BOSTON — QMy house has termites, which I found in the molding around a couple of windows upstairs and also downstairs. What can I do to get rid of the termites (we call them white ants in Australia), and also how can I get the frames repaired?
- N.C., New South Wales, Australia
AThere is no easy way for a homeowner to personally deal with these pests. They live in colonies, so you will usually find hundreds of thousands of them at one time.
"A termite problem is best left to your local pest-control firm." says Greg Bowmann, director of field services at the National Pest Control Association in Dunn, Va. "They will be able to treat the window with termicide or pesticide dust." For a less environmentally invasive option, ask a professional about the bait system, a new approach in termite treatment. Infested areas (such as windows in this case) are treated so that termites will carry bait back to their colonies, eventually killing enough so that the colony collapses. The damaged window frame is a job for your local handyman, or carpenter.
QWe have a large oak tree in the corner of our backyard. An animal, likely a possum or a raccoon, has decided to use the base of this tree as its outhouse. It is getting old having to clean up after this guy. Can you suggest a solution?
- M.B., Beaverton, Ore.
A "Build a barrier around the tree." says Stephen Vantassel, at Wildlife Removal Services Inc., based in Springfield Mass. He suggests erecting a solid fence or covering the base with plastic. The animal, probably a raccoon in this case, won't be discouraged unless there is actually a physical barrier in the way.
If it continues to be a problem, or if the raccoon climbs over the fence, you can try a box trap (see last week's Resident Experts column), but this shouldn't be necessary.
Mr. Vantassel advises using caution when cleaning up raccoon droppings, some have roundworms.
QI can't find a retailer that sells knickers - the pants that golfers used to wear. Do you know of a company that puts out a catalog so that I can order a pair?
-J.C., Birmingham, Ala.
AT. Barry Knickers Co. sells a plethora of knickerbockers in various styles, materials, and colors. Selections include wool gabardine, wool flannel, traditional plaids, wool-poly blend, houndstooth check, poly-linen-rayon. Many famous golfers and celebrities have been spotted wearing T. Barry Knickers, including Bob Hope, Claude Akins, Al Balding, Ernie Banks, and George Bayer.
You can view their selection on the Web at www.terrasurf.com/tbk/tbkhome.htm#Main. Or you can call to request a catalog by calling 800-634-9164.