Log home and Carpenter Bees | Guide

Log homes are great and will last a long time if maintained properly. While the aesthetic of wood is very attractive to us, it is also attractive to many pests. Carpenter bees are one of the most common pest that wreak havoc on wooden buildings. If not stopped early they can create lots of problems including structural issues.

What is a carpenter bee?

Carpenter bees look similar to large bumble bees. They bore small holes in wood and create nests. They do not consume wood like termites, but still can create plenty of damage. They can be attracted to logs, trim, and anything that is wood. Log homes are majority wood and can be an attractive place for these pests to create their nest.

How do I know if I have carpenter bees?

Carpenter bees are bore holes that are perfectly round and can be 1/4 – 1/2 inch in diameter. They typically will be hovering around this area and you should be able to see them entering/leaving the holes. You can also find small traces of sawdust near the holes. The best places to check for carpenter bees in your log home are going to be the corners or anywhere there are trim boards (trim boards might not be treated as well). Logs that are not treated well may have them anywhere.

How to protect your log home against carpenter bees:

  1. Seal and Stain your Log Home:
    Sealing and staining your log home regularly will help make your log home less attractive. Some log home companies like Lok N Logs, treat their logs with borate which helps prevent pests. Keeping proper maintenance will protect your log home from all kinds of things.
  2. Inspect Often and Act Early:
    The earlier that you catch carpenter bees, the less damage they can create. If you see them hovering around or start to see small holes appearing, it is important to act quickly. The longer that they are able to bore, the more damage they will do. Remember they live inside the wood. The nest will become bigger.
  3. Check and Remove Them From Out-buildings:
    If carpenter bees are able to build a nest in an out-building such as a garage or shed… there is a large chance that they will move into your log home. By removing them from any out-building, you are going to help lower the odds of them moving onto your log home.
  4. Treat With Insecticide:
    Insecticide dust/spray can be applied to hole entry ways. These will coat bees as they enter and bring it into the nest. The aim is to kill the queen which is the main source of a growing nest.
  5. Natural Treatments For Carpenter Bees:
    There are a few natural treatments for carpenter bees. You can use almond oil or citrus spray around the holes and on the wood. There are also traps that you can purchase. It is important to note that these methods will not typically kill the queen which is the main source of the growing nest.
  6. Once Treated Fill Holes:
    Once the carpenter bee population is treated and diminished, you must fill holes. You can fill the holes using wooden dowels and wood glue or wood putty. By filling the holes, you are preventing moisture. You are also ensuring that another hive does not move into the old nest.

Bonus tip from our experience

Having fought the war with carpenter bees before. A trick that I’ve found is to fill the hole with a hefty amount of powdered insecticide before you fill the hole. This adds a layer of protection incase there are still bees in the nest or incase a bee works past your filled hole.

Carpenter bees live in wood. The most important thing that you need to know is to make your log home as unattractive to them as possible. Acting fast is also important. They create damage by boring and their holes can also lead to moisture damage. Check: How to prevent rot in your log home.

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