Do I trust a company to treat a termite problem or DIY?
I have heard so many conflicting things about pest control companies, and to be honest what little experience I've had with the likes of Massey has not really inspired me with confidence. We recently detected some termites swarming inside the block house we bought a year or so ago, and called Massey as they basically gave us an all-clear on termites about a month ago when they first inspected and treated the house. Not only did the original inspector come out, but also two other guys, and they found no source for the trouble at all and said the termites must be getting in from outside. They then tried selling us on a package to spray the attic, put a trench round the outside, and also put some traps in place. When I asked if there was any kind of issue with them already being in the walls, they said no problem, because they all had to come outside sooner or later, at which point the Termidor in the trenches and the traps would get them. We decided to get a second opinion and called in Home Team Pest Defense, and their inspector discovered pretty quickly that the swarmers were coming from the baseboard of a wall on our centrally located kitchen - he even showed us where they were coming out.
Here's the problem. The guy wants to drill holes every 12" or so in a circle round the outside perimeter of the kitchen area to put Termidor down, which means he has to cut through tile after tile to do it - I assume with a hammer drill. He claims (big surprise here) that the company won't guarantee the tiles won't crack or break, which puts us in a nuisance position because, as with most tiles, the existing ones can't be matched by any current tiles, as the original flooring was laid 20 odd years ago. The chances of my being able to figure out a way to replace the tiles in a sensible or complimentary manner are pretty remote. Nor do I really fee like tearing out an entire house full of tile to lay new tile just because of this issue. Is there any way at all to drill through the tile without a hammer drill, or in some way that will minimize the chances of the tile cracking?
The other point is the cost, which is pretty substantial. I have all the equipment necessary to drill the holes as far as hammer drills are concerned, and according to what I've read the the only other thing required is to dig a 6" trench round the house for the Termidor, then put some traps in place (any idea how many or what kind of spacing is required?) Neither of the two pest control companies concerned mentioned addressing the actual wall where the termites have appeared out of - shouldn't that be getting treated as well with something inside the wall cavity?
I figure if I can do it myself for perhaps $500 - $600, we not only save a fair bit of money, but also ensure that I at least address the problem with all the attention it deserves and hopefully with more concern for the relevant tiles than someone else might be.
Any thoughts or suggestions? Anyone been down this road before themselves?
I'm not there to see it so I'll make some guesses and ask more questions.
Is this a slab foundation?
What's on the outside of the house for siding, or is it just block?
Are the inside walls stick built or block?
It's very common in a slab and block home to have what's called hidden damage.
Inspect all you want but often times there inside the walls coming through a crack in the slab, missing morter, cracks from settling, anyplace plumbing or wiring was run, at the joint between the slab and the walls.
What may be able to be done is remove the baseboards and drill right into the voilds in the block or through the bottom plates and slab.
A pro company is going to be using at least 100 gal of soloution to treat per 1000 sq. ft of house.
There also going to have the high pressure pump and long rods needed to inject the treatment under the footings.
(bait stations in my opion are useless)
As mentioned in the original post, the house is block, which of course means it's sitting on a slab.
Here's another point regarding the troubling issue of cracking the tiles via the drilling that others might care to ponder. Obviously a pest control company just wants to get the job over and done with as quickly and easily as possible. I'm trying to avoid having a pile of tiles cracked that I won't be able to replace with identical tiles. What if I remove the baseboards near the area they want to treat around the kitchen, and drill at an angle from the base of the wood frame walls down into the slab? Might add an inch or so to the concrete I have to drill through in the slab with my hammer drill, but at least it would solve the issue of the tiles - it's a lot easier to replace baseboard then the tile.
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