered it up and lugged it into the house or onto the porch where it stays until you use it, any insects present at the start will probably have fled; if not, they will in all likelihood not escape the fire when you use the wood. I hope this helps.

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