What I'm Seeing Now


Martian Writing Or Carpenter Ant Damage?

So, what do you think?  Martian writing or carpenter ant damage?

That was my question!  Here I was deep in the woods.  It was a careful investigation of a 40 year old log home.  It was quiet out there.  It was lonely out there.  It was far out there.  It was the perfect place for space aliens to take up a temporary residence, write their enigmatic messages, and leave, sight unseen.

Yep, just the spot.

The house creaked mysteriously.  Things wobbled frightfully.  It had ghostly cold spots and unknown smells, perhaps from the Martian aliens themselves.  The blowing wind made the shutters shudder.  I shuddered when the shutters shuddered.  I was all out of sorts.

Then I saw it.  Was it writing?  A message?  Codes from another place in space?  A, umm, gulp, a warning?  Whoa, from Martians?

Intentional scrapings and carvings.

They were there!

For all to see!  A written script.

And THEEEEYYYY  wanted us to see the writing.

What are the marks saying? 

I contacted my first Internet date (really, he was), Charlie Buell, sent him these photographs of this ancient script, with the question, "Waddat?"

The answer was simple:

"Carpenter ants."

Have you ever looked into the face of a carpenter ant?

Well, it is a horror, I can tell you.

No doubt  they were patterned after Martian space aliens.

No doubt  they are spies placed here by Martian space aliens.

No doubt  they write messages from Martian space aliens.

I think  the messages are disguised to look like carpenter ant damage.

I think  we should take heed, crack the code and save ourselves.

I think  we should abandon our cars and run down the highway in senseless and inexplicably huge groups.  (I'm not sure why, I just see it a lot in the movies)

My recommendation:  it doesn't hurt to ask questions.  It doesn't hurt to get answers.  In fact it's good!  And abandoning your car along with thousands of others and running in the same direction down the highway doesn't hurt either.  It makes for a good film!  A cast of thousands and a host of others and ... well, you know the rest.  And as to my first Internet date, he'll never kiss and tell.  Really.  Ask him.



Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560


Comment balloon 15 commentsJay Markanich • December 27 2014 04:02AM


They do look like aliens. Destructive little critters they are.

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 5 years ago

Did you abandon your car yet Michael?  Be sure to run with the group.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Good morning Jay,

They do a job on wood if not taken care of and I will drive my truck as far as possible.

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) over 5 years ago

well this is funny, as I just saw a rerun of What's my line? w/ Lucille Ball speaking "martian."  So, I'll go w/ that answer.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 5 years ago

Log homes, a giant lunch box for all manner of alien critters. Ants, bees, beetles and of course, termites. 

I think the glyphs say, "We'll be back" or something. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 5 years ago

Absolutely martians...no other possible explanation...probably need an extra special exorcism ceremony....you do those right ?

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 5 years ago

Raymond - don't get distracted and leave the group.

Debbie - I remember that one.  And my fave TV show in elementary school was "My Favorite Martian."

You cracked it Jim!  Thanks!  I'll alert those whackos on that TV show about how aliens created, and really rule, our planet!

Gotta be ... S&D.  Hey, that rhymes!  How many candles do we need for the extra special one?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Those are indeed scary looking creatures.... "Take me to your leader"

You can't run the same direction you were driving... those are the people that get eaten! I say go right!!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 5 years ago

This is information that can be used in the future Jay, first I will stop my perfectly functioning truck on the freeway so I can start running ahead of the crowd.

I looked at the flooring, which appears to be sub-flooring, and wondered if this was the state of the materials when the damage was done. In other words, was there a top layer and flooring covering these markings, or did the ants openly chew in open view?

I always thought of these ants as a hidden pest.

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366) over 5 years ago

I've not heard that we have issues with carpenter ants in our area but there are plenty of termites. We certainly had issues with the ants back in the Boston area in some houses. Scary lookin' critters

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California) over 5 years ago

Fred - always choose the right.  The left should be your forever no no.

Tom - this is the hallway leading to the master bedroom.  It may be that there was furniture there at one time to conceal their message writing. 

Oh, and as you are running, be sure to move your mouth as if you are saying lots of words, only to have "Godzilla!" come out.

Jeff - I had never seen carpenter ant damage, hence my question to Charlie.  We have termites, which activity there was a lot of there!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Jay, you must have seen one of my all-time favorite movies, Signs. Your post reads like something right out of that movie. Well done. We had some issues with Carpenter Ants in a house we owned in the Chicago suburbs. Yikes!

Posted by Tom White, Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN (Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com) over 5 years ago

I don't remember seeing them Tom, or this damage, but maybe I have.  Still, it doesn't hurt to ask another's opinion.

Did I catch you up in my suspense?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

I knew it I've known it all along there are aliens.  I remember when they took me away.  I think I'm still gone.....  I really enjoyed the way you approached this Jay it was fun reading

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) over 5 years ago

Thanks James.  You'll never look at carpenter ants the same way again!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

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