Country Retreat

Tumble Moon (Update 12)

Mounds of Asian lady beetles colonized Tumble Moon’s interiors. My photos weren’t near as impressive, so I’m sharing a photo taken by John Gavloski of Manitoba Agriculture.

May 2, 2018. I, Charley (architect), and Michael Parkey (landscape architect) met with multiple contractors at Tumble Moon in Saint Jo. It was a very long hard day. One of the contractors was the son of my general contractor, who has been undergoing extensive treatment for some serious illnesses. The son had been brought into the company to take care of things while his dad took care of his health. He had not met any of us and had to be filled in and brought up to speed which included going over the building of the side-door deck and steps and of course, the front porch’s elaborate system of steps and terraces. This was at least the third time, and hopefully the last, going over all this. I had construction documents drawn up to give Jacob, the general contractor’s son. He’s an engineer, so this was helpful.

And then there was a meeting with the well/septic contractor and the man who will be adding two expensive systems to my water well. One system is to turn my hard water (24 hardness) with 366 of iron and other solids to a much lower number (soft water) so as not to mess up my pipes, indoor appliances, and my hair. The other system is to get rid of the strong sulfur order. We also discussed reverse osmosis and decided that it wasn’t necessary but could be added later. I had no idea that this required another water fixture at my kitchen sink and would not feed directly into my under-sink water pipe.

The place was a dirty mess, because the contractors had left the windows open while they worked and insects had been trapped. There were tons of dead insect bodies scattered throughout the house. Most of them belonged to the invasive Asian lady beetle—shit loads of dead lady bugs that looked like rat poop. And then an upstair’s window had been left open during a rain storm and the paper covering the floor had been drenched and stained. Without ripping up the cover paper, we could not tell if the floor under it had been damaged.

Most of the Asian lady beetles congregated inside around the front door and windows. Funny thing: not one single bug was found in the garage. Go figure.

UPDATE about the Asian lady beetle:

I’m including the resolution here, since there is no photographic record of it. I had to meet numerous contractors that day and was leaving for a two week vacation for the holidays with no extra time to record notes. In other words… I was crazy stressed. So here is what happened as I witnessed and remembered:

December 21, 2018. My house and front door were smack dab in their migration path. They were entering through the front door’s trim channels. They didn’t even bother using the back door.🤣

My contractor brought in a weather stripping expert from Dallas. All the doors and windows of the entire house were thoroughly checked. The windows were well made and very bug proof, BUT the front door wasn’t. He took it off its hinges and brushed out TONS of beetles in all the side and under channels before he replaced faulty parts and thoroughly weatherproofed the door. That solved the Asian lady beetle problem, BUT not the wasp problem. That story I will share another day.

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