Save the Wood!!!

I pontificated about the wood verses the plastic but let’s face it, thousands of years from now, someone is going to pull that plastic “thing” out of the ground and see exactly what it is.     Not so with the wood.

Wood requires care and maintenance.    Worse, W-O-O-D spells food for many insects!

For those who are firm believers in peacemaking, you can forget it.     The little devils have already declared war and the consequences can be financially devastating and may cause you to lose your very home.     

Show no mercy.

We all know the terrible damage that termites can do but fortunately, due to our foul weather they are not as ravaging as in other parts of the country.         That doesn’t mean we can let our guard down because we have ‘others’ who thrive just fine.     There are carpenter ants, carpenter bees and powder-post beetles.

Carpenter Ants.       Small sugar ants can be an annoyance but these ‘Big’ boys are much larger and mean business.     Any sign of them within 100 feet of your house should cause you to panic.      Just a few seen means hundreds more are chewing up large sections of wood ‘somewhere’.      Spraying these bad boys is not enough, you have to be thorough.     The best bet and which will remove almost all ants is Ant Block by Amdro.      You simply scatter a thin line of tiny pellets around your house.   The ants don’t die initially, they love the stuff and bring it back to the queen who loves it too.     She eats it and dies and within a few weeks, your ‘problem’ is resolved.      Ant Block is available at Wal-Mart and Lowes.


Carpenter Bees.    Yes, these nasties do as much damage as carpenter ants but are airborne.     Obviously, a different approach has to be taken.      The best thing is to take a ladder and search carefully over the clapboards looking for any  openings or cracks.       The solution is simple: caulk and caulk and caulk.       If you actually discover bees entering and exiting your home and want to be somewhat kind-hearted, monitor until the vast majority leave and then seal the hole.  


Powderpost Beetles.         There does come a time no matter how clean the house is kept that you will have to have the house sprayed.      As you can see, the name of this bug tells you everything and most likely, you will never see them (until it’s too late!).       Be prepared to have the spraying done twice to take care of the eggs of the offenders.        So next time a pesticide company gives you a quote , multiply the price at least twice or you have wasted your money.       The good thing is the effort will tackle silverfish, termites, and any other unknown invader intent on devouring your house.

God intended these creatures to actually serve a good purpose in nature – the breakdown of rotted wood in the forest so many other creatures could benefit from the nutrients.       The reason they’re invading your home is most likely the second biggest threat for a wooden house, water.     The question you should be asking is, “Why are they attacking my house?”    Most likely, it is a water-based issue.  

But that is another discussion.

-P. Preservationist

A note about spiders.     You may not be a Buddhist when it comes to these eight-legged creatures and there is one fact that is clear in this world, spiders have no sense of humor, but they do a great job.     Historic homes are full of nooks and crannies where bugs like to hang out and spiders are single-minded in their appetites.    Of course, they’re slobs so cobwebs and the husks of their victims may lay everywhere but diligent cleaning takes care of this annoyance.    Cleaning also resolves the ‘nest’ situation.      Too many spiders can lead to being ‘bitten’.    Like I said, they have no sense of humor.


About P. Preservationist

Dedicated to the Enrichment & Preservation of Newburyport
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