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Tips on Wood Destroying Insects

by EM for Masha Halpern

Wood-destroying insects like termites, carpenter ants, and beetles cause more than $1 billion in property damage each year in the United States. That’s why prevention and early detection are extremely important in avoiding and minimizing significant damage. Protect your home from wood-eating pests with these helpful tips and facts.



Habitat: Termites are the most prevalent type of the home-invading wood eater in North America. They are found in every state except for Alaska, but are most commonly found in the Southern states. Termites also gravitate towards dark, moist areas like crawlspaces and basements.


Signs of an Infestation:

  • Termites feed on wood, cardboard and paper, so the first step in prevention is removing their sources of food as much as you can. If you must keep these materials in the home, especially storage spaces, be sure to keep them off the ground.
  • Another way to detect termites is to look for the wings of swarms. Swarms are what termites are called during the stage of their life cycle when they go out into the open to fly off and reproduce. Swarms are often seen near or on windows and sills.
  • Finally, termites like to create of mud tunnels along foundations, floor framing, drywall, etc. They make these tunnels to travel safely from their nests deep in the ground to the home, where they feast. Keep your eyes peeled for these tunnels, which have about the same diameter as a pencil.

Carpenter Ants

Habitat: Just like termites, carpenter ants love moisture, warmth, and eating wood! In fact, their ideal home is a nest bored deep into damp and decaying wood. Carpenter ants typically appear in the Northern states during the warmer months.


Signs of an Infestation:

  • One way to detect carpenter ants is listening for a soft rustling sound in your home. The noise is the result of the ants moving around in the walls. Since carpenter ants are most active at night when they are foraging for food and water, this is time you will most likely hear them.
  • In addition, look for piles of sawdust or frass, a mixture of wood shavings and fecal matter. Unlike termites, carpenter ants don’t eat the wood they tunnel into, which means they leave the wood debris they bury into at the openings of tunnels and nests.
  • Keep an eye out for the shed wings of carpenter ant swarmers. These are commonly found near window sills, baseboards, and vents.

Powderpost Beetles

Habitat: Powderpost beetles like to lay eggs in cracks, crevices, and wood pores. Their peak time is May through August and they can be found anywhere in the country.

Signs of an Infestation:

  • If you notice your wood is crumbling or decaying for no apparent reason, powderpost beetles may be to blame.
  • When the larvae develop into adults, they hatch and exit the wood. They do this by eating through it, which leaves powdery deposits of frass and pin-sized holes in the process.

General Tips

  • Keep your house dry and ventilated by checking gutters and downspouts to see if they drain water properly and repair leaky faucets, water pipes, AC units, etc.
  • Store firewood and wood products away from the foundation and off the ground.
  • Trim fence slats and any wood trim around the house like garage door jams up off the soil.
  • Cut tree branches so they aren’t touching the house.
  • Use mulch sparingly.
  • Don’t panic! Wood-destroying insects work slowly and there are lots of treatments available.

Wood-destroying insects can unfortunately be difficult to spot unless the damage is great. That’s why it’s important to watch for signs of an infestation and receive annual inspections from licensed professionals. Hopefully these facts and tips left you feeling more prepared to prevent and handle any wood-eating pests that may come your way!

Maple View Farms Celebrates National Ice Cream Day!

by EM & AH for Masha Halpern

Located in the Hillsborough countryside, Maple View Farms serves scenic views alongside their freshly churned Southern ice cream. Before Maple View Farms opened their doors on New Year's Day in 2001, they were selling bottled milk to faithful customers in the community. After finding success with their high-quality milk, Robert Nutter, the founder of Maple View Farms, and his daughter Muffin, decided the community might enjoy their handcrafted ice cream as well. So, they made their dream a reality and began with 12 simple flavors. Since then, Maple View Farms has developed hundreds of more flavors, won countless awards, expanded to new locations around the Triangle, and brought their delicious products to grocery stores near you!

Community is very important to Maple View Farms. That’s why they designed the Maple View Agricultural Center, a non-profit educational facility open to people of all ages to learn about sustainable agriculture and farm life. The AG Center is open year-round for field trips, birthday parties, and events like family reunions and wedding receptions. In the warmer months, the AG Center offers classroom lessons on the dairy process, insects, and plants along with guided barnyard animal tours and hayrides at affordable prices. Check out the Maple View AG Center today!


Mark your calendars everyone! National Ice Cream Day falls on July 15th and Maple View Farms is holding an event to celebrate. Join the crowd of ice cream lovers and aficionados for live music by the Mason Lovette Band and Back Porch Orchestra, face painting, lawn games, ice cream specials, visit with a calf, and more. A percentage of all sales will go to Sam’s Wish Foundation at Kid’s Path of Hospice & Angels Among Us Benefiting the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke. See you there!

You can also join in with us on social media regardless of where you choose to celebrate the day. Upload a photo of yourself, friends & family enjoying ice cream, to twitter, facebook or instagram with the tag @MashaHalpern, and you’ll be entered to win a $15 gift certificate to Maple View Farms Store.


Here’s a shot of our team enjoying our cool treats. Now let’s see yours!

Who do you know who wants to buy, sell or invest in real estate? Let us know by clicking here!

We’d love to provide them with Genuine Support, Qualified Experience & Personalized Service.

The Duke Lemur Center

by EM for Masha Halpern
Looking for adventure this summer, but unable to travel to exotic lands? Then look no further than the Duke Lemur Center - the experience of Madagascar in our very own Durham!

Just two miles outside of Duke University’s campus, over 50 years of lemur research and conservation has occurred at the Duke Lemur Center. With help from the Duke University School of Medicine and the National Science Foundation, biologists John Buettner-Janusch and Peter Klopfer founded the Duke Lemur Center (previously known as the Duke University Primate Center) in 1966. Together, they established an internationally acclaimed facility to study health, behavior, genomics, and more in lemurs and their close relatives non-invasively. Today, the Duke Lemur Center houses the largest living collection of endangered primates in the world (both in population size and range of species) within 80 wooded acres of Durham.

For millions of years, lemurs flourished on the island of Madagascar where they had few natural predators, large swaths of land to call home, and plenty of lush vegetation for food. When humans began settling on the island about 2,000 years ago this began to change. Since humans first arrived on Madagascar, one third of all lemur species have become extinct and many more are endangered. To combat this issue, the Duke Lemur Center partnered with a number of other accredited institutions to design sustainable conservation breeding programs called Species Survival Plans (SSPs) in the hopes of creating a “genetic safety net” for rare and endangered species like the aye-aye, sifika, and blue-eyed black lemurs. Since the founding of the Duke Lemur Center, the facility has birthed over 3,285 animals and has celebrated three more births this year!

The first lemur birthed this season was Ranomasina, a blue-eyed black lemur who become one of only 34 located in North America and now belongs to one of the most endangered primate groups in the world. Ranomasina, whose name means “sea,” is also exceptional because she was delivered via cesarean section, which has only happened 15 times since the founding and is the offspring of lemurs from Madagascar making her “genetically valuable.” Bobby Schopler, a veterinarian who has worked at the Duke Lemur Center since 2005, called it “the most important birth in the 13 years I’ve worked here.” The Duke Lemur Center welcomed its second birth of the year on March 14 when Gellar, whose named after the actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, was born to parents Wiig and Hiddleston. Just eight days later, the Lemur Center welcomed baby Mark Hamill into the world. Honored to have a lemur named after himself, Mark Hamill tweeted the Duke Lemur Center back upon hearing the news! Gellar and Hamill spent their first few days like most at the Duke Lemur Center- in an independent “baby suite” with their mothers. This is done to increase infant mortality rates, which are significantly higher when the mother and infant are separated from other members until the infant is stronger and less vulnerable. Around the beginning of April, Gellar and Hamill were both reintroduced to their families and are doing wonderfully!


The Duke Lemur Center is a public facility that welcomes over 25,000 visitors every year to learn about lemurs, science, and conservation. It’s open 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m year-round and offers a variety of options for all ages and budgets. Touring requires a reservation as they typically book around 2 weeks beforehand, but last-minute appointments are sometimes available so calling is always welcomed. Reservations can be made via the phone at (919) 401-7240 or with an online reservation request form. Check out Ranomasina, Gellar, Hamill, and the rest of the rare and amazing animals today!

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Masha Halpern - Boutique Real Estate
Keller Williams Realty
101 Cosgrove Avenue, Suite 200
Chapel Hill NC 27514
Direct 919-951-1780
Toll Free 877-478-4669
Fax: 919-928-9030

Masha Halpern of Keller Williams Realty provides real estate services in the Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham, North Carolina area including real estate services for buyer, sellers and those relocating to the surrounding areas of Apex, Bahama,Cary, Efland, Hillsborough, Holly Springs, Mebane, Raleigh, and Wake Forest. Search for homes in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Durham or the surrounding communities.  Request a market analysis for your North Carolina property.  I list and sell residential real estate, investment property, vacant land, lots for sale in Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham, North Carolina area.

Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham, North Carolina real estate and homes for sale in North Carolina - Masha Halpern & The Smart Move Team