Treating the barn with diesel and transmission fluid?

55 gallon drumOne of the great mysteries of our new home was why the previous owners would leave behind several fifty gallon barrels of chemicals behind. It was alarming. We wanted to dispose of them in an environmentally friendly way but weren’t quite sure where to start. The previous owners didn’t have a tractor so why did they have giant barrels of what seemed like thick oil or grease? We mentioned this to several people in the area and it was only last month that someone gave us the clue we needed to solve this mystery. Our barn is wood sided and apparently it’s common in this area to mix some concoction of diesel fuel, used transmission fluid and whatever this oil/grease is in the barrels to treat the wood on the barn. It’s supposed to protect the wood from the weather and insects, such as carpenter bees. I have never heard of such a thing. I guess it kind of makes sense. I know wood needs to be chemically treated to last but it seems odd to me that we should be using something that is…I don’t know…HIGHLY FLAMMABLE!

Have you ever heard of this? What do you guys use for your wooden barns/out-buildings?

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