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black 08-17-2012 12:14 PM

safe distance for termites from house?
So my first question in this forum may be a simple one
I was tearing down a fenced in "dog run behind our house and pulled up a 8 foot long of 4 x 4. as i pulled it was starting to rot and I found termites underneath.

The run was a square shape where the termites were found is about 10 feet from my deck which juts out about 10 feet from the house.

I am filling this "run" in with top soil and reseeding ( previous owner had it filled with 8 cubic yards of gravel which i had to remove...ughhh) Is there anything I should do about the termites. I never removed the wood left it there thinking if i move it they might move and maybe closer to my home. Live and let live? are they far away from the house ?

There is no other wood that is consistently damp near them. Soil is sloped away from house appropriately... some of the footing for the step sleading to the deck were placed in concrete versus having proper footing and are a little soft but they're 13 feet away.

any thoughts? Thanks for any insight

The topsoil to drop into the now excavated run is here and I wil be putting it in tonight/ tomorrow

joecaption 08-17-2012 02:45 PM

You need to get all that old wood out of there or burn it.

Depending on where you live, what's on the property, and how long ago there was trees there before the land was cleared there could be lots of colonys of termites on anyones land that do no harm.

If your concerned get you house inspected, most companys will do it for free.

I use to here it all the time I inspected the house myself when I bought it so I know I do not have termites.
#1 They may have bought it 10 years ago.
#2 What's the chance they even knew what to look for?
While there looking there also going to be looking for water damage, powder post bettles, fungus, standing water, all things that should have been addressed long ago.

black 08-17-2012 02:48 PM

woods has been tossed but there were no termites in it.. I could see that that they actually had tunnels that went underground.

joecaption 08-17-2012 03:09 PM

They live in the ground not in the wood if there Formosin termites.
There blind, the workers go out everyday trying to locate a food source. If they can not find anything under ground like old dead tree roots they can make mud tunnels to travel though.
All it takes is a tiny crack in a foundation or missing morter and they can get in, go up inside the block wall where no one can see them, then into the bottom plates.

black 08-17-2012 03:12 PM

House was recently purchased.. no termite in house or exterior
I understand they are naturally occuring. "ll keep an eye open in future for termite activity.

chrisn 08-17-2012 04:09 PM

Be sure they are actually termites and not some other insect

black 08-17-2012 09:20 PM

funny you mention that Chrisn.... I moved to lumber today in prep for pouring topsoil for the new lawn. I moved it and no longer saw the termites but what did saw were large balck ants some with wings some carrying their pupae eggs away thinking i was raiding their nest but nowhere did I see the termites i saw 5 days ago or anything looking llke them. Now I was a biology major in college with ecology focus and I know what termites look like...
very odd.....

gobug 08-17-2012 09:23 PM

My first reaction is a question: where are you?

Locale indicates which termites may be your biggest concern. The comment about formosan is a good example.

Here, in CO, real estate agents claim we have no termites. There are 5 different genus termites in CO. Only one is a significant risk to a structure.

Different types of termites have different worlds. The termite of primary risk here has a radius of activity of about 100 yards and the colony lives in a basketball sized nest. Hence if you saw termite activity, it could be from several overlapping colonies. One clue would be the surrounding terrain. Is there water? Is your climate dry? Are there trees?

Control the water and you limit your risk.

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