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Thread: Identify this

  1. #1
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    Default Identify this

    I came across this today and out of curiosity wondered what caused it.
    It obviously ate holes in the kraft paper backing on insulation leaving what I guess would be called frass on the floor of the attic and on surrounding insulation. No shelter tubes, no live or dead bugs that I could find. This was an area of about 5' tall by 2-3' wide. There was evidence of moisture on part of the paper that was eaten and in the general area from gaps in the refrigerant line insulation. The paper that was eaten looked like what I would call "lace".
    Any ideas?

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    Jim Luttrall
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Identify this

    Drywoods, maybe. Any holes in the framing?


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Identify this

    No wood damage of any kind. I had my pest control buddy take a look while he was there, he shrugged and said it is not a WDO, maybe ants.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Identify this

    Fritz, I just mentioned evidence of pests, talk to a pest control expert.
    But I want to know for the next time.

    Jim Luttrall
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Identify this

    Roaches eat that paper too.

    Look at it this way, if there is no wood damage, then whatever did that did the seller a big favor, because now most of the 'not to be left exposed' paper facing is gone and no longer exposed. Just remove the rest of the paper ... and (of course) strap the insulation in place so it does not fall down.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Identify this

    Yeah, I already mentioned that, Jerry.
    BTW, I have a bunch more pictures if needed for identification, these were just more representative of the total picture.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Identify this

    Jim,

    As a PCO also, I would agree with Fritz as it being most likely from silverfish.

    I've seen this many times before. If you had pulled it back the paper in the summer time you probably would have seen them there.

    As far as the frass, I would say from a prior carpenter ant infestation.

    Has the roof been replaced lately. Many of the older wood shingle roof homes are notorious for the silverfish in the attic.

    JMHO

    rick


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Identify this

    New roof, but the house is only 17 years old and had solid decking, no wood shingles. This one area was the only area in the whole attic.
    Thanks for the input.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Identify this

    Jim,

    Was this area say near or over a bathroom where a exhaust fan is possibly pumping warm moist air to this attic location?

    rick


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Identify this

    No Rick, this was over a two car garage against the second floor bedroom wall, just soffit vents as far as air flow. There was damaged refrigerant line insulation providing a moisture source along this wall. There was some minor moisture staining in the area at the top of the wall and going about halfway down the wall.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Identify this

    I'd still have to go with silverfish.

    rick


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Identify this

    Next question, what is the difference between a silverfish and a roach?

    Jim Luttrall
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  13. #13
    Kevin Barre's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identify this

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Next question, what is the difference between a silverfish and a roach?
    Big difference. Roach = big, brown ugly thing you want to kill. Silverfish = much smaller, silvery thing you want to kill, only they seem even faster since they are so small. Silverfish are often found in old books and boxes of papers.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Identify this

    Thanks for the input, I know a heck of a lot more about building construction than pest control or bug identification.

    Kevin, I was thinking of water bugs and roaches, not silverfish.
    I think I heard, if your poor you have roaches and then when you get some money they become water bugs.

    My motto is if it isn't paying rent or related to me, kill it and worry about what kind of pest it is later.

    Jim Luttrall
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Identify this

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    My motto is if it isn't paying rent or related to me, kill it and worry about what kind of pest it is later.
    So, if you have daughters..... I imagine their boyfriends keep a low profile around you....


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Identify this

    10-4

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  17. #17
    Barry Grubb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identify this

    I am a bugman and do lots of wdo inspections. That kind of damage on paper could be caused by many different insects. Without a bug or other evidence to back it up, it would be hard to say. If I had to guess, I would go along with silverfish. However, I have found subterranean termites eating cardboard and paper tacked on walls that have not got into the wood yet.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Identify this

    The evidence that Jim posted though had no visible evidence of any dirt or tunneling so subterranean termites could be ruled out.

    rick


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Identify this

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    The evidence that Jim posted though had no visible evidence of any dirt or tunneling so subterranean termites could be ruled out.

    rick
    I agree.

    A retired "bug man".

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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