Checking for Log Rot and Insect Infestation

Dawn SmithLog Homeowner Education

Did you find what you think is log rot or insect signs? You are not sure but you are willing to find out. Most potential customers are calling us for a restoration estimate. They have noticed some areas of concern. Perhaps you see log rot or insect signs. In this article, we will lightly go over:

How to Use A Steak Skewer to Check for Log Rot

A good way to measure the degree of log rot and how far into the log it penetrates is by using a steak skewer or paint roller. Almost everyone has one at home and if you do not, you know where to get them. To further familiarize yourself with the types of log rot, visit our article “Types of Log Rot“.

Steak Skewer and Paint Roller Frame

Easiest Way

The easiest way for you to check for log rot is to take the skewer and poke the logs. I’ve also heard of people using a paint roller frame on a pole to reach high spots. If the skewer sinks in, you can measure how far it sinks in. Hopefully, the skewer does not sink in anywhere. The best-case scenario is that it only sinks in less than a centimeter or quarter of an inch beyond the point. Although, if it sinks in further than that, then it is something worth noting to get an accurate estimate.

Mark and Measure

If you discover log rot, we recommend using blue masking tape, write down the depth it sunk in, stick it on the log and continue checking the log until you hit solid wood consistently. From there, you can take measurements of how many feet of log rot you might have. Knowing how many feet of log rot you have can help you and us determine how many feet of logs will need replacing.

What are the Signs of Insect Infestation?

Insect signs are generally visible and can be identified through a Google search for insect signs. The termite and carpenter ant are the top predators of logs. Damage from them can be costly but not impossible and it doesn’t always mean your house is beyond repair. Like cancer, early detection is important to keep it from spreading throughout the home. Looking for the “frass” is the easiest way to identify insect infestation.

Picture taken from the City Pests on 5/15/2021 from website credited to University of Nebraska Department of Entomology at

You can also look for frass by finding their garbage dump or exit holes. Once you discover the dump, you can begin to determine who are your unwelcome guests. Tiny insect heads and wings along with sawdust or wood shavings in the frass are often the sign of carpenter ants. Carpenter ants are the common complaint we hear about from log homeowners. We do hear concerns about termites as well. Often people go years without realizing they are living with termites because they don’t know to look for grains of wood similar to pepper or sawdust frass. Below is a picture of the two most common log home invaders.

Log Loving Insects

For an in depth article about “Carpenter Ant Frass vs Termite Frass: What Difference and How to Get Rid of them“, visit the Farmi Homie website the above picture was taken from on 5/15/2021 at the

Another way to tell them apart is by their antenna. The carpenter ants antenna are bent while termites are straight. Of course, these are not the exclusive log home pests.

Other Insect Pests Include:

If you suspect you have an infestation, get in contact with you local pest control to determine the amount of damage as they are the experts in this field. During the restoration process, it will be important to add a borate treatment like Perma-Chinks Amour-Guard and Shell-Guard to avoid future infestations and decay. After restoration, you can use Log Wash as a maintenance cleaner to help in the prevention process.

For more information, feel free to contact us by phone or text at 844-567-2329 or by email at i[email protected].

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