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We all want our cabins, whether made with log siding or full logs, to be free from issues caused by Mother Nature and the elements. There are solutions for these intrusions on the walls and roofing but don’t forget about carpenter bees and a few other insects. These pests can also cause problems, and the good news is we can prevent and control their damaging effects.
Here are some obvious signs that show you have carpenter bees or other pests in your wood:
- Holes appear in the siding or other parts of your cabin
- You notice wood shavings on the ground that fell from the holes and tunnels
- Marks appear around the outside of holes that resemble a fan
- Scratching or odd signs coming from the inside of your walls (could also be rodents)
Take action as soon as you see the first sign listed above and you won’t be sorry.
The Nature of These Pests
Carpenter bees are often mistaken for bumblebees but they’re not the same. We see bumblebees buzzing around pollinating flowers and other plants. About 15% of our agricultural crops are pollinated by native bees including carpenter bees. Carpenter bees are not as obvious because they can hide in holes and tunnels they bore in wood.
These bees are large with fuzzy heads and large black abdomens and are generally not aggressive. They are destructive and love nesting in softer woods like pine, cedar, fir, and redwood. They drill holes that are about half an inch in diameter and expand them into tunnels. The adults stay in the woods for some time after the young arrive.
Damage They Can Inflict on Your Log Cabin and Yourself
Now, down to the problems carpenter bees can cause for your cabin and yourself.
- They bore unsightly tunnels in wood and raise their young in them.
- The tunnels can be expanded each year and lead to more damage if bees are not eradicated. They target fascia boards, log siding, decks, rooflines, stairs, and railings.
- Once stairs and railings are severely damaged, they can fall and cause injuries.
- Unnoticed damage under deck boards can lead to them breaking when walked on.
- The female carpenter bee may sting when it feels threatened.
Hearing their sounds can be disturbing because you know your cabin is or may be damaged. Another problem is that other types of insects can inhabit the tunnels once the carpenter bees leave for another place to live.
“They are destructive and love nesting in softer woods. Another problem is that other types of insects can inhabit the tunnels once the carpenter bees leave for another place to live. The good news is we can prevent and control their damaging effects.”
Other Insects and Pests That Can Damage Wood
There are eight wood-eating bugs and some rodents that can potentially damage the structure of our log cabins. Termites, ants, beetles, and other borers can cause problems. Mice, rats, and squirrels can also inflict damage to the wood in log cabins. Once the wood is eaten away, other insects and critters may inhabit the spaces. Don’t let the issues move this far along.
Protecting the Wood: Cabin Owners and Pest Professionals
The best management technique is prevention from day one. This is the approach when building a new log cabin, but other steps must be taken if your cabin is already established. Don’t lose the value of your cabin or home investment to small critters!
Bees and Bugs – Wood that is naturally resistant to pests such as cedar is a great choice for log siding. Apply coats of sealer to pine and cedar siding, and also use insect preventative spray or sealants made for this purpose. Annual inspections should be made and applications of appropriate materials should be used as needed.
Rodents – Begin your protection by not leaving pet food in bowls outdoors near the cabin. Don’t leave food out overnight on counters that may attract pests. Once you do see holes or cracks caused by or inhabited by mice, fill them with wood sealant or steel wool (mice hate steel wool). Placing rodent poison or traps in safe places is the standard approach to get rid of them. If you can’t resolve any issues yourself, call a professional pest control technician to address the issues.
Use Log Siding Instead of Full Logs
One of the benefits of using log siding instead of full logs is saving a bundle of money on material and labor costs. Another is using materials that come without cracks in them like full logs. Bees, termites, and beetles love these cracks because they are easier to enter.
Our pine and cedar siding is kiln dried to the correct moisture content to prevent shrinkage and give the best surface for applying stain and sealants. Each piece is hand-inspected to ensure you get the highest quality building materials. Let us know your log siding, trim, and corner needs and we will fill them.