Log homes are gorgeous to look at. They emit a special kind of warm, cozy feeling. As a bonus, they require little maintenance if they have been built from quality logs with careful craftsmanship.
Wood, however, is a natural material and sometimes it requires extra attention and treatment. For example, log home owners should stain their logs to protect them from the elements. Likewise, they should make sure their logs do not provide shelter to unwanted intruders like termites or carpenter bees.
Carpenter bees make their nests inside logs by digging tunnels. The females then deposit their eggs where they later hatch.
The best way to protect your logs from carpenter bees is to discourage them from making a home in your logs in the first place. If you already have a carpenter bee infestation, you can treat the problem by using an approved insecticide and then filling the cracks and holes.
What Are Carpenter Bees?
Carpenter bees look a lot like bumblebees, except for the fact that they have shiny abdomens.
Carpenter bees are not aggressive and will rarely sting. Carpenter bees are rather solitary and will avoid humans as long as they don’t feel threatened. Like bees, only the females sting.
Female bees dig burrows inside the wood using their strong jaws, thus creating narrow tunnels that can be one foot long or even longer. They chew the sawdust they produce to make wood pulp, which they then use to build the nests where they will lay their eggs. Once they have laid their eggs, the females die and the eggs hatch in about 7 weeks. Once hatched, the carpenter bees fly away.
Carpenter bees tend to return to the same wood they know, which means that log home owners have to stop returning carpenter bees from further burrowing into their logs year after year.
How Do I Know If My Logs Have Carpenter Bees?
The first sign of a carpenter bee infestation is seeing them flying around your home, either inside or outside. They make a buzzing sound that can’t go unnoticed.
You may also find sawdust under your logs and small holes on the wood, both of which are telltale signs that carpenter bees are making their way into your logs.
Are Carpenter Bees Dangerous?
Carpenter bees will rarely sting, so they are not really dangerous. The main risk from an infestation is that the tunnels and galleries they burrow may compromise the integrity of the building.
Of course, a few tunnels that are just a few inches long are unlikely to cause any problems besides the constant buzzing. Longer galleries, however, could slowly undermine your home’s stability, as their large, long tunnels will trap humidity inside the wood. Humidity causes mold and could rot the logs.
What Type of Wood Do Carpenter Bees Prefer?
Carpenter bees prefer softer woods: pine, cedar, fir, and eucalyptus woods are their favorites.
Besides your walls, you may also find carpenter bees nestling in fence posts and wooden window frames as well as in anything woody like porches, railings, and decks.
How Do I Protect My Logs From Carpenter Bees?
Just like with most things in life, prevention is always best.
Carpenter bees will find it harder to bore through stained, varnished, and treated wood. Therefore, make sure your logs are properly stained, ideally with an oil-based stain. Carpenter bees generally prefer untreated and worn wood, so if your logs are well maintained, the bees are much more likely to visit someplace else.
If you have gotten rid of an infestation, you should plug the holes. Remember to not plug them with wood, caulking, or chinking material, as carpenter bees will drill right through it.
Another way to deal with carpenter bees is to use special traps. These trap the bees by imitating a carpenter bee’s nest.
If you have a serious infestation and are worried about your home’s integrity, you can use an approved insecticide dust or spray. Carpenter bees don’t actually eat the wood; they merely use it to create their galleries. Therefore, it makes no sense to simply apply some insecticide on the logs. Instead, propel it well into the burrow to reach as much of its length as possible.
The best time to treat your carpenter bee infestation is in spring, when the bees are still hibernating. If that’s not possible, treat your infested homes in the evening, when the bees are less active.
Frontier Log Homes Deliver Quality Log Homes
Here at Frontier Log Homes, we choose the best-quality woods. We let them dry properly to deliver treated wood that can better withstand bugs and insects.
Frontier Log Homes are the industry leaders in award-winning log cabin kits. Choose from our wide variety of handcrafted log home cabin kits, available in many designs, shapes, and footage. Contact Frontier Log Homes online, visit us at 60813 Maple Grove Road, Montrose, CO 81403, or call now 970-249-7130. Our excellent craftsmanship creates kits that will match your dream log home!