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gene999 10-25-2008 05:09 PM

How to know if I have termites
I had an ant infestation and hired a local outfit to get rid of them. The etymologist who accompanied the guys doing the dusting for the ants told me I had termites as well as ants because an ant pile (graveyard I was told) found in my bedroom under the window contained termite eggs and wings. I couldn't see the termite remains myself. Neither he nor the dusters identified any living termites anywhere in the house, but he didn't inspect closely. He suggested I have them do a procedure involving putting posts into the ground around the house.

I called a national chain for a second opinion. The inspector looked around a bit, and took a sample of the graveyard back for his etymologist to examine. He called back to say I had no termites.

I have a concrete block house built on a concrete slab. I replaced the tile roof 10 years and, I believe, I was told, the supports were treated wood.

I'm still somewhat concerned. Should I be ? Should I look for other opinions ? If so, who should I call ?



DangerMouse 10-25-2008 05:16 PM

sounds to me like they were trying to pad the bill. there are winged ANTS too. if truly concerned, call ANOTHER national chain and reinspect.


gene999 10-25-2008 06:43 PM

Termite Inspections
What's keeping me from doing that is knowing they're incented to find something. I'd rather pay someone to inspect who doesn't do the work and can be objective, but I'm not sure anyone reliable does this.

DangerMouse 10-25-2008 06:52 PM

if it were me, i'd just go with the national chain's evaluation. they knew you still had more of the sample they left with, and could get sued by you if they said they found them in the sample.


gene999 10-25-2008 09:01 PM

Good point. Thank you.

ocoee 11-14-2008 10:27 AM

First off
Entomologist rarely accompany workers in the field
He was more likely a certified operator
The same goes for the national chain
He probably just took it back to the office and had some senior techs and managers look at it

Secondly no one that does not work in the field will be able to give you a good inspection

Call in three companies for estimates
They will not tell you that you have an active infestation if you do not, there are hefty fines for that
You will notice that even the company that told you that you needed the work did not say you had an infestation

Associating ant piles with termites is a very old sales trick that should have died out long ago with the practice of carrying frass in a plastic bag into accounts (yeah we used to do that also)

If you let the companies know that you are shopping around they will give you a better quote and better inspection

If you get mixed results call your agriculture extension office to assist you
In some areas they will come out and do an inspection to resolve this type of situation
They really are entomologist and are also the ones that pass out those hefty fines

gene999 11-15-2008 11:49 AM

I've had three look at it now. Only the national chain said to do nothing now. The third (an independent I paid to inspect) said he saw nothing in the ant mound that signalled termites and no infestation in the house--but, like the first, wanted to sell me a service (some kind of barrier) to protect the house because he said the whole area (I'm on a golf course) has termites around. I don't see why that should be. There aren't many trees and those are well cared for. I declined. I've decided to do nothing. Your comment about "sales technique" was very revealing and makes me think I made the right decision. Thank you.


ocoee 11-15-2008 01:05 PM

What they are trying to ell you is what we used to call
Peace of Mind treatments
For awhile they were not allowed but with the new products out there they are OK again

Termites do not attack live trees so the amount of trees in the area is not really an indicator
Termites can live as far as 20 to 30 feet underground and are constant random foragers like ants

At this point I would recommend a very old tactic
A large nationwide company used to use this as a sales technique until another very large company patented it and make it a nationwide phenomenon

Go to the local hardware store and buy some plain white pines stakes, or pull up those campaign posters that have been left behind and use those stakes

At the base of your house inside the drip edge
Drive the stakes in the ground about 6 to 8 inches at about 8 to 10 foot intervals or closer if you want

Every month or so pull the stakes up and inspect them for termite activity

If you find one with active termites you might want to call in a company

If your house was built in a termite prone area before 1985 (some say 88) there is a good chance that it was treated with Chlorodane
If so do nothing to disturb that barrier

bofusmosby 11-15-2008 11:15 PM

Termite droppings really doesn't mean that much. I live in an old house, and over the years, there have been many infestions of those little devils. Anytime I do any work, and damaged wood is exposed, the droppings will come out. This doesn't mean they are still there, this just means that at least they used to be. Now, the wings I would be more concerned with. But as already stated, these could be ant wings.

Bugzilla 11-21-2008 11:11 AM

SCAM ALERT!!! I worked in the industry a long time, and in all those years I don't recall ever seeing termite eggs in or on ant mounds. There were most likely ant eggs, and ants have wings during certain seasons of the year. And whoever said that entomologist rarely travel in the field with technicians is right on. For more info on termites and ants check out the pest library @ LINK REMOVED

bradnailer 01-08-2009 09:09 AM

If your walls are drywalled, you can feel around the drywall and if you have or have had termites there may be voids between the paint and the drywall where the termites have been. Inspect the outside of the house and see if there are any dirt tunnels between the ground and the house. Also make sure the dirt around your house is several inches below the slab level. That's probably one of the best ways to keep them out of your house. As far as the inside, the only way the little bastiges can get in is through a crack in the slab. If you find that you have them active, then use a reputable firm that will drill the slab and use Termidor. If they are active in a wall, the firm should also foam the wall to kill the ones in the wall or they will stay there until they need a drink and go back into the dirt.

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