June 1st, 2013 10:55 PM by Dan Howard
Prevention of Infestations is Cheaper than the Cure
Summer maintenance requires that we need to prevent wood destroying insect infestations. Mother Nature’s “universal plan” includes a recycling program that is far more efficient and extensive than taking used newspapers to a center to be turned into insulation. Dead trees are turned into topsoil so that new plants and trees can grow. That miracle doesn’t seem so wondrous when the dead wood that is being recycled by termites, carpenter ants and carpenter bees is the wood in our homes.
If there are unpainted overhangs, siding areas or ceilings they should be primed and painted. With the milder winters of the last couple of years, carpenter bees have become a real common problem. They drill perfectly round ¼” inch holes in unpainted wood. They then drill a tunnel at 90 degrees to the face of the wood and lay a gallery of carpenter bee eggs. Painting exterior wood is the best defense against carpenter bees.
Mulch for the plants is often a part of summer preparation. The most common mulch is bark, which is also an open invitation for carpenter ants and other wood destroying insects. Rubber mulch, mushroom compost, peat moss and stone are all better selections than bark if the goal is to avoid carpenter ants.
Finally, there is the most important part of summer preparation. Clean the grill and fire it up for a summer picnic. There really should be a reward for all the work.