This is the time of year to treat for several wood boring insects …. before they work their way into your logs and cause significant damage over the next few months.
Here’s a quick rundown on the insects we see most frequently when inspecting log home’s in the Spring.
Powder-post beetles are the only wood borers that commonly re-infest seasoned wood and therefore have potential to do long term damage. Powder-post beetle holes are the size of a pencil lead and they leave behind a bit of “dust” that can be seen outside the hole.
Second only to termites in terms of their ability to damage wood, powder-post beetles will attack softwoods and hardwoods including maple, oak, ash, pine, fir and spruce. If they get inside your home they will infest wooden beams, floors, cabinets and furniture.
Termites, when they begin to infest a log home, are normally immediately visible. If a termite enters a log, you’ll notice a small-bore hole with a tiny pile of sawdust. If a termite finds an opening in cracks or crevices between logs, they can be harder to spot.
Termites are voracious eaters and will do significant damage to a log home. To keep termites at bay make sure there is at least 8” of distance between the ground and the first layer of logs and that any wet, rotting wood is not left near your home. Leave a gap between mulch and your foundation and store firewood at least 20 feet away from the cabin.
Old House Beetles
Old House Beetles are one of the few insects that infest fairly dry wood, usually within five to seven years after construction. The first disconcerting sign of an Old House Beetle infestation is usually the noise made by older larvae chewing in the wood. Next you’ll see the oval emergence holes appear. In most cases the greatest potential for long term damage is water seeping into these exit holes and causing logs to rot over time.
A Noisy Indicator
There’s a fairly good chance that if you don’t find these unwanted guests, the woodpeckers will. Woodpeckers feed on the larvae of these insects and in their efforts to reach this food source, they can do more damage to your logs than the insects.
An Ounce of Early Treatment
As serious a problem as wood boring insects can eventually become, they usually can be taken care of easily in the beginning stages by having your home treated by an exterminator. Just remember that over time, these infestations can grow into an even bigger problem. That’s why it is so important to take the proper measures to prevent this from happening now.