Dear Sun Spots: I was wondering if you would be able to help me. How would I go about finding out if there are termites eating at the wood beams and frame of my house? Do you know of anyone that would be able to help me check this out? I enjoy reading your column every day, you seem to have information or solutions for all kinds of issues. Hope you can help me. — No Name, Lisbon Falls.

Answer: Sun Spots turned to a professional for assistance with this question. Mike Peaslee, technical manager for Modern Pest Services, noted that termites are not a common problem in Maine and he wondered what was prompting you to ask this question.

If you think you have termites, one thing to look for are “mud tubes” on the foundation of your home. The tubes are simply a small line of dried mud that the termites use to travel from the soil, where they live, to the food source, which is the cellulose in the wood.

He said that more common in the state are carpenter ants, which can often be confused with termites. If you have carpenter ants, you will see piles of sawdust in your home. The sawdust piles are created because the ants don’t eat the wood as termites do, but use it to build nests.

You may want to call a professional and give them more information about what you’re seeing at home. A representative at Modern Pest Services will be able to help and Peaslee said they can usually figure out what’s going on over the phone and can come to your home to inspect. They’ll offer you a estimate to get rid of the pests, with no obligation. Their corporate offices are located in Brunswick and they do service your area. Contact a representative at 782-8561 or 1-800-323-7378.

There are many pest control companies right in the Yellow Pages for you to consider as well.

Dear Sun Spots: In the past I have seen you help others find answers to their problems so was hoping you would have some good ideas or contacts who could help me.

I have approximately 1,500 First Day covers which I purchased for the PCS (Postal Commemorative Service) over a period of 30 years. I have all that was issued between early 1950-82, plus some as old as the 20s and later than the ones from 1982. I was hoping to obtain just a small part of what they are worth as I lost interest and just put them away. Each stamp/envelope has a full page description of the stamp. Thank you. — John, Rumford.

Answer: You may want to consider contacting the American First Day Cover Society (AFDCS), a volunteer nonprofit and noncommerical organization serving the needs of First Day Cover collectors, cachetmakers and dealers. The group holds a national annual convention, maintains a historical archive and publishes a journal full of news and education every six weeks.

Membership dues are $30 each year. Contact the group by writing to Douglas Kelsey, executive director, P.O. Box 16277, Tucson, AZ 85732-6277 or call (520) 321-0880. The closest chapters can be contacted by writing to the Waterbury Stamp Club, AFDCS Representative, P.O. Box 581, Waterbury, CT 06720; Connecticut Cover Club, c/o Joseph Connolly, 571 Treat Lane, Orange, CT 06477 or e-mail [email protected]

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