Clotheslines and Termites

I went out to the clothesline this morning to find that an overnight shower had come, and the post had snapped under the weight of the wet laundry.

It wouldn’t have taken much. This is the second time we’ve had to replace our clothesline posts due to termite damage. We thought they wouldn’t eat pressure treated lumber, but evidently the little buggers aren’t picky.

We really need to replace our 4×4 posts with metal posts concreted into the ground. Back in the old days I think they used to treat their posts with pitch, or they would smoke the ends of the logs or something to discourage termite damage. (Anyone know how the pioneers handled termites?)

Score 2 for the termites. I’d better go collect my wet, dirty clothes off the ground. It’s gonna be another rainy day.

Looks like I’ll be hanging my clothes indoors for a while! (You can read about how I do that HERE.)

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6 thoughts on “Clotheslines and Termites”

  1. If you use locust or cedar posts the termites won’t bother them. They have natural oils which exceed the capablities of pressure treated lumber. Btw: My dad (94 years old) has 3 inch steel laundry posts he installed in 1952 . At that time he cut the ends out of “tin” cans, stacked them and poured concrete around them. He occasionally paints the exposed pipe. The posts are still removeable from the remaining “socket”. I used the same method for my posts.

  2. Fwiw, when we moved our clothesline? Hubby sunk a capped PVC pipe into concrete to set. Then our metal clothesline pole just slots right in and out of the PVC pipe as we need it to. Like when our hurricane force winds of late come through, we can just yoink it out and tuck it away by a shed if we need to. Ours is just one of those one-pole deals with the four arms so we have the square-looking one with the bunches of lines.

  3. Kendra, my poles are metal. I just have to paint them once a year with aluminum paint to keep them from rusting. We got these from a muffler shop locally. I think hubby paid $35.00 for 2 poles. They have them there and welded them together just for clothesline poles. I have 2, but wished I had a 3rd one. You can wire them up for 3 lines too. Maybe I’ll put that on my birthday list this year. Good luck with your laundry. E

    • Thanks, Elizabeth! Jerry’s grandpa’s old place has a set of metal laundry poles already dug out of the ground. I’m hoping we might be able to use them.


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