University of Maryland Extension

Beetles in Firewood

bark beetle example
An example of a bark beetle
Jeffrey W. Lotz, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bugwood.org

bark beetles
Bark beetles (Subfamily Scolytinae)
Roger Anderson, Duke University, Bugwood.org

  • Several types of beetles may emerge from firewood that is stored indoors.

  • Bark beetles are 1/4 inch or less, cylindrical in shape and red, black or brown in color.
    • They may be found around windows, lamps or woodpiles near the fireplace, especially during the winter.
    • Check firewood logs for small, round holes in the bark.

  • Larger wood boring beetles may also be seen.
    • They may be metallic wood borers (two-lined chestnut borer, approximately 1/2 inch long, narrow, variously colored, with short antennae) or long-horned beetles (redheaded ash borer, 1/2 inch or longer, narrow, variously colored, long antennae and legs, not metallic).
    • Sawdust may be found under the firewood and oval or D-shaped exit holes may be present in the bark of logs.

      red ash borer
      Red headed ash borer, a long-horned beetle, 1/2 inch
      or longer, narrow, long antennae and legs, not metallic
  • Both types of beetles may emerge from firewood that has been stored indoors for several days or more. As the wood warms, they assume it is spring and emerge to fly around the house or congregate in windows.
  • Vacuum and dispose of the beetles outdoors.
  • Only store enough firewood for a day or two to prevent emergence of the beetles.

Rev. 2020

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