Don’t move your firewood! Here’s why.
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - As the weather outside is getting colder and the days are getting shorter, you might result to firewood to keeping your place warm or to have a campfire with friends and family.
While moving firewood seems harmless, it’s not exactly. The Virginia Department of Forestry is urging people not to move their firewood as this can spread unwanted pests that can damage forests, trees, and agriculture.
“Unfortunately, our forests are threatened by a number of invasive pests such as insects and diseases that harm trees causing damage in our forests and some of these insects can be moved in wood when you move firewood,” said Lori Chamberlin, forest health program manager of the Virginia Department of Forestry.
These species like to “hitchhike” on firewood and include the emerald ash borer, spongey mouth, Asian longhorned beetle, and spotted lanternfly.
Chamberlin said the safer option with firewood is to buy it where you plan to burn it. A good general rule is to buy the firewood in the county you plan to use it. If you need to travel with the firewood, make sure it has been heat-treated and certified.
With the pests “hitchhiking” or planting eggs or burying in the firewood, traveling with it could introduce the species to a new area where it can grow and wreak havoc.
Chamberlin also said that if you have leftover firewood, leave it behind. Once any kind of packaged and certified firewood is opened, it also becomes a place where pests invade.
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