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Tips for Pest Protection

Pest protection and how to prevent pests from damaging your wood siding or logs.

Preventing pests from damaging your wood siding or logs.

GettyImages_160948342 Most pests that attack wood siding are the same bugs that play a role in the decay process of dead trees and fallen logs in nature. When a tree falls, moisture and decay fungi start to soften the wood, working to return its resources to the soil. This softened wood is especially attractive to decay insects, such as termites, carpenter ants and some types of beetles. The best way you can keep these pests out of your cabin is to prevent water damage and rot. GettyImages_101381841 A common source of water damage is roof leaks and gutter problems. At least once a year, check your attic for moisture and leaks. GettyImages_158006542Gutters should be cleaned at least twice a year (spring and autumn) or more often if you have pines and other trees that drop a large number of needles or leaves. Also inspect your gutters when it rains, looking for leaks and to make sure they are not overflowing, a sign that they are undersized. Another problem area is any place where the wood of your structure touches soil, what the pros call “earth-to-wood contact.” Moisture can easily wick into wood from the soil in these locations. Also, soil-dwelling termites can use these spots to stealthily gain access to your cabin. Adjust the grade or reduce the use of mulch to provide a 6-inch gap between the ground and wood siding. Also, keep stacked firewood (termite food) away from cabin walls. And be aware that carpenter ants can get onto and into your cabin by way of a tree branch that is touching the roof. Finally, if your wood siding is painted, varnished, or finished with any other waterproof coating, walk around and inspect its condition once a year. Peeling paint or varnish needs to be scraped and reapplied to continue protecting your siding from water damage. If the wood is already softened from moisture, then have it replaced before pests make it their home. Ted Snyder