What's eating my cabin???

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by cc-rider, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

    Messages:
    2,137
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2003
    Location:
    flatlands of Ohio - sigh
    We stopped down at the cabin for the first time in a few months. When we left last fall, we had just finished painting the exterior. It is plywood and pine trim painted with exterior paint.

    When we checked it out last weekend, something had been chewing on the bottom edges of the plywood, but only on the west side. At first I thought a mouse or raccoon since it was down low to the ground. Chewed the paint off and rounded the edges of the plywood. No real obvious teeth marks, however... just smoothly chewed off!

    But then I looked up and saw that "it" had also chewed the trim board at the top of the wall! Up under the eaves. Really did a number on it. So now I don't think it was a mouse because it couldn't have gotten up there (and hung there) to chew on the trim.

    Why would something eat the wood on my cabin when there was a cord of firewood sitting 10 foot away?? And how do I stop it??

    Thanks!
    Chris
     
  2. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    17,240
    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Location:
    Minnesota
    My guess would be a porky.
     

  3. BrahmaMama

    BrahmaMama Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    762
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    I'm thinking a porkypine too.
    There's a product you can get a the pet store call "Bitter Apple" if you spray it on it might deter Porky (it tastes awful!), but you might need alot of it........ :eek:
     
  4. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,787
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2005
    Location:
    IL, right smack dab in the middle
    How would a porky get to the top of the wall? If theres that much snow would a mouse or rabit be able to get there too? besides a porcupine usually leaves very noticable teethmarks
     
  5. kars1995

    kars1995 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    261
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Eastern NC
    Termites maybe? We have a north facing outside wall on our barn that the termites are eating and they are working their way up. We have a wood pile close by that I'd rather they eat. It's always something..... ;)
     
  6. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    17,240
    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Location:
    Minnesota

    Same way he would get to the top of a tree?
     
  7. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

    Messages:
    2,137
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2003
    Location:
    flatlands of Ohio - sigh
    I've NEVER seen a porcupine in my life. Do they have them around here? And I know there wasn't any snow.... I guess, when it DOES snow, it doesn't stick around long. This is WAY southeastern Ohio.

    My first thoughts had been deer, but I really don't think they could reach up that high, nor get down on the ground to chew the bottoms of the boards. Would squirrels do this??
     
  8. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

    Messages:
    14,799
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Between Crosslake and Emily Minnesota
    I agree with the others...porcupine! They especially love plywood and T1-11. It has something to do with the glues in the wood.
     
  9. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

    Messages:
    2,137
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2003
    Location:
    flatlands of Ohio - sigh
    How could a porky eat a piece of trim that is 9' up in the air?? There would be NOTHING for him to hang onto.
     
  10. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,274
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2003
    Location:
    Colorado
    Was the damage on the outside only?

    Mice can climb a painted wall, so a log cabin wall would be no problem whatsoever. But it doesn't sound like rodent damage to me, nor termite damage. A mouse or other rodent would be inclined to gnaw a hole, not all along the edge. Termite damage is unique because they eat the soft wood and leaving the harder wood raised. Termite damage almost looks sandblasted -- very smooth with damage following the grain.
     
  11. egads1

    egads1 Member

    Messages:
    22
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    No. VA.
    cc-rider,

    We had similar problems with our weekend place and found out it was squirrels. They apparently eat/gnaw the plywood/T1-11 for the salt content during the winter months.
     
  12. inthewoods

    inthewoods Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    105
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Location:
    TN
    My parents have a cabin with T1-11 siding. The squirrels have caused a lot damage by chewing the siding.
     
  13. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

    Messages:
    14,799
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Between Crosslake and Emily Minnesota
    Just do a google search on the words: porcupine and plywood
     
  14. Farmer Willy

    Farmer Willy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,249
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    A short way past Oddville
    The key here is S.E. Ohio----not really any of those porky things here. My guess will be squirels, most likely gray squirels. They can be destructive little ......things. Next question is does this building have a closed attic or loft space? They will gnaw an opening, and have caused fires from chewing wiring. Gonna be hard to deter since you aren't there all the time. Normally I'd bait them away with raw peanuts and let the 12 ga. take over. I like mine stewed with dumplings. You might have luck with a small live trap if you are in the area for a day or two, but please, don't leave baited traps unattended. Even little fuzzy tailed rats deserve a clean kill as opposed to thirst in a trap.
     
  15. rimius2000

    rimius2000 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    CC-Rider,

    I built a timberframe house with a T-111 siding and I had flying squirrels try to chew their way inside at night. You could hear them land on the eaves of the roof and all sorts of bustle and activity at night. The only thing I could do was to closely inspect the area and notice that there was a slight air leakage in the construction details. They apparently keyed in on this and it was the center of their gnawing and chewing. I ran some thin boards and caulk to seal the area off and they eventually went away. What a pain!
     
  16. BeeFree

    BeeFree Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    839
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Location:
    Ripley Co. Mo
    Might be a wood pecker, they can do a lot of damage to wood.
     
  17. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,808
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2003
    Location:
    Dysfunction Junction, SW PA
    you would be amazed where a porky can climb.
     
  18. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    3,163
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Location:
    Middle of nowhere along the Rim, Arizona
    My vote is for the porcupine also. You'd be amazed at what they can climb. Also, they move very slowly and blend in -- you could walk right past one and not see it because they look like part of the tree they're sitting in.

    Some years back I was camped at a public campground overnight & around two AM in the morning I heard a lady screaming ... she'd used one of those plastic "porta-a-potties" and had realized while inside that there was an animal on top of the porta-a-potty because she heard scrabbling noises. SHe ran off back to her tent screaming with her pants around her ankles ... Investigation with a flashlight showed that the guilty culprit was a porky.

    No idea what the porky was doing on top of the porta-a-potty. We elected to leave it up there and it was gone in the morning.

    Leva
     
  19. chuckhole

    chuckhole Born city, love country

    Messages:
    428
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Definitely squirrels here. I don't think there are porkys here. THe squirrels have gnawed right through the cedar facia and siding to get into my attic. In my country place, I hear them all the time. What has really helped is to keep fresh mothballs tossed all around the attic and barn. This has helped keep out the racoons, opposums (hate 'em) and squirrels (tree rats). I have even had to rewire because of the chewing of the insulation. I am running all my wiring in pvc conduit as it gets replaced. Reminder to self: It is time to get more mothballs. :D
     
  20. Bear

    Bear Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    330
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Location:
    PA.
    I have a hunting cabin up in the mountains and have red and flying squirrels living in the attic. They have everything chewed up and at night you can hear them gnawing away. When I tryed to close off all the openings, they just chewed holes through the wood!