DON'T MOVE FIREWOOD. BUY IT WHERE YOU BURN IT.
The movement of firewood and the presence of important host trees make campgrounds and parks high-risk areas for invasive species introduction. Many invasive forest pests, like emerald ash borer, Asian long horned beetle, and oak splendor beetle, can hitch a ride on firewood. While adult beetles may be hiding in the bundle, the larvae and pupae still maturing inside the wood are even more difficult to spot. To avoid potential pest introductions, leave the firewood at home when you travel. Some campgrounds, including South Carolina state parks, will not allow you to bring in firewood for this reason. Buy firewood from local vendors in the area you will be burning the wood, or from the campground directly. If you have wood left over at the end of your trip, leave it at your site for the next person. This does not ensure that the wood is clean, but if it is infested, the pests do not move to a new area.
Local citizens are critical to detecting and preventing the spread of invasive insects and diseases. In many cases, alert and informed community members were the first to report new detections and infestations that have occurred in the US. Through firewood outreach programs, Clemson aims to reduce this pathway of introduction and increase the knowledge of members of the public that are actively using high-risk areas.
For more information on invasive forest pests, visit our Pest Alerts page.