termites

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by MELOC, May 15, 2006.

  1. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i live in an old house with some log framing and stone foundation. the basement is a utility basement and has an earth floor. i have always assumed that i had termites here and there but the damage is not obvious if they are in the house. i do have dry rot but have seen no insects.

    today i found termites 15 yards from the house in an arbevitea (sp) stump. i just happened to pull a piece of bark of the stump and wow, obvious termites. i saw mature bugs and some really small ones.

    here is what i know...

    i need to get the earth away from the wood at the seem of the housewhere the house meets the foundation.

    i need to remove all vegetation that is in contact with that portion of the house as well. i need to end up with ground...bare foundation and then house.

    what i need to know...

    what insecticides are used to combat these little buggers? i am no chemical fan by any means but i cannot allow termites to invade my home.

    are there any natural things i can do to discourage them?
     
  2. TNHermit

    TNHermit Well-Known Member Supporter

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  3. Brighid1971

    Brighid1971 Well-Known Member

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    When I did pest control, we used two methods for termites--baiting systems (Sentricon) and soil (direct chemical application) barriers. Home Depot (ugh, even though I can't stand the stores myself)...they carry an pretty good baiting system product called Spectracide 'Terminate'. They have the foam and the baiting system--I'm assuming the bait sticks sound like something you might be able to use.

    http://www.homedepot.com/prel80/HDU...ID=ccgjaddhkjlghdfcgelceffdfgidgio.0&MID=9876

    One tip, though--when you replace the sticks (if they are the same as when I used it), replace it with sticks made of Southern Pine.

    Good luck and keep us posted!
     
  4. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Meloc,
    I don't know where your house is, it is relevant. Termites are a force of nature, and no control is infallable. If you are in the South, then there are no fool proof cures. If you live in an area of moderate termite problems, you have some chance.

    Baiting systems can work, but it's a crap shoot. The termites must find your bait. Even if they find it, it will not eliminate the risk. (the federal government has been penalizing companies that claim baiting systems eliminate termite colonies)

    There are a few non-pesticide steps you can (and should) take, and you already touched on them. Water is a critical factor in termite survival (which is why location is important). You must insure there are no plumbing issues, runoff issues, nor groundwater issues. This means no leaks (plumbing or roof), gutters must carry water away from the house, and the ground cannot bring water to the house. Wood cannot be in contact with the ground. Boracare, as mentioned above will help with foundation timbers that cannot be removed. Although ten years was mentioned, it is more like 40 years of protection. The product is expensive, but a gallon could treat the entire wooden foundation area. Boracare only protects the wood that is treated. The termites can go around it and get to the rest of the wood in the house.

    You discovered termites on your property, and it is a wake up call. Tree stumps are a termite target, and the root systems often wrap around the underground house plumbing. Remove them. Remove all wood including fence posts, siding, steps, and anything that is wooden and close to the ground. Just because you found them in the yard doesn't mean they are in the house as well (depending on where you are).

    I live in CO and bought a property with a burned down house. I found termites in a piece of wood 10 feet from the foundation of the house. Fortunately, the area is only moderate in termite problems, and I will not use untreated wood to rebuild.

    Don't waste money on chemicals until you take care of the water and physical issues.
     
  5. poppy

    poppy Guest

    As was noted, I don't know where you are. Here in this part of the midwest, any house over 10 years old either has or has had termites with few exceptions. This is a moist environment and I have seen both timbor and boracare fail. Since the removal of Chlordane and related products, chemicals have much less longevity. The bait system is like putting a bandaid on a tumor. The best chemical available now for us is Termidore. You can order it online. It is pretty expensive and is a chemical called fipronil. The exact thing that is in some of the monthly flea treatments for dogs where you put a spot of it on their head. It is used at a much lower dosage than it is on pets.