Dry rot or termites

I walked into the middle room in my studio and was astonished to see two finger-like projections emanating from the top corners of the door frame. It looked wierd! They were both at ca. 45 deg and were brown in color. I must admit that I was startled, what on earth could they be, it looked like something from a horror B-movie. It was clearly alive, because it had grown there, so I sprayed them with caustic stuff and hacked them off. Then I must admit I tended to forget about them for some weeks.

Then I noticed that there were small piles of wood dust at the bottom of the door jambs, something I had noticed before but had not taken very seriously. I went and looked it up on Google, and concluded that I had the dreaded dry-rot! The fungus literally eats up the wood and produces a brown wood dust and the growths are extensions of the fungus called mycelium. Inside the door jambs the wood had been eaten away. But, then someone came in to see the damage and told me it was caused by termites, although I never saw any termites there. Certainly the little mounds of wood dust and the external tubes are quite characteristic of termites.

So I had an expert come in to make the determination and he said definitely termites? Then he moved my library and showed me behind it these tiny worm-like creatures that have small legs and the little tunnels that they build. He pronounced them Sinai termites, not the dreaded kind that one finds in other places, including the US, but the kind that live underground and only come up to eat the nearest wood. What the terminators do is drill holes every half meter or so in the floor around the room and then pump in a poisonous chemical that kills them off and forms a barrier that prevents them coming up again for up to 5 years . Any damage above ground can be repaired without too much problem since they don’t eat the wood if they don’t have a nest nearby underground. So its not so bad as it might have been, but why do all these things keep happening to me?
PS. To those who are interested, you can see my latest painting at http://www.jackcohenart.com/Portrait.html


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