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  #1  
Old 01/14/11, 02:34 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: North Fla
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Keeping bugs out of woodpile

How do you fellow Southerners keep palmetto bugs, etc. from getting into your woodpile? All the high pitched screaming I did last Sunday when I picked up some wood and stacked it in my arm without looking underneath it sure brought my neighbors running over to see what was wrong! I ended up with at least a dozen giant roaches on me. [Shudder] [Heebiejeebies] Well, at least the chickens were excited and got a treat. Sure wish I could teach them to lift the wood and check for bugs....

Kitty

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  #2  
Old 01/14/11, 02:40 PM
A.T. Hagan
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Bugs in the wood pile is a fact of life in Florida. You should NEVER put a piece of wood in your arms without examining it first. Roaches are a nuisance. Scorpions and centipedes can hurt.

Wear gloves if it makes you feel better.

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Old 01/14/11, 06:00 PM
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Chickens or guinea fowl??

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  #4  
Old 01/14/11, 07:13 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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We didn't have much of a woodpile when we lived in Florida, but the main thing we used to fight bugs was DE (diatomaceous earth). It is made of ground up ancient algae material and is nontoxic to humans and pets.

We would sprinkle it around the perimeter of the outside of our house and outbuildings to keep the bugs and spiders out. It worked really well. I have heard that some people even use it internally as an antiparasitic. However, I imagine it would certainly polish your dental work if you didn't get it rinsed down well. The only other health hazards I know of regarding the product is that it is very irritating to the eyes, especially if you wear contacts, and that it can cause respiratory problems if inhaled.

We have used it as a food additive to deworm our pets and have had good success, especially with tapeworms in the dogs and cats. When I was using it with our sheep, in conjunction with Hoegger's herbal dewormer, our vet was astounded by how clean the fecal samples were that I brought in for testing. We use it now to keep bugs out of the wood supply. I bought an old flour sifter from the thrift store and use that every three or four courses of the stack to sprinkle DE - looks a lot like I'm dusting it with powdered sugar! Most of it comes off during the course of moving the wood up from the wood shed to the staging area on the porch and then to the wood bin and into the stove. Before using it, we frequently saw thawed out wasps crawling across the floor from the wood area. Since we started using the DE, I might have seen only 1 in about 9 years.

If you use DE, be sure to get the food grade kind from the feed store for indoor use or internal use. The stuff you can buy from the swimming pool supply store is cheap but may contain other impurities that are not as good for your health as food grade DE.

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  #5  
Old 01/15/11, 07:32 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New York
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And what makes you think that "bugs" in the woodpile is only a Southerner thing?
You'd be surprised what I've had flying, crawling, just found laying there, etc in the house from the wood brought in. Of course it does take a day or two for them to come out of hibernation making matters worse, cause by then you may not see nor feel them until........... it's to late.

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Old 01/15/11, 11:25 AM
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Join Date: May 2004
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That is why I don't want a woodstove in the house. (I have a small one in my storage trailer along with pipe for JIC.) I am hoping at some point to get an outside wood furnace that I can put a 12vdc blower on so it can be run off the solar panels.

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  #7  
Old 01/15/11, 01:22 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Missouri
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We are definitely happy to have an outdoor wood furnace. Rarely have to bring wood in--only when the temps go to zero and we have to light the kitchen woodstove to keep this old house warm enough. Rather have bugs than SNAKEs...and lizards and skinks..or mice. All much too startling for my old heart. We see the wrens and bluebirds frequently around the wood pile picking insects for their babies.

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  #8  
Old 01/15/11, 02:39 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Oregon
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Most of the time I use a wheel barrow to bring wood from the shed to the porch. I toss the wood hard into the barrow to dislodge Hobo Spiders and Yellowjackets. I DON'T LIKE SPIDERS!!!! Especially the BIG Black and Red ones.
I too would have issues with Roaches, especially those HUGE southern ones.

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  #9  
Old 01/15/11, 03:10 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Western New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuntKitty View Post
How do you fellow Southerners keep palmetto bugs, etc. from getting into your woodpile?
Kitty, how do u keep the palmetto bugs from taking your firewood ? Or your car for that matter.
Those must be some big chickens.

~~ pelenaka ~~
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  #10  
Old 01/15/11, 04:22 PM
 
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Elevating the wood on a pallet or something seems to help. And, as Beagle pointed out, it's another good reason to have backyard fowl of some kind.

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  #11  
Old 01/15/11, 04:37 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: North Fla
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A.T. Hagan View Post
Bugs in the wood pile is a fact of life in Florida. You should NEVER put a piece of wood in your arms without examining it first. Roaches are a nuisance. Scorpions and centipedes can hurt.

Wear gloves if it makes you feel better.
I do wear gloves and I had on long sleeves and a jacket. I am well aware of scorpions, etc. It's a primitive reaction when you look down and see roaches crawling on your arms and chest and warming up their wings.... I have no problem with spiders, snakes, etc. but roaches and frogs - no way. Alan, if your wife isn't squeamish about any critters then she's a better man than me.

My woodpile is up off the ground on a rack and is covered. It is always the top layer of wood that I find them under. Of course I really don't know if they are further down in the stack because I stop picking up wood after I see them and start flinging it over to where the chickens can get at it.

DE is a good idea - hadn't thought of that. I was worried about using chemical insecticide dust or spray and what would happen when I burned the wood. I may try the Harris Roach Tablets which I think is just compressed borax. I have had good luck with the tablets in my sheds, etc. This property was overrun with the little wood roaches and the big palmetto bugs when I bought it and the chickens have been real troopers in taking care of the situation. They just aren't strong enough to lift the wood and look underneath, I guess. I bet that giant chicken in AT Hagan's avatar could though...

I wonder if I could use powder borax and if it would make pretty colors when I burn the wood

Thanks for the tips. Kitty
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  #12  
Old 01/16/11, 07:28 AM
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we move wood from the woodpile (palletted and covered) to the porch every couple of weeks during the woodburning season. We NEVER NEVER NEVER bring one stick of wood inside thats not going IMMEDIATELY into the fire. We have relatively FEW creepy crawleys to worry about anyway - but this way - we have nothing hitchhiking on a log and coming to roost in the house.

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  #13  
Old 01/16/11, 08:55 AM
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Wear gloves for 2 reasons, to avoid the bugs, and to keep hands from turning into sandpaper.

When moving the wood from the wood pile to the porch, I toss it into a small trailer then haul it to the house. Then toss it onto the porch. Not many bugs can hang on thru all that tossing. Not to mention the stacking after it gets the 2nd toss.

I rarely have wood on the porch more than a week or two at most. When it comes into the house, each stick gets picked up and bumped against the pile before being loaded into the wood rack.

So far I've not found a single bug on the porch wood, and absolutely none have made it into the wood rack that sets by the stove.

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  #14  
Old 01/16/11, 09:06 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: CT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Micheal View Post
And what makes you think that "bugs" in the woodpile is only a Southerner thing?
You'd be surprised what I've had flying, crawling, just found laying there, etc in the house from the wood brought in. Of course it does take a day or two for them to come out of hibernation making matters worse, cause by then you may not see nor feel them until........... it's to late.
No kidding. I cracked open a log on the splitter and here comes Mr. Snake from the center which I didn't realize was partially hollow. That made me step back a hair.
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  #15  
Old 01/16/11, 11:57 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: State of Jefferson
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Last year we had mostly madrone and had relatively few creepy crawlies. This year we have mostly oak and have had to deal with a LOT of spiders! Oak has more nooks and crannies in the bark, moss, lichen and madrone doesn't have the thick bark or other stuff growing on it. Too bad we have mostly oak in the woodlot.

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