- Author: Sabrina L. Drill
A new study published in the Journal of Economic Entomology reports that 50% of the wood showed signs of insect infestation, and live insects were found in 47% of firewood bundles purchased from big box stores, gas stations and grocery stores in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.
Untreated firewood can harbor pathogens and destructive insects such as the gold spotted oak borer, the Polyphagous shot hole borer, the emerald ash borer, and other boring and bark beetles and transport them to uninfested areas. Furthermore, the risk of moving insects in untreated firewood is high, the authors found, because insects continued to emerge over 500 days from the date of purchase.
There are currently no national regulations on the commercial firewood industry that require firewood to be treated before use or sale to reduce the transport of live insects or pathogens on or in the wood. Several state and federal agencies are attempting restrict the transport of firewood for sale to reduce the risk of introducing invasive pests The authors concluded that heat-treating firewood so that insects or pathogens are killed prior to shipping would be prudent. This would not restrict firewood commerce as much as bans on firewood movement across state borders.
For more information, visit http://www.dontmovefirewood.org/