Posted by John Fasoldt on 19:45:13 8/14/2016 from 220.127.116.11:
In reply to: Re: Help identify what is chewing the knots in my TG ceiling posted by Beth Fenton on 11:51:23 8/14/2016 from 18.104.22.168:
Beth, you need to find out at least one of two things:
1) From where did this lumber originate? Of course, if it were stored somewhere else, and/or in multiple places, that might not be directly indicative of your problem.
2) Determine what, if any, animal caused this. ("Animals" also include insects.)
About #1: I doubt you can obtain (reliable) information that would disclose the travels of your batch of wood. But ask the lumber yard, even just the source location might be helpful. Wood that is not properly stored, nor properly dried, may already have some form of insect that has either infected the wood after it has been cut or might have been originally living in the wood BEFORE it was cut. Knowing WHICH insect will no doubt tell you where the wood has been, and a way to treat the problem.
The most extreme treatment would be a whole-house fumigation, like they do in, say, Florida or Cali. Or, as one I was familiar with, the manufacturer designated a company to come and rip it all out and replace it. It was probably cheaper that way for the manufacturer, they supplied the wood and I'm not sure how the carpenter(s) were paid or how much. The whole job was not cheap - and I personally did not think they needed to rip out ALL of it, but the homeowner insisted. (Not sure it was even a lawsuit, I was not involved.)
No, I doubt carpenter bees, and I have never heard of a "wood-eating" spider. Even though I keep hoping... :) And no, I don't think it would be termites, you'd see different and more signs. Close-by woods mean nothing, but keep branches off your roof for other reasons also.
NEVER, unless you can't help it, have a flat roof. They just beg for problems after a few years. And NEVER put a roof (more shingles) on top of ANOTHER roof. That too is problems, almost for sure. I know it's a lot cheaper, but it's false economy, any good roofer will tell you that. FIX the flat roof, if you can, money well spent. A good roofer is like a dentist: he tears it down till he gets to the "good" part, then builds it back right. If you discover ants (ANY kind of ant) use your vacuum - not insecticide sprays, you'll scatter them everywhere. Suck 'em up! Don't worry that a few escape. And don't be surprised or even upset finding ants. Not uncommon at all, and no big deal. Just FIX the problem as to why they are there, (moisture, mostly) and you'll solve that problem without an exterminator. A good roof is very important to your home health!
About #2: I would, if you can, take one (or more) of those knots, EACH in a sealed plastic bag, to your county agricultural agent. Every county has one. Bring him your samples and tell him your story. It would be best if you could get in front of him, personally. Failing that, get up a detailed letter, explaining everything.
You might not see what's in those knots, especially if they're too small or not presently active. I would use at least a 10 to 30 glass. I also have a computer microscope if I have to REALLY get close. Almost always, a 10 power glass is enough to ID a problem. If you can ID an insect, you will know best how to treat it.
And there is also a possibility that there is NO insect problem. It might be just drying out, then falling out. But, then again, that might also be the fault of any one of the handlers. It's complicated... And you're not going to get much help from the manufacturer, the lumber yard or the contractor. You'll run into a bunch of people pointing fingers.
Your best contact should start with the County AG agent - hopefully, he's curious, knowledgeable and helpful - I think most of them are. Hopefully, he'll be able to determine your problem. I had one customer that was so pleased by my local guy she baked and took him an apple pie! (I would have loved one!)
Once you have a proper assessment of the problem, you can decide what, if anything, you want to do about it. Some things will end on their own anyway. Some might need some sort of intervention.
BTW, do you have a gas oven? One with a pilot that stays on all the time? If so, tell me and I'll tell you how to prepare one of your samples before you take it in to the AG.
Let me know how it all goes... (I have reased your other duplicate posts.)
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