DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum

DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum (
-   General Home Improvement Discussion (
-   -   Termites~Pest Control advice? ? ? Help (

AU_Prospector 04-13-2009 01:56 PM

Termites~Pest Control advice? ? ? Help
Hi Everyone, not sure where this goes so I will just put it here for now.

Warm here in Georgia lately. Yesterday I noticed a small swarm of termites in my attached garage. By small I mean approx 200 fliers maybe a few more. Garage door was closed and they werent flying yet so I got a good look at them.

They were under the concrete step below the door that goes into the home from the garage. I would send a pic, but there isnt much to see cause I destroyed the bugs and the small clay tunnel (6 inches long) I found. The tunnel went from the seam at the juncture of the garage concrete floor and the cement block house foundation up a few inches of drywall in the garage to a small thin piece of plywood that was used as a trim peice to cover the uneven cut in the drywall under my door. The inside of this piece of plywood was carved out and tunnelled to the tune of about 10 square inches or so. I found and killed about 200 fliers but only about a couple dozen white larvae which were in the plywood. The tunnel was about 8 feet from the outside wall of the home. I figure they went along the foundation and some overwintered in my little piece of plywood. I just happened to catch them in the act of swarming.

Any advice? There is no other visible damage. There is no visible damage in my crawlspace or are there any visible tunnels in my crawlspace. We did some plantings this weekend and I did find termites in a couple of holes I dug for roses a couple feet from the house.

I want to get a pro inspection. Anything bad about Terminix or Orkin? I called a local pro who quoted me about $1000 sight unseen. This included drilling holes in the concrete block and injecting poison then sealing the holes. My home foundation is approx 25x60 feet. He explained a row of block all around would need to be drilled injected and filled. Does that sound right? Terminix charges a $30/month maintenance plan above and beyond initial treatment and that sounds high.

Sorry this is long, I wanted to explain it. It is possible I didnt get them all and it wouldnt take much for them to have access to the frame of my home looking at the point where I intercepted them. Please send any and all advice.


AU_Prospector 04-13-2009 02:15 PM

Here are some pics...

AU_Prospector 04-13-2009 02:17 PM

AU_Prospector 04-13-2009 02:22 PM

In the top pic you see the cut out in the floor trim for the concrete step. The bottom pic shows whats left of the clay tunnel from the concrete seam up to a joint in the drywall. Unfortunately now I see a small hole in the drywall joint where the tunnel stops and looks like the termites accessed the thin plywood some other way. See the outline of damage to the plywood impressed into the drywall. That piece of drywall may have termites in it. Will wait for pro to take that apart I think.
The main garage door and the outside edge of the block foundation would be about 8 feet to the left.

Nestor_Kelebay 04-13-2009 04:22 PM

Gold Prospector:

I don't know anything about termites personally, but you should be aware that a new method for eradicating termites was developed by Dr. Myles of the University of Toronto Forestry Department for the City of Toronto's Urban Entomology Program. Basically, Dr. Tim Myles has developed a very simple but highly effective method of eliminating termites that uses their instinct to "groom" each other that can be used to spread a lethal but slow working insecticide throughout the termite population in anything from a single family home to an entire city neighborhood or district. Right now the program is using volunteers to rid entire sections of the suburbs around Toronto of termites, and it can also be applied to a single house as well.

In a nutshell, the process involves placing or burying metal cans with corrugated cardboard inside them in areas where you've reason to believe that there are termites. Termites love cardboard, and after feasting on it, they will return to their colony to tell the other termites where to find cardboard. You simply monitor the "trap" until you find termites in it. Then, you put those termites into a Pyrex pan with tall sides that the termites can't escape from and dab them with a slow working insecticide (which I think is called "Sulfluramid") and put the termites back into the trap with new cardboard in it.

When returned to it's original location, the treated termites will return to their colony to tell the other termites where to find cardboard. The treated termites will be "groomed" by the other termites who will instinctively lick the insecticide off the treated termites. As each group of treated termites returns to the colony, they are groomed and more and more insecticide is distributed to the termites in the colony. You keep trapping, treating and releasing until your traps are consistantly empty of termites, which means there's no more live termites who know where to find cardboard.

There used to be an entire website devoted entirely to the Trap, Treat and Release method but I can't seem to find that web page now.

Buy yourself a $5 long distance phone card and phone Dr. Tim Myles to find out more about the program and where you can get more information on the insecticide to use and the procedure:

kthrnmllr21 04-13-2009 05:38 PM

We just had our house here in Texas treated. (800$ for 2000 square feet) We had to have four people come out and give us estimates. Terminix started with a 1500$ estimate but after a month of calls from them they went down to 800 and I was able to use that to have another company price match.
I would recommend staying away from the spot treatment. We started with that and had to follow them around the house and replace walls.

AU_Prospector 04-14-2009 06:14 PM

Nestor thanks for the idea, but since I want a quick and reliable kill I will go with a more direct approach.

Thanks for the responses guys. I was hoping for more advice and encouragement but thats okay. I have 3 companies coming over the next two days. Terminix is one who refused to give phone info. The other two are local contractors who talked freely on the phone. From what I gather, they will get into the crawlspace and drill a horizontal row of cement block every 6 inches to inject poison. Its some huge number like 4 gallons for every 10 feet of foundation. They will then go outside and drill my brick siding and inject more poison. Lastly they drill into my concrete slab garage and porches and inject yet more poison. They are supposed to fill the holes. This is something that should be repeated every 5 years as maintenance. My home is 7 years old and was "supposed" to have a treatment on the foundation right before the frame went up.

Its likely the main colony is somewhere in the yard or in a neighbors yard and not in my home termites need water and leave the food source in teams to bring back water unless you have a leak somewhere. Its at this point that they pass along the foundation and get exposed to poison. Baits could be placed outside around the home at this point in an effort to kill an outside residing colony or as a maintenance program.

I plan on taking pictures of this process and posting them to keep you updated. The phone estimated cost is $800-$1000 for a foundation of my size. I expect Terminix to be at least twice that.

By the way I pulled off some drywall that is shown in the picture. There are some tunnels in the drywall, but nothing carved out. I see grooves in a pressure treated piece of wood, but no tunnels or carvings. There is one tunnel going into the subfloor with some saw dust but I have seen no more live insects.

Nestor_Kelebay 04-15-2009 01:24 AM

I'd at least spend the $5 on the phone card to phone Dr. Myles.

When they first tested his Trap, Treat and Release method of getting rid of subterranean termites it was so effective that Dr. Myles himself expressed the concern that overzealous home owners might use the method to eradicate termites in surrounding woodlands and thereby destroy the beneficial effects termites have in breaking down fallen trees. His method has also been heralded by other experts is the field as being both very simple and highly effective.

And, Dr. Myles and his Trap, Treat and Release method was featured on the Canadian version of the "Discovery Channel" as a breakthrough in termite control. That's how I learned about it; on TV.

Certainly he'll talk to you, anyway. He's Canadian, so he's not stuck-up. And, you have at most, $5 to lose on the cost of the phone card.

But, your and adult and you make your own decisions and mistakes.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:25 AM.