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aidan80 02-24-2013 07:19 AM

Termite Infestation
I purchased a small house just over a year ago. The property is sat on a concrete slab, wood frame, built in the mid 90's approx 1,200sq ft. Did all the usual before buying.. hired a home inspector, had a friend look at it, had a pest control guy check it, AC company checked it, Roofer checked it out, electrical was checked.. all gave it the OK. I probably went overboard there but didn't want to screw up buying my first house.

I've since found I have an active termite infestation. First signs were a swarm breaking through the bathroom wall about half way up. I hired a pest control professional, gave him some swamer samples and he confirmed it was subterranean termites. He found additional evidence of termite damage almost all the way around the outside of the house. Wood siding low to the ground was showing signs of being soft and hollow. No signs were found that the termites had breached further into the house other than the swarm.

I hired a pest company which came highly recommended by friends to treat the property. $600 later they put 65 gallons of "Termidor" into the ground around the house and foundation. Drilled into the concrete in front and rear of the house to treat those areas too. The pest controller was 100% sure this will kill off all termites eating my house with 90 days and would kill the first within 3 days.

Is termidor as good as claimed? My concern is how much damage have they already done. I've found soft spots low down almost all the way around. In addition I've found soft spots on the lopped siding in the front of the house where there's a small bay window. Those soft spots go up to the top of the window frame. Other than this termidor and the monitoring stakes I put in the ground what else can be done to control or check for damage short of tearing walls apart.

joecaption 02-24-2013 07:30 AM

Not much you can do.
Most often in a slab home any damage will be hidden so an inspection is not going to find them.
Very strange your seeing swarmers this time of year, any I've ever seen where in the spring when it turns warm.
Just the fact your seeing swarmers tells me this is an older colony and has been doing damage for a while.
Only way to find out is to open it up.'
Got some pictures of that outside area.
By code siding needed to be at least 4" above grade. To low and it's going to rot and make a nice ladder for termites to get in without being seen.

Did they do any drilling at the base of the walls inside the home?
If not it is possible they can still come in around any tiny cracks in the slab, around anyplace the plumbing was run through the slab.

aidan80 02-24-2013 08:24 AM

I forgot to menton, I'm in Florida and it's been warm in the 70's and even 80's for a few weeks. I'd read the colony would be around 3 - 5 years old at least before swarmers start showing up. The siding is about 6" or 8" clear of the ground. The base of the home is built on block then the wood frame starts. The pest controller said he thought they were coming in through a crack in the foundation somewhere or most likely in my mind near underground plumbing that funny enough is in the bathroom. They were and still are swarming (by the dozen now) right above the toilet. They drilled on the front and rear porches. They didn't drill at the foundation on the edges of the house but instead dug a trench and put in termidor. From what the pest control guy said sooner or later the termites will breach that chemical barrier and carry the poison back home with them.

At this point I'm thinking of taking up the toilet (which I have to do anyway to tile) and checking for leaks and mudtubes. I also plan to strip the siding off that side of the house to see what kind of damage is behind the wall. Checking the area where the swarmers are coming out of today I found about a dozen more but I also noticed the baseboard behind the toilet is now soft. Last time I checked that it was still solid. Looks as if they are now past the outer wall. I'm hoping they haven't done too much damage to any support beams.

joecaption 02-24-2013 08:57 AM

I'm surprized there subterrian termites that far south.
There often Formosin that far south and do not need to leave the house to live.
Not likly they ate that much wood that fast it takes many years for them to do enough damage that you could feel it. May be that your now looking for the damage.

aidan80 02-24-2013 09:39 AM


Originally Posted by joecaption (Post 1123656)
I'm surprized there subterrian termites that far south.
There often Formosin that far south and do not need to leave the house to live.
Not likly they ate that much wood that fast it takes many years for them to do enough damage that you could feel it. May be that your now looking for the damage.

The work order did show a check for treatment for Subterranean and Formosan. I looked up the bodies I found online and they look (to me at least) to be a match for the Subterranean. The swarmers I found were dark in colour with four wings about half as long as their bodies. Having said that I'm far from an expert all I know is termites have been eating at this place at the very least for a year and I suspect a lot longer. Fresh siding that was installed prior to my buying the property last year, is already showing signs of soft spots at the bottom of the wood. Your right I could be just now noticing the damage in the bathroom well at least now I know what to look for in the future.

noquacks 02-28-2013 06:13 PM


Originally Posted by joecaption (Post 1123656)
I'm surprized there subterrian termites that far south.

Yup- had subs too - also in FL. Never heard subs "cant live in Fl". I drenched the entire perimeter after digging a trench 12-15" deep, and soaked the trench. Used Dominion 2L. Lasts for years. Its nice if you got just sand to dig....LOL

Donald32 03-01-2013 09:28 AM

This is the same proble with me. The termite control company solve this because they use the termidor in a non profesional way and it cause reaction. I must say to cunsult your company again, tell them to solve your problem. I did so and now my house is perfectly ok.

Brisbane Pest Treatment

aidan80 03-03-2013 07:01 AM

This pest control company that came highly recommended I won't be recommending. 3 calls and a week and a half later they finally treat my slab on the front. Apparently they never did the front porch the first time around. I didn't see any drill holes and called them, and called them and called them again. Now that they have they are showing "Recruit HD - 5 gallons" as the material used to control the termites on the front porch. A Google search tells me this is part of the (less?) effective Sentricon system of termite baits. Which makes no sense to me as I was told I'd get termidor and that's what I'd paid for. I also checked their paperwork and guess what it makes no mention anywhere of what would be used to treat the termites just that they'd be treated. I've a bad feeling about this and I hope I'm wrong. I really dont want to have to take soil samples to get tested to confirm if I've got what I was paying for. I also dont want to be repairing wood on the house only to have it ate by still live termites that are not eating some (inferior?) product in the ground.

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