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How to Protect Your Log Home from Pests

Protect log home form pests

A log home is a great opportunity to live closer to nature. But it cannot be denied that they are a perfect place for insects and other pests to create an ideal home. These insects “drill” into your home, leading to various damages.

Here are some ways to prevent pest infestation in your log homes. 

The first step in making sure that your log home is as protected as possible with a borate solution like Permachink’s Shell-Guard. This product protects the wood by making it toxic to any insect that might choose to ingest it. The trick here is that Shell-Guard and products like it MUST BE APPLIED TO RAW WOOD. This allows the borate/glycol solution to permeate the woods surface. So all stains must be removed first. You can do that by either blasting or sanding.

Here are some ways to prevent pest infestation in your log homes. 

Look for Rotten Wood:

Rotten areas are one of the key concerns for a log homeowner. If you are not sure if your log home is plagued by rotten wood, carpenter ants are sure signs of this issue. While these ants look for wooden structures to thrive, they cannot drill through solid wood. Instead, they look for rotting parts. 

To spot the carpenter ants and drive them away, you are must look for the rotten areas. Look for a small heap of sawdust left behind by them if you spot some, set a trap. Then replace or repair the affected parts. It’s vital to also get a pest control professional on a regular rotation to keep pests from damaging your home again.

Seal Seal Holes and Cracks:

If your log home is new, you are likely to assume that your home is properly sealed. However, like many traditional homes, log cabins can experience leaks and cracks around the windows and doorframes. Log homes might have cracks between log courses, particularly if the chinking has started to wear away over time. 

If your log cabin is plagued by any kind of flat-headed wood borers, powderpost beetles, long-horned beetles, or similar pests, you might be able to spot visible holes in the exterior of your home. The best way to deter these pests is to have a pest control profession assess the situation and offer up help.

Caulking is a traditional way to address leaks and cracks around doorframes and windows but you must be very careful with this. Caulking checks (cracks) in the logs can create a moisture trap which will then create rot behind the caulk. If you must caulk because rain, wind or insects are entering the home, please check this area regularly to ensure it’s not showing signs of rot. 

Take Note of the Roof:

Newer roofs are designed to keep out elements, rain, and pests. But older and worn-out roofs can let in cluster flies and other winged pests. If you have found one or more cluster flies buzzing around your log cabin, make sure to get your roof examined as soon as possible. 

A contractor will check the roof’s plywood joints and similar areas of connection. If the sealant has worn out or they are not properly sealed, they are required to be caulked again. 

This task should be part of your regular home maintenance checklist and the roofs should be inspected each fall to make sure that no cluster files get into your home. 

Repair Leaky Pipes:

Leaky pipes are a common household concern. While leaks can cause water damage in any kind of home, they can lead to insect problems in the wood home. 

The leaky areas attract carpenter ants. If you spot any of such insects near-visible leaks, apply borate products to prevent the infestation. Ants are likely to take borate back to their nests eventually killing all of the insects. 

To fix water problems and minimize the risk of another ant colony getting in, make sure to fix those leaky pipes and other water damages as soon as possible. 

Keep the Foundation Dry:

Even if your interiors are dry, a damp exterior or foundation can attract trouble. Damp foundations can be a breeding ground for termites, which can silently work their way into your home, leading to costly wood damages. 

Luckily, the signs of termites are easy to spot if you know where to find them. Look for narrow mud tubes coming from the ground and directly up against walls and other vertical surfaces. 

Since termite damage can be challenging to figure out and the insects are not easy to eliminate, make sure to call a professional. A termite professional generally injects an insecticide around the foundation of your log cabin to prevent the army of these insects.

Seek Out the Nests:

Carpenter bees drill into woods and create deep tunnels inside. Since these tunnels are likely to be long to hide the nest, it is not easy to spot the hideouts of these insects. However, like carpenter ants, bees leave small heaps of sawdust at their tunnel entrances. 

Check the signs of pollen deposits, sawdust, and trails of buzzing insects to find the nests of carpenter bees. 

To deal with a minor bee issue, you can use a common insecticide sold at any hardware store. It takes a more efficient insecticide to eradicate a more serious or larger infestation. 

Bee traps can also be helpful. A borate solution is not helpful in this scenario because carpenter bees do not ingest the wood. You can read a more detailed report about carpenter bees in our previous blog post.


Both new and old homes are more vulnerable to pest issues if they have poor or worn-out finishing. Most log home stains can extend the life of the wood, but some products come with specific instructions. 

To make sure that your log home finishing process is as efficient as possible, use a log cabin stain that protects from mold, insects, and water. Once you are done with the stain, apply an extra layer of finish coat that keeps out UV ray and prevent insects from getting into your log home. Check out our blog post on log home refinishing here for more information.

Whether your old log home is a constant target or insect infestation or you want to prevent it from happening to your new log house, these tips can protect your log home from the attack the beetles, ants, termites, and other common pests. 

What do you think? Let us know by commenting below! 

I hope this was helpful. Browse some of our log home refinishing questions from log home owners like you.

Question 1 | Question 2 | Question 3

See you Soon,

the log doctor

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