Carpenter Ant Frass


Carpenter ant frass is like a pile of sawdust with shiny black ant parts in it. This pile is from the basement sill just behind where the deck is attached to the house, a common area that moisture effects wood due to snow sitting on the deck and issues with flashing around the deck or doors to the deck.

Thatch and dethatch

Thatch is living material that is part of the growth of bluegrass in lawns.  An amount of thatch is normal in a lawn.  In the photo above, my finger is pressed down on the thatch layer that is growing over the top of the soil.  If soil is compacted or if the natural process of the lawn to consume thatch is compromised excessive thatch may build up.  If excessive that builds up, up to 1/2 or 3/4 inch or more, the best solution is to core aerate the area that has excessive thatch.  Regularly dethatching a lawn each spring usually is not necessary and will lead to other issues like increased summer annual weeds and will force the lawn to repair itself in the spring instead of tillering and building density.  Follow this link to UMASS on thatch management.

Carpenter Bees

Carpenter Bees make holes around the size of the tip of your pinky finger. The female drills a round hole through the side, then drills a perpendicular hole along the grain of the wood. She will lay her eggs inside with an insect to serve as a food source, then she will close off the cell. She will lay multiple eggs per chamber and expand the chamber over the season. This site under a bay window is typical. It is protected and unfinished/unpainted wood. Paint (not stain) is good way to minimize the attractiveness of an area.