Are Log Homes Particularly Susceptible to Termites?

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  • Written By: S. Mithra
  • Edited By: L. S. Wynn
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2019
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A log home might look like a cartoon lunch for a hungry horde of termites that devour it in three seconds flat. However, our assumption that log homes, when compared with stick frame houses, are particularly susceptible to termites is largely misguided. While termites don't necessarily prefer either split logs or planks more, a log home makes visible the often hidden infestations. When you know early on there's a problem, it's much easier to treat. If, however, you don't know there's a problem early on, getting rid of severe termite infestation in a log home can be costlier and take a longer time largely because the termites can bore themselves deep into the wood logs.

If you live in an especially damp, humid climate, such as the southern United States, ensure that you choose high quality lumber. Your properly cured and seasoned logs should have a thick diameter and been treated to resist moisture. Timber could acquire fungi and termites before installation, so use a reputable company that harvests wood during the fall or winter. Pressure treated logs are further protected against infestations by insects like beetles and subterranean termites.


At the first sign of a termite infestation, which might be a dribble of sawdust trickling from a tiny hole, you can alert an expert on termite extermination. The termites won't have time to do major damage as they often wreak on studs enclosed by drywall. Since everything, such as joists, walls, etc., is totally accessible to the exterminator, treatment should be simple. You can easily check if the measures permanently got rid of the problem.

The accessibility of the wooden structure isn't the only thing that makes log houses less susceptible to major termite damage that could cost tens of thousands of dollars. If you're building your own log cabin, you're more likely to take extra measures that insulate your walls from the foundation, and the foundation from the ground. Termites often climb onto walls, rather than fly into them, so you can take a few steps that make the journey from the ground up as difficult as possible.

Several barriers and sealers are designed to keep termites from migrating from soil, through the cement foundation, into the logs. For example, choosing some kinds of foundations over others can lower your chances of an infestation. Pier blocks are preferable to a poured foundation with barrier sand, which is in turn preferable to an ordinary cinder block foundation. If you can, avoid digging a basement. Developers have created a special metal cover, called a termite shield or termite barrier, that stops termites from climbing over the division between the lower foundation and the upper sill plate.

Additionally, carefully oversee construction to make sure that builders don't decide to ditch their scrap wood on your property by burying it and hoping you won't notice. Never store or dispose of any type of wood in the ground because this will certainly attract flocks of termites. From there, it's only a hop, skip, and a jump to your log house. For extra protection, treat the ground surrounding your home with an insecticide seasonally. As usual, prevention is the best cure.


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