Ants or Termites, what to do?
Oh the joys of home ownership. I just bought a home in a short sale. While in fairly good condition, there are those things that need attention. The house had been minimally occupied for over a year and I am finding plenty. Of little jobs to do.
One is an area of rot near the front door. As I checked it out to determine how soft the wood was, it crumbled. I opened it up and found my arm, from my hand to my elbow all covered in sawdust. I saw no signs of insects themselves but there was tunneling in the 1x and in what appeared to be a laminated beam inside.
After cleaning the area out, it looks like it is still pretty solid but all the dust has me concerned. The area is on the front porch about 10 feet from the soil. There have been no other signs, so far of bug damage around the house.
I have removed some of the trim and it has been open for a couple weeks. My intention is to repair the damaged wood, caulk it and paint it best I can. It has now gotten cold out and I don't know if I can still paint it or if I will need to wait till spring.
The big question though is if there is anything I need to do before I put it all back together. I don't want to just seal in the offending insects etc. And have them return next spring. Also, does anyone have any thoughts regarding Ants or Termites or how I can determine what they were.
I am north of Chicago.
Thanks for advice.