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Help — Critters in my windows

Lis77 | Posted in GBA Pro Help on

I don’t know if this is a question you have ever seen before. Recently we decided to remove a window and close the wall up. It was not possible to remove the window intact without damaging the siding, so my husband cut the frame and removed it in pieces. The windows are typical vinyl single-hung windows. They seem like good energy-efficient, double pane windows and are newer.

The surprise was that when the frame was cut open the inside of it was full of slugs. (We live in the pacific northwest.) I don’t know how they fit in through the weep holes but apparently they like it in there- a lot. The photos show what we found. The dark stuff is slug poo, there was a *lot* of it and the smell was bad.

An inspection around the other windows showed that the other ones on the cool side of the house have the same situation, lots of slug poo around the window frame and I can smell a musty smell near it. I can’t think of a way to clean them out or to keep them free of slugs. They have the typical small weep holes on the top of the sash and then under the edge of the frame outdoors.

How can I deal with this unhealthy situation?

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  1. Expert Member

    I don't have any advice for getting them out once they are in but slugs hate copper so you can keep them away from the windows with a copper strip.

  2. Lis77 | | #2

    Thank you, Malcolm. How wide would a copper strip have to be to deter the slugs from going across it? Would you place it underneath the weep holes? I wonder if they'd just go around it.

  3. Expert Member

    The strip needs to be wide enough so that the slug can't arch over it. We have 6" banana Slugs here so I use a 2" strip that Lee Valley sells.
    As the copper works by generating an electric charge they dislike, any contact repels them. You might try making small copper sleeves for the wrap holes to stop them entering.
    I must say - we have a lot of slugs, but I've never seen anything like your windows!

  4. Lis77 | | #4

    Thanks Malcolm, I enjoyed the video, I'll give it a try, although I'm not excited about the appearance...
    To add insult to injury, yesterday I shot some compressed air into one of the holes to see if I could blow any debris out, and a minute later I observed a disoriented carpenter ant that came out. I have not seen any carpenter ants at this home so that surprised me. (Carpenter ants were an issue where I used to live.)
    I'm beginning to feel that these type of windows are a bad idea. All those interior chambers in a cozy space and a few discreet entries/exits... I am wondering if others are having this same issue and are just unaware of it. We would never have noticed anything if we hadn't cut the one frame open while removing the window. Next time I build or remodel I am going with solid frame windows!

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