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Termites



termites

Termites

 

When are termites most common?

Once a colony is established, termites are a year-round problem. However, there is an increase in colony expansion activity during warm weather.


If treatment is done correctly, how long will the insecticide barrier be effective?

Before chlordane was taken off the market as a termiticide in May of 1988, it was the most widely used product for termite control because of its long-term effectiveness. In fact, a house could be protected for 20 years or more using chlordane or like products. Chlordane was taken off the market because of misuse. The termiticides used today for termite control are much less persistent in the environment than the older chemicals. With the products today, you should expect a properly applied termite treatment to protect your home for five years.


My next-door neighbor has termites and is going to have his house treated. Are the termites going to attack my house next?

Termites move randomly through the soil searching for a source of food (wood)...so they don't know where where your house is exactly. So, if your next-door neighbor treats his home for termites, your house isn't automatically the termites' next lunch. Your house does not need to be treated; but, if there are active termite infestations in your neighborhood, it is a good idea to have it inspected.


We have dry wood termites. We are going to get a professional to do the treatment, but feel there must be something we can do to preclude re-infestation. Does the use of a poison gas, like Vikane, kill subterranean termites?

Vikane as well as other fumigants will.....kill any living organism. It will not prevent termites from reentering the the structure though. Barrier treatments with traditional termiticides would be the only way to do this for subterranean termites. Dry wood termites are usually treated with fumigants. There aren't many ways to prevent future attacks from dry wood termites. Exposed, unfinished wood could be sprayed with Timbor but this would only protect the exposed wood.


What is "pretreatment"? How is this different from "treatment"?

Pretreatment means treating the soil under the structure before cement floors are poured in place. Which would be a great benefit instead of drilling..
Treating the structure and "pretreatment" would be the same....the method of treatment, amount and kind of pesticide used, and methods of application are the same for both pretreatment and treatment, unless drilling would be needed.


What is the best termite chemical available now for termite treatment?

There is not much difference between the effectiveness of the various termite chemicals on the market, when they are used as directed on the label. The most common reason that a chemical / barrier treatment fails is when the application results in an incomplete insecticide barrier around the structure.

Incomplete application according to the label could be:
The termiticide is diluted with too much water,
The insecticide is not injected all the way to the footings of the basement
The volume of insecticide was insufficient according to label.
Treatment procedures are found clearly on the insecticide label and should be followed carefully to ensure proper coverage.


We had a company give us an estimate for a home 270' outside dimensions. The cost quoted was $1343.00. Does this seem to be a reasonable quote for a home this size? approx 3000 sq ft including the garage... We do have a small infestation and they state the whole home must be treated... is this standard practice?

That is an average price...not too high, not too low. Very few companies will do spot treatments. You can't blame them however, it's hard to warranty spot treatments.


We think we have termites? What questions should you be asking of someone inspecting your home. What is the difference between Orkin and some local company?

Ask if they have a damage-replacement warranty or re treatment warranty. If they offer a damage warranty...what are the waivers and exclusions? In other words, what are they liable for?
Ask what chemical they will use, and at what strength they will use it. Is that the the maximum strength allowed on the product label?
How many gallons will they use?
Orkin and a local company will very likely use the same chemicals and treatment methods. The treatments should conform to state specifications so that shouldn't be a factor. The stability of the company should also be considered.


I heat my home with firewood and I'm always worried about bring in termites. Is there something that I can safely spray on my firewood to kill any termites or carpenter ants before I bring the wood into the house?

Not to worry. Subterranean termites don't live in the wood. They live in the ground. Any termites trapped in the wood will not be able to survive because they are not capable of reproducing with out the queen. However, don't store the wood inside because ants and beetles may come in with the wood.


The pest control company will give me a one-year warranty on the treatment. After that, I must pay $100 a year for a yearly inspection. If the termites come back, the company will cover the treatment cost. Is this a good investment?

The limited warranties offered by pest control companies are more like buying termite control insurance than a warranty. Whether or not it is a good investment is relative and depends on the level of risk a homeowner wants to assume. In the event of a termite re infestation, will all costs be covered by the warrant-tee? Will they cover structural damage ? What will the homeowner have to be responsible for? Can the yearly inspection fee be increased by the company or is it fixed for a number of years?


I have a foam barrier around my slab. Is this a problem and if so...what is the solution?

Foam barriers need to be removed. Termites get behind them or go right through them to get to your home. It can be a real problem.
Some homes have foam barriers because a previous requirement for federally sponsored loans required home builders to wrap the slab to save energy. Now that the risks are understood, no one can get a federal sponsored loan or refinance unless it's removed. Remove the foam insulation to allow at least a 6 inch clearance from the soil and the foam board. Enough foam insulation should be removed as to be able to properly treat the soil above any insulation left in the ground.


Down in my basement there is a concrete foundation wall, and above the wall is wood which is covered with insulation. At the base of the concrete wall, by the floor, EVERY WEEK,at the same location, I am vacuuming up thick piles of what looks like SAWDUST. I've examined the wood above these piles, pulled out the insulation, and found no evidence of wood damage. Are there any other possibilities other than termites? Is there anything more specific I should be looking for that would enable me to identify the problem? Thank you for your help! Steve

You don't have termites. Sounds like carpenter ants. Check the outside of the house for ant activity at night. Spraying into the cracks with Taurus SC from which the ants emerge is the best answer.


I have a brick house that has a small infestation problem that has just been chemically treated. However, I want to cross over to the Sentricon system and they are asking way too much money. I can do this myself but I need to know what I need. The perimeter of my house is about 200 linear feet. How many bait stations would I use?

The  Advance Termite Bait Kit should do your house.


How often should my house be treated for termites?

This is a difficult question to answer. Many factors including soil type, termite chemical used, quality of treatment, construction type, and design of the home can all effect the longevity of termiticides in the soil. Your best bet is to have your home inspected annually, following instructions of a responsible professional in your area.


I heat my home with firewood and I'm always worried about bringing in termites. Is there something that I can safely spray on my firewood to kill any termites or carpenter ants before I bring the wood into the house? Not to worry. Subterranean termites don't live in the wood. They live in the ground. Any termites trapped in the wood will not be able to survive because they are not capable of reproducing with out the queen. However, don't store the wood inside because ants and beetles may come in with the wood.


We have dry wood termites. We are going to get a professional to do the treatment, but feel there must be something we can do to preclude re-infestation. Does the use of a poison gas, like Vikane, kill subterranean termites?

Vikane as well as other fumigants will.....kill any living organism. It will not prevent termites from reentering the the structure though. Barrier treatments with traditional termiticides would be the only way to do this for subterranean termites. Dry wood termites are usually treated with fumigants. There aren't many ways to prevent future attacks from dry wood termites. Exposed, unfinished wood could be sprayed with Timbor but this would only protect the exposed wood.


There is a tree about 50 feet from my house that is not dead but does have one dead branch. I found termites in the dead portion of this tree. I am going to do a thorough search around my house and look for any other dead wood and/or mud tunnels. I don't believe the termites are in or near the house. What recommendations do you have to treat this tree? Is there a good chance these termites are going to find my house? Should I treat my house also? What pesticides do you recommend whether applied professionally or by me? Please keep in mind I have two small children who play in the yard.

The termites will only consume the dead wood. This is a good thing, natures way. I would inspect the house regularly and for a peace of mind, have a professional exterminator inspect it for you.


I believe I saw a termite in my house recently, therefore I called a pest control company check out the house to see if they note any termites/or damage. The person from the pest control company looked in the crawl space and basement for apparent mud holes and found no reason to believe that I have termites. I am concerned though, as I am finding small-very small round holes in my drywall for no apparent reason. They show up where there is no logical reason for a "nail" hole to be used for an explanation. I have found no wings near window sills, and nothing like pellet dropping from the bored out holes. Should I request another pest control company for a second opinion?

Yes I would, a common sign of termites is the appearance of small holes(sometimes filled or capped with mud) in the dry wall. It may or may not be termites ..but I would ask for another opinion.


Can you recommend a product to kill termites that are destroying a tree?

Termites don't eat wood from a tree. When termites are found in or on a live tree, something is causing the pith or cambium layer of the tree to die. Termites invade and eat the dead cellulose. You might have a tree doctor look at what would be causing the decline in the tree.


Is it advisable to remove a tree stump (pine or eucalyptus) which is in the ground 4 feet away from the concrete foundation of our house in order to prevent termites from colonizing in that tree stump from which colony they might eventually migrate through cracks in the concrete into our house?
If so, what is the recommended width of a zone around a house in which a trees stump should not be left in the ground for the purpose of preventing termite infestation of the house?

It is believed that roots grow out as far as branches do on most trees.
Roots from the stump can lead termites through the chemical barrier to the structure.
What this means is that the diameter of the stump will affect how far away it needs to be
classified as "no threat". Four feet for every 6 inches in diameter is a rule that has been adopted by many pest control companies.


I brought in 2 small logs and placed in the fireplace for future burning...the next day I noticed a termite walking across the floor and then several others in the fireplace. Should I be concerned that they are nesting in my living room now? Or will I be ok after getting rid of the logs?? Please advise!

Their colony and queens are located far away in the ground. They have no means of reproduction and they will die from dehydration very quickly.