How To Get Rid Of Ants In Firewood: A Complete Guide

Using wood to warm your home can come with some storage difficulties and some of our readers have reported having ant or other insect infestations in their firewood. Because of that, we decided to give more attention to this important topic. We dealt with this problem before and hopefully, our ant eradication methods will save you a lot of nerves and you will have no ants coming out of your firewood in just a few days.

How to get rid of ants in firewood? The best way to get rid of ants in your firewood is by using an ant bait. This method for getting rid of the ants showed amazing results when compared to other methods. Spraying the firewood with an ant killer spray is a bad idea because you will still need to use it indoor and the wood will get wet and would need to be dried before use. It is best if you prevent ants from infesting the firewood in the first place. Correctly storing your firewood is the first and major step in keeping your firewood free of ants and other pests.

Ant Exterminators

After that there are other things to think about, like the location of the firewood, allowing the draft to dry the wood, the time of acquiring the firewood, and several other factors that lead to keeping your firewood without ants.

Keep reading this article the end and you will surely know what to do when it comes to getting rid of the ants in the firewood and also storing and using your firewood properly. Let’s begin!

How To Get Rid Of Ants In Firewood: Instructions

How To Get Rid Of Ants In Firewood Instructions

Getting rid of the ants in the firewood is a tricky business, because if you use conventional heavy pesticides and spray the wood and around it, you will contaminate the wood itself, and you will have to wait a certain period before being able to use it inside.

However, there are other methods like using an ant bait which is a non-invasive way of getting rid of the ants and after this method, the firewood will still be usable. If you want to buy ant baits, there are some really good ones commercially available.

TERRO T300B Liquid Ant Baits

TERRO T300B Liquid Ant Killer, 12 Bait Stations
  • Attracts & Kills – Kills common household ants including...
  • Kills the Ants You See & the Ones You Don't – As worker ants...
  • Works Fast – You should see a significant decrease in the...
  • Ready to Use – Place the bait stations, watch it attract ants,...
  • Use Throughout Your Home – Place stations near areas where...

Syngenta – TRTD11568 – Optigard Ant Bait Gel Box

Syngenta - TRTD11568 - Optigard Ant Bait Gel Box - 4 Tubes w/ Plunger - 30g each tube
  • Target pests: For indoor and outdoor control of...
  • Highly attractive formula promotes ready transfer of the active...
  • Powerful, active ingredient knocks out workers, brood and queens
  • Approved for use indoors and outdoors, applied in cracks and...
  • How does Optigard Ant Bait Gel work? Ants that feed on the gel...

Home Plus Ant Killer, Metal Ant Traps Indoor & Outdoor

Homeplus™ Ant Killer AB , Metal Ant Bait, Ants Killer for House, Ant Traps Indoor & Outdoor, 4 Pack
  • Metal Ant Killer Bait: Attracts and kills many different species...
  • Food Lure Ant Bait: The child-resistant metal bait stations use 4...
  • How it Works: Worker ants carry and share the bait with the rest...
  • Quick Results: Starts killing worker ants within 24 hours; you...
  • Usage: Homeplus Ant Killer AB baits are great for getting rid of...

There are also several DIY ant bait options for you to try, and all of the ingredients can be found in your home:

  • You can make a liquid ant bait with boric acid in combination with a wet cloth. Cover it with a plastic bottle cut in half, so the ants can actually access the bait. Wait a day or two, and you will see results. Ants will get the bait and carry it with them. That way they will infect large numbers of ants or even the whole colony.
  • There is also one more example of DIY ant bait, but instead of using boric acid use diatomaceous earth.

Both of these options give good results, and what is important, you can use your firewood inside with no possibility of releasing poisonous fumes inside of your home.

How to Prevent Ants in Firewood From Getting Into Your Home

How to Prevent Ants From the Firewood From Getting Into Your Home

Ants don’t eat firewood, but they use it to make tunnels and hide during winter times. Common ants that inhabit firewood are carpenter ants, and there are several ways to minimize the chance of them moving into your home.

Collect the Firewood Around Late Autumn Period

Ants and other insects are highly active from April to October, so cutting and collecting wood after that period would be a wise choice. Freshly cut trees are an invitation for ants, so try to collect all the firewood as fast as possible.

Keep the Firewood Covered at All Times and Above Ground Level

It is also recommended to keep the firewood above ground level. You can use bricks, blocks or some other building material, to keep firewood off the ground. There are also grates made especially for that purpose.

By keeping firewood above ground you are also keeping the airflow beneath the wood, which helps it dry faster. Try to store your firewood in a place with a lot of direct sunlight. That will also help it dry faster, and strong sunlight will kill most of the ants inside the firewood.

Avoid Having the Firewood Shelter Near a Vegetation

When you are constructing a shelter for your firewood be sure to avoid building it near other trees. Ants and other insects can crawl from them and infest your firewood. Also avoid building the storage near other buildings, especially your home or garage. That way you are keeping ants away from your home. If the firewood is stored against your house, that is practically an invitation for ants to come inside.

Keep the Firewood Away From a Wooden Construction

Also, try to keep firewood away from the garage or any other object that has a wooden construction. If ants get inside they can do serious damage to the wooden construction.

Clean the Firewood Before Getting It Inside the House

Before you bring firewood inside your home, clear it of any surface ants and pests. Check every log, shake them, knock two logs against each other – those are the ways to force the ants out of their hiding spots. That is no guarantee that the firewood is ant-free, but some of the pests or ants will definitely come off.

Do Not Stack Firewood Inside Your Home

Try to keep enough firewood supply for a daily or two days needs. When firewood is inside a warm home it will wake all the ants inside, but that takes about a day or two, so try to use all the wood during that time period.

Never add new supplies of firewood before you use all the old ones first. If there are any ants inside it, it is best to use the firewood before they start coming out of it. If you leave some of the old firewood on the bottom of the pile, you are risking ant infestation. At least keep older supplies on the top, so you know which one to use first.

What Can You Do To Stop Ants From Infesting Firewood?

You can try using diatomaceous earth around your firewood pile. That will keep some of the pests away, but because it is used outside you can’t expect it to have its full effect. We do not recommend using liquid pesticides against ants in the firewood.

Do not spray firewood with pesticides! Even if you spray it with pesticides, it won’t affect them, because ants are buried deep into the wood, and pesticide can’t harm most of them.

Besides that, using firewood treated with liquid pesticides can cause a serious health hazard, because once ignited, the wood will release poisons from the pesticides into the air. Don’t forget that rooms heated with firewood usually don’t have enough fresh air, and that can also cause additional problems.

When it comes to stopping ants from infesting your firewood, as we said before, you can only follow advice from the previous parts of the article, and even if there are some ants inside the firewood, in most cases they won’t cause you any serious problems.

What to Do If Ants Actually Invaded Your Home From the Firewood?

ants in firewood

If you make a mistake and don’t use all the tips we mentioned, you can become a victim of carpenter ants infestation. That can happen if you keep wood logs too long, or if you don’t clean them before carrying them inside. Once warmed inside of your home ants will start coming out of the tunnels they made in the wood and will start wreaking havoc.

As soon as you spot them, use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of them. It is best to get rid of them before they get a chance to build a nest somewhere in or around your home. A vacuum cleaner is the best option because you know where are they coming from, so you can neutralize them quickly.

After vacuuming, try using the oldest wood on the pile. If you still have a problem, try pesticides, or call a professional. If you decide to use pesticides on the firewood, be sure not to ignite it indoors! For more information on carpenter ants in firewood and how to get rid of them click on this link.

Is There a Chance That Ants Will Make a Nest in My Home From Firewood?

If the ants come out of the firewood and go into your home in most cases it is hard for them to make a nest. Of course, there is a chance for that, but if you notice the ants on time, it will be relatively easy to get rid of them, before they claim your home as their home.

What we always say when it comes to keeping ants away from home:

  • Keep your home clean and tidy. That way ants will have a reason less to stay in your home.
  • Throw away garbage regularly. Ants just love to roam through garbage, because there is always something interesting for them inside.
  • Fix any cracks in the walls and foundation, because those are the entry spots for ants from outside.
  • Check for any moisture under the roof, or anywhere in your garage, because those places are a magnet for ants, and they choose spots like those to make nests.
  • If your roof leaks, that can create some serious problems, because its construction is made of wood, and if ants make a nest somewhere near, they can seriously damage your roof construction.


There is not much to say when it comes to getting rid of ants in your firewood, but there is a lot to say when it comes to stoping them from getting there in the first place. When you build your firewood storage, you should place it away from your home and garage, and keep it away from any trees.

That way you will minimize the chance for ants to invade your firewood. You should also choose time to collect your firewood or get it when insects are less active, from late October, through the rest of the fall and winter.

It is of utmost importance to not pile up firewood inside your home or garage and to always use the ones you got, and then bring new one inside. Keeping firewood inside too long will wake any ants if there are any inside.

From this article, you learned everything you need to know about keeping firewood and your entire home safe from ants. During the long winters, it is very important to know these things, and we are here to help you.

We will continue writing about all sorts of pests, and how to protect your house from them, so if you are interested in those topics, please follow our site!

List of Sources

Jesse L., Insects in Firewood, Iowa State University

Bricault R., Use Firewood Wisely and Keep out Unwanted Pests, Michigan State University

Sloderbeck P., Pests Associated with Firewood, Southwest Kansas Research-Extension Center

Waldvogel M., Ants in Your Plants and Your Firewood, NC State Extension

Tips for Managing Carpenter Ants, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry Division of Animal and Plant Health