What's Eating My House?
October 29, 2005 2:25 PM   Subscribe

Something has been nibbling on the window sashes in my attic. Do you know what it is?
posted by alms to Home & Garden (16 answers total)
 
Looks like termites.
posted by bingo at 2:26 PM on October 29, 2005


It's eating from the outside in, trying to get out to the light ... Doesn't look like termites to me! I'd guess rodentia of some sort.
posted by luriete at 2:29 PM on October 29, 2005


Looks like you have or had a squirrel in your attic. If they can't find a way out, they'll sometimes try to chew their way to freedom. Notice any strange smells lately?
posted by cosmicbandito at 2:36 PM on October 29, 2005


Termites work from the ground up, by the time termites hit the attic I'm sure some other signs would have shown up.
posted by borkencode at 2:40 PM on October 29, 2005


Last time I saw sawdust like that, it was carpenter ants chewing on our (wood) ceiling. The Orkin Man is our friend now. And they'll take care of all kinds of pests...
posted by susanbeeswax at 2:47 PM on October 29, 2005


Second the squirrel suggestion. Red squirrels are supposed to be big on this kind of thing.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:53 PM on October 29, 2005


I thought of the squirrel thing, too, but there haven't been any signs of rodents up there.
posted by alms at 3:00 PM on October 29, 2005


It's eating from the outside in, trying to get out to the light...

What?
posted by bingo at 3:02 PM on October 29, 2005


Termite damage usually resembles bore-holes through the wood, not chewing on the surface - and like everybody else says, normally starts from the ground up.

I'm voting for squirrel. Had one in my attic, and it did similar damage to one of the soffits. Either he found another way out, or he's dead - Suggest you look for holes on the outside of the house he could have gotten in by.
posted by Orb2069 at 3:09 PM on October 29, 2005


squirrels - they're good at hiding, we've had the same problem. seems they start burrowing their own entrances and exits this time of year, in preparation for winter. try one of these, (i got one at home depot) baited with peanut butter.
posted by masymas at 3:58 PM on October 29, 2005


bingo - oops - inside out. our neighbor had a squirrel come in the chimney and do about 5000 damage to redwood shutters, looked exactly like that. we used a live trap and caught him. if the sawdust is fresh, it might be new, or he could have found his own way out eventually ... or there's a squirrel corpse hidden somewhere.
posted by luriete at 5:06 PM on October 29, 2005


i'll vote for squirrels, too ... they're notorious for hiding in attics and doing this kind of thing
posted by pyramid termite at 5:30 PM on October 29, 2005


One single squirrel did that to every window in our garage the one night he was trapped in it.
posted by dhartung at 5:59 PM on October 29, 2005


OK, Squirrels it is. Time to go get the oscelot have-a-heart trap.
posted by alms at 7:30 PM on October 29, 2005


Time to go get the oscelot have-a-heart trap.
I don't mean to be insensitive, but if you don't want the squirrel in your house, catch it, and release it, the squirrel will simply find another way back in. They are quite bright animals, especially when properly motivated.

Essentially, once they're inside your home, they've probably either found a food source or have stored food in your home. Separating a squirrel from food has provided hundreds of years of entertainment and foolishness.
posted by sequential at 10:52 PM on October 29, 2005


Prescription for squirrel capture includes releasing it at least 5 miles from your hom.
posted by jbradley at 1:40 PM on October 31, 2005


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