Maintaining a fireplace is essential to keeping your home warm and cozy during winter. However, your fireplace can also be an insect source, such as roaches, if not done correctly.
Not many homeowners think about this problem until they see roaches coming out of the fireplace. The truth is that most of us don’t believe that pests or insects could live in such harsh conditions.
Insects are pretty resourceful and can find ways to survive in the most unlikely places, including your fireplace. Wood-boring insects, in particular, love fireplaces because wood is a food source for them.
Moreover, the wood provides a favorable environment for these insects to lay their eggs. As the eggs hatch, the roaches come out in search of food and water.
Adult, smoky brown cockroaches are excellent flyers and can enter a home from the roof. They prefer flat roofs and chimneys, which is how they gain access to buildings.
Our guide on how to get rid of roaches will help you solve this problem quickly and effectively.
Can roaches come in through the fireplace?
Yes. Cockroaches will hop aboard your firewood if you have an indoor fireplace and regularly bring loads of cut wood into the home. Cockroaches can also dwell in and around wooden surfaces!
Besides that, roaches can come in through the fireplace in several ways.
- If you have a wood-burning fireplace, roaches can come in through the woodpile. Wood-boring insects, such as carpenter ants and termites, are attracted to fireplaces because of the wood. These insects lay their eggs in the wood, and as the eggs hatch, the roaches come out in search of food and water.
- If you have a gas fireplace, roaches can come in through the ventilation system. The vents provide an easy way for insects to enter your home. They only need a tiny crack or opening, and they can squeeze through.
- Roaches can also come in through the chimney. Chimneys are another easy way for insects to enter your home. Because some cockroaches can fly, they can quickly enter the chimney and make their way into your home.
- Finally, roaches can come in through cracks and crevices in the fireplace. Insects are pretty resourceful and can find ways to survive in the most unlikely places, including your fireplace.
How do I keep roaches out of my chimney?
Here are 11 tips on how to keep roaches out of your chimney:
1. Install a new chimney cap
To keep pests, bugs, and animals from entering your chimney, you need to install a chimney cap on top of it. There are many types of chimney caps available on the market, so make sure to choose one that will fit the size and shape of your particular chimney.
Perhaps you already have a chimney cap, but it’s not doing its job. In this case, you may need to get a new one specifically designed to keep roaches out.
2. Seal cracks and gaps
As explained earlier, insects such as roaches enter your home through cracks and gaps. Therefore, it’s crucial to inspect your chimney for any cracks or crevices and seal them with caulk or another type of sealant.
The best way to ensure you get optimal results is to hire a professional to do the job for you. They have the tools, equipment, and experience necessary to properly seal your chimney and keep roaches out.
3. Store your wood in a proper place
Wood is the most common food source for roaches, so it’s essential to store it where insects can’t get to it. Keep it in a shed or another storage unit with a tight-fitting lid if you have firewood.
As an added measure, you can also wrap the wood in plastic to further deter roaches and other insects. Lastly, ensure the wood is at least 20-25 feet away from your home to reduce the risk of an infestation further.
4. Use the FIFO Rule (First In, First Out)
To stop roaches from getting in through the chimney, you need to use the FIFO rule when storing wood. FIFO means First In First Out, and it’s a rule commonly used in commercial kitchens.
The FIFO rule states that you should use the oldest wood first and store the newer wood at the back. This ensures that you’re not attracting roaches with old, rotting wood to your home.
5. Use Local wood and keep it dry
In addition to following the FIFO rule, you should also use local wood. This is because roaches are more likely to infest wood transported from another area.
Cockroaches like to hide in the dark, moist places, and wood that’s been transported is often damp. Therefore, it’s good to use wood from your area and keep it as dry as possible.
Furthermore, locally cut firewood gathered in the late fall or winter months ensures you avoid the roaches from the fireplace problem. This is because cockroaches are less active then.
If you have wood that has been harvested in the summer, pile it in a sunny location and cover it. This will aid the wood in drying out, making it an inhospitable living environment for roaches.
6. Inspect the wood for insects
Inspecting the wood before bringing it into your home is an excellent way to prevent an infestation. If you see any insects or larvae on the wood, don’t bring them inside.
You can do this by:
- Striking the wood together – will cause any insects to fall off
- Shaking the wood – this will dislodge any insects that are clinging to the wood
- Inspect the wood carefully for any insects or larvae
Generally, utilize every obvious method to avoid introducing roaches into your home through the wood.
Don’t spray the wood with insecticide to get the roaches out as a precaution. Because you’ll eventually burn the wood, the chemicals can enter your home through the smoke and lead to serious respiratory problems.
7. Store wood off the ground
Most roaches are attracted to wood that’s stored on the ground. They like dark, moist places, and the ground often provides these conditions.
To prevent roaches from getting to your wood, it’s best to store it off the ground. You can do this by:
- Stacking the wood on a pallet
- Putting the wood in a firewood rack
If you have to store the wood on the ground, put it in a container with a tight-fitting lid. This will deter roaches and other insects from getting to the wood.
8. Burn wood as fast as possible
You don’t want wood lying around if you are trying to prevent roaches from getting into your fireplace. Burn wood as quickly as possible to ensure the cockroaches don’t have time to build their nests.
Furthermore, this method gives the roaches no time to escape the woodpile and into your home, causing an infestation.
9. Avoid storing wood close to trees
Trees are commonplace for roaches to nest, so it’s best to avoid storing wood close to them. As you may know, trees are already moist and provide an ideal environment for roaches to thrive.
When you place your woodpile next to a tree, you invite roaches into your home. Cockroaches are attracted to the wood because it’s warm, and they can hide in the cracks and crevices.
10. Do not store wood indoor
This is the last thing you want to do if you are trying to prevent roaches from getting into your home. As a general rule of thumb, the best way to prevent cockroaches from getting into your home is to avoid storing wood close to your house.
You should store wood in a dry, well-ventilated area away from your home.
If you have to keep wood indoors, be sure it’s in a container with a tightly fitting lid. This will aid in the prevention of roaches and other pests from accessing the wood.
11. Close the damper and seal off the unused fireplace
Having an unused fireplace doesn’t necessarily mean you’re inviting roaches into your home. However, if the chimney damper is open, it does provide an easy way for them to enter.
To prevent this, close the damper when the fireplace is not in use. Furthermore, it would be best if you also sealed off any cracks or crevices around the fireplace that could serve as an entry point for roaches.
Bonus tip: Keep your chimney and fireplace clean
A dirty chimney and fireplace are the perfect breeding ground for roaches and pests. Therefore, keeping your chimney clean and free of debris is essential.
You can do this by:
- Hiring a professional chimney sweep
- Cleaning the chimney yourself
- Regularly inspecting the chimney for any cracks or crevices
In addition to regularly sweeping your chimney, you should also have it professionally cleaned at least once a year. This is according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
Inspecting and cleaning your chimney yearly will remove any build-up of debris, soot, and wood that could attract roaches. It’s also good to have your chimney inspected for any cracks or gaps that need sealing.
Enjoyed our list of tips on preventing roaches from coming in from your fireplace?
There are significant benefits to taking these preventative measures, including a decrease in the number of roaches overall and preventing any future damage that a fire could cause.
According to research, cockroaches carry 33 different types of bacteria and can cause asthma and other respiratory problems.
They are also known to spread diseases, such as dysentery, diarrhea, and food poisoning. By following the tips above, you can keep your home roach-free and ensure your family’s safety.