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Help to identify, please.


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I came across this today, and although I have an either or idea what I'm looking at, before I call it what it is not, I'd like some input.

It looks like a piece of foam plant-on trim. If so, it may be that a tree branch poked a hole in it and someone made a ham-fisted repair with fixall or something similar.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Hi Guys,

Thanks for jumping in.

I considered Jim's explanation, but was drawn off when I scratched it with my fingernail. Then, like Brandon and Garet, I was drawn towards the nest idea. It looked like, and scratched off like sheltertube. It's also located below a water intrusion on an EIFS wall.

I'm going to look at it again. I hope Jim is right, maybe it's just a bad fix. I'll scratch a little more and see whats under it. There is what seems to be an impression below the mass.

Alot is riding upon what I name this patch. Whatever it is, I don't want to call it what it is not.

Thanks again.

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Hi Guys,

Thanks for jumping in.

I considered Jim's explanation, but was drawn off when I scratched it with my fingernail. Then like Brandon and Garet, I was drawn towards the nest idea. It looked like, and scratched off like sheltertube. It's also located below a water intrusion on an EIFS wall.

I'm going to look at it again. I hope Jim is right, maybe it's just a bad fix. I'll scratch a little more and see whats under it.

There is alot riding upon what I name this patch. Whatever it is, I don't want to call it what it is not.

Thanks again.

Mud dauber wasps and some kinds of bees make nests that are eerily similar to termite tubes.

Maybe a tree branch poked a hole in it and the wasps or bees made a "repair."

Use a small tool to carefully pick it apart. If you find alternating layers of eggs & dead insects or plant parts, you'll have found an insect nest.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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This was located below the mass. I looked at the debris with a magnifying glass. I didn't see any wings, but I did see plant and insect parts.

I also looked all around the foundation below the plants. I really didn't see anything else.

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Saw one several weeks ago at a little more than eye level in an entryway on top of an exterior light. As I stood there talking to the client, the mama sat there on her eggs watching us carefully as we walked by. I suppose she appreciates how warm that thing gets at night when the light is on.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Good morning Mike,

When I wasn't holding the tree out of the way for the sake of the camera, it was right up against the building. Threre is a "cradle" in that part of the branches. Maybe there could have been a nest there. I seem to remember that swallows nest out of mud. Is that so?

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I went back and examined the mass, Using a sharp knife, I shaved off whatever it is. As you can see, there is no damage to the EIFS below. The only blemish is a stain, which I think will come clean with soap and water.

I brought the shavings back to the office. With a magnifying glass, I see nothing that resembles eggs, insect parts, or vegetation. All I see is sand and mud. Everything crumbles into very fine particles.

I'm considering that someone simply lobbed a lump of dirt onto the wall. Unless someone can add to the sceniero, I am going to classify this as harmless.

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This is the narrative that I included in my report regarding this anomoly.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

A brown mass, approximately 3" x 3", resembling insect byproduct was present on the EIFS, below

the front window, next to the front steps. The mass was visually inspected in situ, and a careful

examination of the surrounding area was conducted, looking for indications of active, inactive,

and/or additional infestations. No such indications were found. The mass was removed and

examined under magnification. The material looks like sand and dirt. There were no tunnels,

cavities, egg residue, or decayed insect parts present. Other than a surface stain that should be

able to be removed with soap and water, there is no damage to the area. Without laboratory

testing, it is impossible to determine the absolute makeup of the material. Since this mass was

located next to a "cradle" in the adjacent shrub, it is also possible that it is the remnant of a bird's

nest, of a species such as a Swallow, who uses a sand/mud mixture to construct it's nest. Although

it is important to monitor all homes for infestations, I believe this mass to be incidental, and believe

it to be harmless.

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A brown mass, approximately 3" x 3", resembling insect byproduct was present on the EIFS, below

the front window, next to the front steps. I believe this mass to be incidental, and believe

it to be harmless.

How about shortening to the above...?

Maybe it's just me, but I'd go with something like, "I'm not sure what it is or was, but it looks to be harmless."

Twenty years in the HI biz, and nobody ever asked me to explain a dirt-dauber nest.

WJ

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This is the narrative that I included in my report regarding this anomoly.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

A brown mass, approximately 3" x 3", resembling insect byproduct was present on the EIFS, below

the front window, next to the front steps. The mass was visually inspected in situ, and a careful

examination of the surrounding area was conducted, looking for indications of active, inactive,

and/or additional infestations. No such indications were found. The mass was removed and

examined under magnification. The material looks like sand and dirt. There were no tunnels,

cavities, egg residue, or decayed insect parts present. Other than a surface stain that should be

able to be removed with soap and water, there is no damage to the area. Without laboratory

testing, it is impossible to determine the absolute makeup of the material. Since this mass was

located next to a "cradle" in the adjacent shrub, it is also possible that it is the remnant of a bird's

nest, of a species such as a Swallow, who uses a sand/mud mixture to construct it's nest. Although

it is important to monitor all homes for infestations, I believe this mass to be incidental, and believe

it to be harmless.

Why mention it at all?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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The reason that I am adding such detail to this comment is because after the inspection, when I went over the house with my client, there were two areas that of concern.

1. A small area clad with EIFS that (of course) was installed wrong, and showed signs of water intrusion. The concensus was that because it was a small area, and since my client liked the house and it's location, he would deal with the EIFS, even if it meant it's removal.

2. This infestation. (I told him I wasn't sure what it was, and before I started screaming "TERMITES," I wanted to look investigate it more, as it may or may not be anything serious)

I did not want to look at it and because I did not know what it was, deem it harmless. I really tried to figure it out. It was a concern at the inspection, I didn't want to "blow it off" in the report. It had to be addressed.

I put it out here to get some help, which I got, including the critique of the narrative. I will go back, re-read it and make some adjustments. The finished product will be somewhere in between.

By the way, I am happy to hear that everyone feels that I explained it too well. That makes me feel better than if I was being told that I did not explain it well enough.

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