Log home owners often worry about their house's potential for infestations of insects like carpenter ants. The reality, however, is that log homes tend to be about as vulnerable to pests as any other wood-based structure, with less risk the more you follow a basic maintenance schedule. Still, you will need to take a few precautions to discourage these unwanted visitors and all of the damage they can cause, and you may have to invest in a log home repair service if they have had time to become entrenched.
Recognizing the Signs of Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants are sometimes thought to eat wood, but they actually prefer it as a nesting material. These large, powerful ants tunnel their way into soft or rotting wood, creating large colonies in the process. They naturally live in old trees, stumps and logs, but they won't turn up damp wood if they can find it in a house as well. If your home has a colony of carpenter ants within its walls, you will likely notice their scouts in your rooms, particularly winged ones, as well as piles of shavings where they have cleared their tunnels.
Keeping Your Logs Dry
Carpenter ants are not willing to put in the effort needed to carve a colony out of strong, healthy wood, which is just another reason to prioritize keeping your log home as waterproof as possible. This means regular sealing and staining, as well as replacing any logs that have been compromised by moisture quickly. These services can often be scheduled regularly with your local log home contractors to give you peace of mind and ensure that the job gets done on time every year. Besides warding off ants and termites, moisture control will also simply significantly extend the lifespan of your logs and the home they form.
Preventing Access to Food and Water
Like any other ants, carpenter ants send scouts out from the colony to forage for food and other supplies necessary to raise their young. Proper home hygiene is essential to keep them away, but that can be easier said than done. Work with your household to guarantee that no food is being left out for ants to find, including sweeping and vacuuming regularly to pick up any escaped crumbs.
Repairing Damage Done by a Carpenter Ant Colony
If you are unlucky enough to discover a carpenter ant colony already thriving within your house, you should first work with a pest control company to remove them thoroughly. Once they are gone, call your log home repair service to begin assessing the damage and removing the logs that have been hollowed out by these industrious pests. Leaving affected logs in place will encourage mold and future colonies, so it is in your best interest to remove as much of the colony as you can find. Once you are free of the ants, start following a more regular maintenance schedule to keep them away and catch them early should they try to invade again.