Beware of Pine Needles

As we have written before, many Florida homes have a lanai. If you are not familiar with the term, you can lean about a lanai here.

Most lanais have a screened roof. If a pine tree is in the vicinity, it is certain that the pine needles will find their way on to the screen. Some of the needles will end up extending through the holes in the screen.

The natural urge is to grab the needle and pull it through the screen.


The pine straw, as it is known, usually has two needles joined at one end. There is a really good chance that the two needles are sticking through two squares of the screen. As you give a good pull, the joint is often strong enough to hold together and break through the screen, causing a hole. Not a good thing.

You do have to keep an eye on well meaning guests, especially those who think Floridians are too old, frail or short, to pull the pine needles through themselves. Seriously, both of our sons, on their first visit, wanted to be helpful and pull out the straw. So did two other guests. They all meant well and we were able to stop them before they caused a hole in the screen.

If the needles really bother you, or you end up with a large amount of them on the screen, you can hose them off from the inside of the lanai. Power washing the screen is another option. Be careful not to use too high of pressure.

In case you are wondering, it cost about $1200.00 to have our lanai re-screened. Screen does wear out, especially if you put the power washer on turbo. Sun and heat do take a toll on the screen and it become brittle with age. Screens last about 10 – 15 years if you are able to avoid holes or tears in them.



FOG sez:

Betcha you can’t guess how I found out pulling the needles makes holes in the screen.