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Spherical brown egg found in old attic insulation - identify?

Spherical brown egg found in old attic insulation - identify?

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  #1  
Old 07-01-14, 04:51 PM
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Spherical brown egg found in old attic insulation - identify?

Hi,

I am removing the insulation from my 1950s attic, a task i do not ever recommend!

Anyway, i found millions of these brown crystaline eggs, ranging from 0.1 -> 2 mm in diameter (much more numerous in the former range). At first i wasn't fazed, but after doing the whole attic i saw millions of them and even i, who doesn't have a fear of bugs, became a little concerned.

Does anyone know what these are? Should i be concerned? Health or house wise? We're about to get spray foam in the attic and loose fill on top. So i don't think there's much to worry about but below my attic floor you can see the drywall so there'a a chance these can still infiltrate into my 2nd floor.

It looks like they're all dormant/dead. Most probably they were sprayed a long long time ago.

cheers
oman

Still, should i be concerned?
 
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Old 07-01-14, 04:55 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

but below my attic floor you can see the drywall
That's not drywall.... that's good old plaster and lots of it.

Those look like old spider nests or cocoons. That would suggest that your attic is pretty much open to the outdoors.... like no screens over the vents.


On edit:
I thought you were talking about the white things. The dark spherical things look like old dried out sap balls from the wood.
 

Last edited by PJmax; 07-01-14 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 07-01-14, 05:26 PM
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Hi PJ,

sap balls you think , ok that's a relief. So you're saying the wood excretes them after being laid down (over time)? The brown balls didn't seem to have any connection to the wood, they were just lying on top of it but i'll take your word for it.

And yes that is lath and plaster but below that is drywall

thanks
oman
 
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Old 07-01-14, 05:38 PM
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I asked the pro in the pest control forum to check this thread. He'll check in when he comes back online.

I have a house built in 1958-9 and have those things rolling around in my attic. I don't think I have millions but there are a lot.
 
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Old 07-01-14, 06:08 PM
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Were they dispersed throughout the insulation? From the tuft of insulation in your picture it appears the insulation was/is rock wool which is basically blast furnace slag spun into fibers. Theses slag like globes usually appear in that type of insulation but they are usually more black in color.

I have also seen the sap globules...look at some of your rafters and see if the globes are formed on the sides of the joists or in solid roof sheathing if you have that.
 
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Old 07-01-14, 07:10 PM
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Reminds me of the Mars rover pictures... little spheres in the soil.

I also believe it's sap... nothing on the plaster... nothing in the insulation.... just on the lathe. If not sap, then some sort of crystalline mineral from 60+ years of frost/freeze cycles.
 
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Old 07-01-14, 08:18 PM
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Thanks Calvert,

Didn't realise there was a pest forum as well! Thanks for coming over here. My insulation appeared to be a mix of actual wool and what i thought was cellulose. I believe what is pictured is the wool. The wool was the lowest layer and it appeared cellulose was on top although it might have been rock wool.

The brown crytaline spheres were all on then bottom of the floor, under all the insulation and also below the lath and plaster when chunks of plaster were removed (e.g. sitting atop the new drywall). I'll have a look at the rafters but i don't believe i ever saw the same structures up there, especially given that they wouldn't have made it to the floor through the insulation.

I'm going to take all this to mean that it's nothing to worry about. Thanks for piping in.

oman
 
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Old 07-02-14, 12:43 PM
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I agree with the sap ball ideas. Iíve seen them in attics as well though not the quantity that you have, but then I donít rip out insulation. Squeeze some. Anything related to insects would crush easily, in fact if they were eggs they would already be visibly corrupted from hatching. I bet they will be too hard to deform with fingers.
 
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