Simply, we don't want wood-boring pests and diseases to be moved from one area in the state to another area where they don't exist. Buy wood where you intend to burn it and don't bring any wood home with you upon your return.
Several beetles that bore into trees such as the gold-spotted oak borer, polyphagus shothole borer, walnut twig beetle, and others may be present in the wood you gather or buy in your area. If you buy or gather wood and then take it with you to another county or other location where the pest hasn't yet become established, you could be introducing invasive and hard to control pests into new areas, causing larger environmental and economic problems.
- Buy firewood near where you will burn it- a good rule of thumb is only using wood that was cut within 50 miles of where you'll have your fire. Regulations vary in each state, so visit this map to learn more.
- Wood that looks clean and healthy can still have tiny insect eggs, or microscopic fungi spores, that will start a new and deadly infestation. Always leave it at home, even if you think the firewood looks fine.
- Aged or seasoned wood is still not safe. Just because it is dry doesn't mean that bugs can't crawl onto it!
- Tell your friends not to bring wood with them- everyone needs to know that they should not move firewood.
Find out more information about firewood pests, resources for finding good firewood at your location, and other activities at the Don't Move Firewood web site. For additional information about many of the invasive wood-boring pests and associated diseases and problems, visit the UC IPM web site.