You have a lot invested in your home. Don’t let carpenter bees and ants ruin the object of your affection. These insects can cause extensive damage that could potentially impact the structure of your home. Let’s take a look at some ways to keep your home insect-free.
Protecting Your Home Against Ants
You can distinguish carpenter ants from termites, as they have darker colored bodies, bent antennae, and thinner waists. These little buggers are quite common in open spaces where wood homes are commonly located. Oftentimes, they appear as the result of new construction. Disturbing the earth to build a new home or expand on an already existing one forces these ants out of their subterranean homes. They munch away at wood to create room for their own little living spaces.
If enough carpenter ants burrow deeply into your home, they will eventually cause your home to rot. You can pinpoint the ant colony by the presence of small piles of sawdust. Or, you can put some bait out in the form of tiny pieces of meat to attract the ant and follow them back to their colony.
There are all sorts of pest control products that will temporarily remove ants from your home. However, the only way to permanently get rid of ants is to eliminate their nesting spaces.
Oftentimes, these ants are attracted to the moisture in your home’s wood. There is no insecticide on today’s market that will completely remove the moisture from wood.
A structural repair will be necessary to completely dry out your home. Yet you can send those pesky ants on their way out with the application of an insecticide. If you’re unfamiliar with the insecticide application process, don’t be afraid to ask for assistance from pest control professionals.
Protecting Your Home Against From Carpenter Bees
If you spot big black and yellow bees around or in your home, you have a carpenter bee problem. They excavate tunnels in wood homes to establish nests. They excavate any type of wood, regardless of whether it is painted, sound or weathered. You’ll be able to confirm their presence when you spot holes about the size of 1/2 inch with sawdust below. Seal off each of these entryways with wood putty or caulking. Push it as far back into the carpenter bee holes as possible. Good sealing with window and door foam that’s low expanding will also reduce cluster flies as well.
If you’d like to take preventative action to avoid the presence of carpenter bees, spread a wood finish with an insecticide along your home’s wood. An insecticide like Timbor will kill the bees as soon as they come into contact with the treated surface. If possible, apply this finish at the beginning of spring, as that is when carpenter bees are the most active. Many cabin owners have reported that encapsulated pyrethroids are an effective solution as well.
Others fill the holes created by carpenter bees with dusting balls soaked in insecticide. While some have reported that a new coat of stain deters carpenter bees, others testify that this is only a short-term solution and the bees eventually come back to drill once again. If you decide to apply a new coat of stain, make sure to use one that is specifically intended for application on log homes and/or wood siding.
Build a Carpenter Bee Trap
1- 7″ to 8″ piece of 4″x4″ wood
1 mason jar, with lid and ring
1 eye hook
A piece of Rope, twine or metal wire
Cut a chunk off 7 to 8″ chunk off a 4″X4″ board, then cut off the top half about 4″ up at an angle.
Using a 1/2″ drill bit, drill a hole up through the bottom (the flat end) until you reach the middle of the block.
Flip the 4″x4″ piece over and drill a 7/8″ hole at a 45-degree angle about 4 inches deep until you reach the center hole. Repeat on each side.
Place the flat mason jar lid on a solid surface, mark the center and two spots on each side, this is where you’ll screw the lid to the block of wood.
Drill out the center hole. Place the drilled lid back into the mason jar ring, line up the holes with the flat bottom of the 4″x4″ block of wood. Screw the lid securely in place with 2 small screws, ensuring the lid is in line with the hole. Screw the mason jar onto the trap.
Add a small eye-hook to the angled top of the block and a piece of twine or wire to create a handle to hang the trap.
The bees will travel into the hole, once they get inside they’ll see light ahead and move towards it to exit when they do, they drop into the mason jar, unable to escape. We’ve caught hundreds of these destructive beasts using this method over the years.
Proactive Homeowners Enjoy Insect-Free Living
It is possible to live in an insect-free home if you follow the advice set forth above. The key is to take the initiative, scan your home for insects from time to time and implement highly effective solutions. Be proactive and it won’t be long until you can live in peace without those annoying ants, bees, and other bugs.