Unfiltered Opinions: Exterior Wood and the Birds and the Bees

Date: February 1, 2023 Category: Tips


Two photos side by side. The photo on the left is a close-up of a beed on a purple flower. The photo on the right is a close-up of a black, white and red bird resting on a tree branch.

Our wood products are exceptionally well manufactured, and extremely resistant to rot and decay. Thermory’s thermally modified wood is even termite resistant – termites eat cellulose (sugars) in wood fiber, and the thermal modification process eliminates this food source. But what about woodpeckers? And what about carpenter bees? Will our wood alleviate this concern? This is one of the more common questions we get about our remarkable materials, since they’re so resistant to just about everything else.

Well, the short answer here is…no. Woodpeckers are attracted not to wood products specifically, but to the bugs that live behind wood siding. In fact, they’ll peck through just about anything if they’re hungry enough – I’ve even seen them nose their way through vinyl siding. Woodpeckers can be galling – they’re noisy, they’re pernicious, and they make holes in your walls…even though, at least to this writer, they’re kind of cute.  While hardwood may stand up a bit better than softwood, a hungry woodpecker will go to town on just about any substrate if sufficiently motivated…but there are simple remedies that can just about eliminate this issue. Woodpeckers hate shiny things! Bird repellent discs and tape can scare woodpeckers away and drive them to easier targets…like your nosy neighbor’s house, for example. If you’d rather avoid having shiny objects on your home, electronic woodpecker repellents use sound to drive the interlopers off your property.

The other question we frequently receive is about carpenter bees. Simply put, these are nasty little suckers. Carpenter bees also do not eat wood…they build homes in it. Specifically, they create little holes in wood products to lay their eggs in. We don’t run into these all that often, but in cases where we do, they can be persnickety. Most carpenter bees prefer softwood to hardwood, but there are some that will attack hardwoods, and they do prefer unfinished wood products – one solution to reduce the likelihood of carpenter bees is to prime and paint, or oil the wood products. Alternatively, there are several methods to dissuade these uninvited guests, include more friendly bee hotels and citrus oil. That said, sometimes it’s time to go to war – WD40 in one hand, a tennis racket in another, and your favorite heavy metal tunes…it may not be pretty, but you’ll win the battle.

The wood we provide is the absolute finest on the market in terms of beauty, longevity, consistency, and sustainability. But it’s not magic, and we always like to be candid about what it cannot do. We’re happy to provide guidance on how to fight off destructive pests, but no wood product can realistically claim dominance over these critters.

About the Author

Jordan Russin is the 3rd generation Co-Owner and Co-President of Russin. His passion for the lumber industry, custom homeowners and architects, and the Russin team knows no bounds. When he’s not working you can find him skiing with his family, climbing mountains, or with his nose buried in a book.


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