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  • Scrap pile - how much & where/how to keep

    How do you guys keep your smaller scraps? Do you just toss them in a bin or something? And how do you keep them bug free?

    The problems I have are that I have very limited space, and where I live (Ocala, Gainesville FL area) we are having one heck of a population explosion of brown widow spiders. I kill upwards of 10 very small (harmless) babies a day and some of the adult females I have found are truely scary. They love things like piles of wood scrap. I need to keep them out or at least under very tight control. But many times the smaller scrap stuff (1 foot to 3 or 4 inch) has come in very handy for jigs, etc., so I can't just toss it all.

    Edit: oops, forgot to add, for those who don't yet know, the brown widow really exists, and is closely related to the black widow, in a good news/bad news way - The good news: they inject less venom when they bite. The bad news: brown widow venom is twice as toxic as black widow venom.

    [ 08-30-2004, 12:09 PM: Message edited by: Scott C. ]

  • #2
    Well, since I've found spiders know no limits, I doubt there's much you can do to keep them out of your wood pile. The scrap wood bin I threw together won't help you because it's already a popular place for spiders in my shop. Besides, as much as you try, you can never keep the wood easily sorted and ready for use.

    One thought-----what about a couple of those Rubber Maid totes with the lids? They're pretty good size if you keep the wood below the top, you can snap on the lid.
    Dave

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    • #3
      There was an article in the local paper last week that stated that, here in WI, you're never more than 3 feet away from a spider. They're probably closer in FL.
      I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.

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      • #4
        You might want to get the predators of brown widow spiders: Wasps and wolf spiders. I have black widow spiders in my shop and yard. I also have many wolf spiders and some wasp nests. I do not bother the wasps and I try not to kill the wolf spiders.
        www.TheWoodCellar.com

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        • #5
          SPIDERS I hate spiders!

          Several years ago, I converted our attached garage into a study/den. Even with the interior completely redone (painted drywall, insulation, carpeting, heat, etc.) the spiders still seemed to like this place. Year after year, I'd spend far too much time killing the little buggers; and, at least once every summer, there'd be the plague-like arrival of newborns. Last year, only three days after a very smelly spray of insecticide, I killed over a dozen in one evening.

          Frustrated, I went over to the local Walmart to see what kind of sprays they had, and I found some of those electronic pest control "plug-ins" made by Sunbeam. I bought two (Model SB105) and brought them home, figuring it was probably more a waste of money then anything. (But frankly I was willing to do almost anything to get rid of them.) Surprisingly, they seem to work! I still get the occasional spider, but probably don't kill more than two or three in a week. Hot, humid days brings a few more, but the numbers are significantly less then what I used to get.

          The "Ultrasonic Pest Repeller" seems to be a substantial help. As I recall, they were only about $3 or $4 each.

          Hope this helps,

          CWS

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          • #6
            Thanks for your ideas and help. Guess the little buggers and I will have to call some kind of truce, once reasonable (i.e. LOW) numbers are reached.

            Daveferg's idea, Rubbermaid storage things, sounds great. I actually keep my car washing, waxing, etc. pile of rags in one, on the floor out there and never even one spider inside! And, I have a very big one available for use for the wood scrap. Now, why didn't I think of that? BTW, I have noticed that my Ridgid RAS has never gotten even one spider or other bug on or under/in it. Wonder why, and how to make whatever it is about it work on other stuff too.

            In Florida you are never more than 3 inches away from a spider. I don't mind the brown house spiders and the jumping spiders (little fellows, black with silver stripes, kind of cute), but the widows pose a serious threat to my three Great Danes. I hate woking in the shop/garage and having to keep them in the house when they would rather be out there with me (never when using power tools). They LOVE chasing and eating spiders, and a good sized widow could really hurt or even kill one of them.

            Last year we had a family of Carolina Wrens nest in there, they laid eggs and everything. When the babies got old enough to try to fly they fell out of the nest, of course. They hopped around on the floor at first, then over the couse of about four weeks they worked their way up to the rafters as they learned how to fly. While on the floor and in all my stuff they picked the place clean of every spider they could get their beaks on. There was bird poop everywhere, even places where you'd swear a bird could not get, but no widows anywhere. It was wonderful, so now I leave the garage open all day and the momma and pop Wren still come in to find munchies. And I do have lotsa wasps too, that I watch actually fly recon. missions, looking in all the places that spiders might be found.

            We're just having a terrible boom in the population, it is really bad. Even the natural predators that feed on them can't keep up. And, I guess it may be partly due to the neighbor that moved in, on the garage side, in 1999. The widow problem started in 2000, and she had hundreds of brown widow egg cases in her garage then. I only had maybe 10. She has not mowed her back yard all summer, and today, when mowing mine, I was shocked at how hers looks. Guess I'll have to talk to her about it, but from the looks of it, spiders are the least concern, maybe mice and rats it is so bad. FWIW, she has 11 cats in her house, and feeds all the feral cats in the neighborhood. While she gripes about how they all do nothing but reproduce and make more and more kittens! And we don't live in a dump, we all live in a country club, on the golf course!

            My Father-in-law had great success at keeping mosquitos off with a small version of the ultrasonic bug repellors, maybe I ought to check those things out.

            Thanks guys.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Scott C.:
              How do you guys keep your smaller scraps? Do you just toss them in a bin or something? And how do you keep them bug free?

              The problems I have are that I have very limited space, and where I live (Ocala, Gainesville FL area) we are having one heck of a population explosion of brown widow spiders. I kill upwards of 10 very small (harmless) babies a day and some of the adult females I have found are truely scary. They love things like piles of wood scrap. I need to keep them out or at least under very tight control. But many times the smaller scrap stuff (1 foot to 3 or 4 inch) has come in very handy for jigs, etc., so I can't just toss it all.
              Scott another thing we have lots of in Florida is termites and carpenter ants. I keep my scraps in plastic 5 gallon buckets. I use to have a 50 gallon drum that I kept for scrap but I found I rarely used much out of it and it took so much room. Since cutting down to the 5 gallon bucket I better utilize what I keep and I only keep what will probably be used.

              Careful where you store your scraps I have a friend that built a bin along a wall in his shop. Within 2 months the termites had fully infested it. They love scraps of pine and popular. With the saw dust that naturally fell in, it became a haven for the termites.They went around the edge of a treated 2x4 and straight through 3/4 inch treated ply to get to it.

              I found a shot or two of 'Raid' into my bucket very so often seems to lessen its appeal to insects of any kind. Now if I can keep my neighbors cat from sleeping in my rag bin.

              [ 08-31-2004, 12:16 AM: Message edited by: RevEd ]
              Rev Ed

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              • #8
                CWS:

                Noted that you are in New York state, and you have spiders. Darn! My daughter is going to go to graduate school at Cornell, in Ithaca. We are all going to move up there when she does, in about 2 years. We were hoping to escape the lifelong Floridian curse of bugs, bugs, and more bugs by going to Ithaca. Thought the lack of bugs might kind of make up for the winter weather in Ithaca.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by RevEd:
                  Scott another thing we have lots of in Florida is termites and carpenter ants. . . .

                  They love scraps of pine and popular.
                  Pine and poplar?! That is what all of my scraps are

                  Originally posted by RevEd:
                  Now if I can keep my neighbors cat from sleeping in my rag bin.
                  Great Danes work well, very well. I can set you up with a breeder in Brooksville if you like

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Scott C.:
                    CWS:

                    Noted that you are in New York state, and you have spiders. Darn! My daughter is going to go to graduate school at Cornell, in Ithaca. We are all going to move up there when she does, in about 2 years. We were hoping to escape the lifelong Floridian curse of bugs, bugs, and more bugs by going to Ithaca. Thought the lack of bugs might kind of make up for the winter weather in Ithaca.
                    Scott I don't know about you but for me just getting away from the heat, cockroachs, high humidity, snakes, lousy school system, and winter tourists would make up for the winter. I was born and raised in Pa. and have lived in Florida 27 years and I have told my children if your mother dies before me don't stand between me and north at her grave, cause the instant she is in the ground I'm gone and I ain't coming back.
                    [img]smile.gif[/img]
                    Rev Ed

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                    • #11
                      Scott,

                      You will love Ithaca, great place to live. My son graduated from Cornell several years ago. We are only about an hour away (Corning, NY).

                      With regard to bugs, snakes, and other nasty critters, you will find very few by comparison. No poisonous spiders, and I don't believe Ithaca has rattlesnakes, although we do have them here in Painted Post; but they are rare.

                      From my narrow point of view, Florida was not meant to ever be inhabited. Except for a few coastal areas, the whole place is a swamp. I think people forget that. If it wasn't for all the landfill and drainage done in the last 50-plus years, it would still be that way. As it is, it is just one continuous fight with Mother nature trying to reclaim what was hers.

                      CWS

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                      • #12
                        Being here in Jacksonville, FL I too suffer from bugs. I really don't have much choice other than to keep my scraps in a box on the garage floor. I found just bug bombing the garage takes care of the problem for quite a while.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RevEd:
                          Scott I don't know about you but for me just getting away from the heat, cockroachs, high humidity, snakes, lousy school system, and winter tourists would make up for the winter.
                          HALLELUJAH to that!!! (and I'm a native) Don't leave out the rampant, uncontrolled development and destruction of the very delicate nature here. BTW, my Mother's side of the family is from PA, and my Aunt still lives in Philadelphia. Never been there, but the stories I've heard about the Pennsylvania-Dutch country, where my Grandparents had a farm, sounded wonderful.

                          CWS, your point of view is not narrow, it is dead-on accurate. Florida is a very special swamp, it is both unhospitable toward humans and very delicate. It is also very beautiful if you look and listen gently and appreciate its subtle beauty. The population here has gone from about 8 million people when I started high-school in 1970 to over 15 million now, almost all along the coast and the I-4 and I-75/Turnpike corridors. Under the pressure from that kind of growth what little of natural Florida is left will not last much longer.

                          It kind of leaves me without any acceptable alternatives: I don't want to spread the plague of growth by relocating permanently to someplace that I like, for example, upstate New York, or North Carolina (another candidate for State Most Devistated by Rampant Growth), but I can't think of how to organize and mobilze to stop and hopefully reverse the growth here.

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                          • #14
                            Scott,

                            I understand exactly what you mean. I was born in NC, but have lived all of my life in NY. A lot of summers were spent with NC relatives and we loved fishing and exploring in the "Dismal Swamp" areas of southern Virginia and North Carolina. Beautiful to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. I have an uncle who lived in Florida from 1945 until 1989... then "got smart and moved back north", in his words.". People go for the nice warm weather, and don't give much thought to the bugs, snakes, alligators, and other creatures that like the place and were there first.. until they find one in their yard, anyway! Every now and then a hurricane takes a bit of the land back, and gives them a little reminder.

                            You'll love NY (except for the taxes). Lots of green, and you can see hills and valleys and lakes and lots of maple and birch. And you don't have to climb a tower to get a good view; and you can take a swim without worrying about alligators or water moccasins! But, there is that "snow" thing.
                            [img]smile.gif[/img] CWS

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                            • #15
                              I lived the first half of my life (28 yrs) in Ithaca. It's been voted one of the best places in the US to live (after I moved out! coincidence?) It is also a very expensive place to live, very beautiful hills and lakes etc. I miss it. If you've never driven in snow, may the force be with you. I mean real snow, a couple feet at a time, not that 1/4" you guys get down South. Remember, studded snow tires are your friend.
                              Never had a problem with spiders or any other creepie-crawlies.
                              Lorax
                              "Did you put the yellow key in the switch?" TOD 01/09/06

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