Insects in Log Homes

The boring insects common in the Midwest are the carpenter ant or bee and the powderpost beetle. Most times these insects don’t do structural damage, but they may indicate a problem with rot.

The Problem

carpenter ants in the logs of a home

Holes that are about the diameter of a pencil are most likely carpenter ants. This may be a warning sign that the logs are rotting.

carpenter ants feeding on decaying wood

It is difficult to tell if you have carpenter ants or bees because the ant has a flying stage. It really doesn’t matter – they both do the same thing… eat rot.

small holes in a log left by powderpost beetles

Powderpost beetle holes are the size of a pencil lead and they leave behind a bit of “dust”.

These types of wood boring insects are a symptom more than a problem in themselves. By getting rid of the rot/moisture problem, the bugs will have no food source and will leave or die back. Termites, on the other hand, can do extensive damage to wood that is not rotting. If you suspect you have termites, contact a local professional exterminator to help assess the problem and come up with a plan to get rid of them.

The Solution

log ends on a home that have been replaced

Once the rotten logs are removed, the problem with the insects is resolved.

Once it is determined that indeed, there is rot, the first step is to remove the rotten part of the log. Edmunds & Company has been doing this type of log home repairs for over 30 years. We use Western Cedar logs that have been kiln dried as our replacement logs. This is of particular importance when we replace whole logs because it ensures that the new logs in the wall will not shrink and cause problems with the floor, roof and foundation. We use cedar primarily because of its resistance to rot.

Borate treatment on logs

For decades, borate wood preservatives have successfully been used to protect log homes from these wood-boring insects.

Can be used as a preventative measure:

  • Should only be applied to raw wood (newly built log homes or after a home has been blasted)
  • Does not interfere with the application of a quality stain

Can be used as a remedial treatment when bugs are present

  • A concentrated formula can be injected into the holes

Click for more information on borate treatment.

If you have insects in your log home, contact us. Or call 715-373-5744