You have probably heard us talk about carpenter bees many many times, and although it may seem redundant, these pesky bees are a big annoyance that you need to be aware of. If you’re already a log home owner, you likely know exactly what we mean. These dreadful little creatures can turn your peaceful outdoor sanctuary into their own little slice of heaven and leave you scrambling trying to get rid of them. Don’t worry too much though, we have been helping people deal with this problem since our company began and we are here to help you with the dilemma of carpenter bees as well.
Carpenter Bee knowledge
First lets start with a little bit of information and background on carpenter bees. Carpenter bees are similar in look to a bumble bee, and people often can get these two confused. However carpenter bees lack the yellow color that bumble bees have, so that can be one of your clear distinctions between the two. Carpenter bees also live all throughout the United States, so no matter where you have your log home, this could be a problem that you might encounter. Western species of carpenter bees prefer Oak, Redwood and Eucalyptus, while the Eastern species prefer Pine, Fur and Cedar. The female carpenter bees start by using their jaws to drill very precisely into the wood of a structure. Once the bees have made their entrance into the wood, they make a sharp 90 degree angle turn into the wood and begin tunneling. These tunnels can sometimes reach four feet in length! Eventually she will stop and carve out her nest. You might even be able to actually hear the female bee drilling through the wood.
Unfortunately, once carpenter bees have started their process of invading your home, they can be very difficult to get rid of, since they will continue coming back to these nests each year. The best option for staying clear of a carpenter bee problem is prevention. Applying a gloss clear coat as an end step in the construction of your home can act as a deterrent. The bees will not like the taste of these types of chemicals as much as they would natural wood. This is also why proper maintenance including sealing and staining can keep them away as well.
They are here, now what
Although prevention is the best method to ensure a life free from the annoyance of carpenter bees, we know that despite our best efforts, sometimes things will not go as planned. If that is the case, here are some suggestions.
- Bait them! Try putting some unstained bird houses near your home, possibly in some nearby trees to give them somewhere else to go that they might prefer more than your home!
- Live with it! This is NOT ideal, especially if the bees are causing a lot of damage, BUT if it is a very minor problem and not getting worse, you may be able to adapt to them. A fun fact about carpenter bees is they are very docile and will not sting you. In fact, the males do not even have stingers.
- Chemical method removal treatment. Sometimes we are hesitant to suggest this, since many of the removal treatment methods can be made of dangerous chemicals and cause harm to us or other wildlife if not careful. Make sure to purchase and use the approved chemicals in concentrated form. Pollinators like bees also play an important role to the Environment and killing them should be a last resort.
If in your situation you were able to rid yourself of the bees somehow, make sure to follow prevention steps to keep them from coming back! Plug any holes that the bees made by putting in a wood dowel coated with caulking or carpenters glue. This will help keep the bees away more than just using caulking or glue. If the damage was bad enough, you may consider replacing some of the damaged logs.
The team at 888 Log Guys are here to help repair Carpenter Bee or other log home damage. We’ve been in business many years and are well equipped to handle the damages caused by these pests!