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jelly 03-10-2008 05:05 PM

Is this Termite activity? (pics inside)
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I removed all the asbestos siding today and noticed on the south side of my house what looks to be termite tunnels. How serious is this? How can I tell if its still active? I will be replacing the 1x8's but do I need to spray in there? The sill plate looks fine.

oldfrt 03-10-2008 05:46 PM

Although I've actually only run across actual termites and the damage they've caused once,my bet here would be carpenter ants.

Seeing it is on the south side and in an exposed area(not under a porch)there should be a mud tunnel from the ground,up the foundation to the damaged areas.Termites need to avoid the sun and build these tunnels to get to their food.
The termites make their nests in the ground and travel for food.They like wet areas, so if this area is dry and there is no activity then it may be old damage.
Dig out the old wood till you hit something solid to determine if they have moved on to another location as apparent by the tunneling.
Replace any damaged lumber,but as a precaution,spray with an insecticide designed to kill carpenter ants once the area is opened up.
If you're in an area that is noted for the presence of termites or if your neighbors have had a problem with them than,have it inspected by someone qualified.Treatment can get pretty expensive,but so can future damage.
If a neighbors house has been treated,be especially cautious as they tend to move to the next wet location to re-infest.

jelly 03-10-2008 07:30 PM

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Thanks for the response, I will dig in and see whats going on.

It funny you mention carpenter ants. When I first bought the house, my home inspector picked a branch off the ground that had been tunneled out by what he thought was carpenter ants.

justdon 03-12-2008 06:17 PM

yes to the mud tunnel part,,,BUT they could be inside the block where you dont see them either.

ANY chance you have plain old dry rot going here?? A possible leak anywhere around??

jelly 03-12-2008 07:57 PM

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There wasn't a mud tunnel when I uncovered this but I guess it could be many years old.

As far as a leak goes, there is a shower/tub on the other side of this wall...

I yanked the boards off and before I replac them with a sheet of ply., I will poke around more. Thanks.

Dutch1962 03-18-2008 10:04 PM

Hi there. DEFINATELY YES-That is subterranean termite damage. The mud is a tell tale sign. No other critter packs it's galleries and lines it's tunnels quite like that. It maybe old but termites are blind and shun light so it's difficult to say.not seeing any is a good sign. Remember though if the termites got in there once they can get in again unless you block them;treat them.
I have a couple of articles that may help.If not I'd call in a pro.just to be sure.The damage almost always is hidden & not easy to spot even as it gets worse.

Good Luck.

jelly 03-19-2008 03:06 PM

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Hi Dutch,
I would love it if you posted some articles. Thanks

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