What To Do When Carpenter Bees Are Eating Your Log Home

Posted on: 26 March 2015

Log Home's are beautiful and strong. They are a great example of a house that can withstand years of weather and still look gorgeous. There is one problem: carpenter bees. These bees can wreck havoc on a log home and make it look like Swiss cheese.

It's not just a cosmetic problem; it's a structural one. These bees will turn solid logs into hollowed out timber. It won't happen overnight, but if left alone, the bees will destroy the house.

Here is what you can do about carpenter bees.

Make Sure It's A Carpenter Bee and Not A Wood Pecker

Just because there are small holes in the logs it does not mean that there are carpenter bees present. Another culprit that you need to be aware of is the woodpecker. If you haven't seen bees boring into the logs, then don't be so certain that the hole was made by a bee.

A hole made by a carpenter bee will be perfectly round. They are small circles. A wood pecker hole will look more uneven. Also, most carpenter bees leave a small amount of dust at the base of the hole. If you wait outside on a sunny day and observe the area where the holes are, you should see the bees entering or exiting.

One thing to keep in mind is that carpenter bees will sometimes attract wood peckers. So, even if the holes were made by carpenter bees, wood peckers might soon show up. The wood peckers eat the bees, so they will be drawn to the wood and begin their own attack.

Filling The Hole Is Not Sufficient

The first mistake people make is to fill the hole and then think that the job is done.  The problem is that carpenter bees tunnel deep inside of the log. They live inside of the logs. They don't have hives in trees. So, if you plug the hole, all you are doing is closing one exit. They will simply tunnel a new exit.

How To Properly Deal With The Hole

You should get a can of insecticide that has a long, flexible nozzle. Place it into the hole and then spray. This should kill most of the bees that are inside. Then you should fill the hole with wood putty.

If you are concerned that you won't get to all of the bees, you can always hire a specialist. They have tools that can reach deep into the log and kill all of the bees.

Treat The Logs So The Bees Won't Come Back

Once the holes are filled, the next thing you have to do is treat the logs with a stain. Carpenter bees are attracted to bare wood. This is why painted houses don't have a problem with carpenter bees. However, log homes tend to be stained and not painted. So, you will want to make sure your logs are stained.

There are additives you can use with the stain that act as an additional repellant.  You will buy these separately and mix them into the stain.

This should keep the bees from returning in the future. If they've already caused extensive damage, you may need to contact a local contractor that offers log home repairs to help you take care of the problem and get your logs back in shape. 

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