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sierra395 08-08-2008 07:17 PM

Termite Tenting -- Still have termites?
I live in CA and understand that as a CA homeowner we have a 1 on 1 relationship with termites. But I just went through the process of tenting my house and less than a week later my contractor found live termites in the wood in an area he was working. Does this seem normal? Shouldn't the tenting kill everything???

bofusmosby 08-08-2008 07:44 PM

If the termites are drywood termites, then the company that did the tenting didn't do a good enough job. Its true that right after the tent comes off, the termites can re-infest the house, but to tear into a piece of wood, and find an active colony, thats not right. Now, if these are the subterranium termites, they live in the ground, and go up into the wood to feed. Its possible that this could be the case. Tenting will not eliminate these. There are different treatments for these. I would call another company (that gives free inspections) and get their opinion. The reason I say this, is because down here in Florida, one of the big companies (Orkin) was found to be ripping people off. They would put up a tent, and "pretend" in put in the gas. All along, they were doing nothing, except getting paid.

I am not a professional by any means, but in the 9 years I have owned my house, I have had it tented 3 times. I am not too trusting of the exterminators. To answer your question, "tenting" should kill everything in the house. However, the subteranium type would have just retreated back into the ground, or at best, the ones still alive (from underground)could have returned to feed again.

Big Bob 08-08-2008 08:00 PM

yes but, the termite tent guys don't tell you all the wood needs to be dry.

Moisture over a given % will not allow the gas to penetrate. So when you call to complain.. it's your fault for not correcting all the water intrusion and giving them a dry structure to treat.

I thought Florida had the most termites...but research indicates that Hawaii would sink if all their termites died at the same time.

Ask the pest control company to come out and treat the opened areas with "TIMBOR" or =. If they won't... it can be done DIY ... find a DIY pest control dealer... pump sprayer and cheap ...under $20.00

I've been on some long expensive chases.. It's better to have the chemicals and do it as you open up and find them.

In a perfect world ... people would give the whole story before they took your money...

good luck

bofusmosby 08-08-2008 08:12 PM

I strongly disagree. If the tent just came off the house, and the termites were found, who knows where else these critters might be hiding. Termites are very easy to kill, if you can get to them. The problem is, are there any more,, and where. the company that did the tenting should warranty their work, but because of there still being an infestion, I wouldn't automatically trust them. A third party (at no charge) I believe would be the best move. If they say its drywood termites, then have the original company re-inspect, and re-tent the house again.

When they tent the house, they weigh the bottle of poison, and put in so many pounds, determined by the size of the house. WATCH this step, to make sure they are putting in the amount of gas they say they are.

Big Bob 08-08-2008 08:20 PM

Bofusmosby, is right on target.

3 tents, OMG in 9 years? OMG.

Sub-Ts should have a ground (perimeter treatment)

under slab areas should have been treated b-4 slab pour.

to late now.. bait systems for sub-Ts & if off grade great.. treat below.. add shields ...spray spray spray,,, & soak around piers

It's not personal with the termites...they were here long before us and what we live in is just food that rightfully belongs to them.

Big Bob 08-08-2008 08:33 PM

We cross posted...

I too have a low opin of pest control industry. I've caught them telling a little ol widow lady she has carpenter ants... I captured the termites in some bottles... told her to call them back out ..give them a bottle full and send the other to the entimology dept at the U of F Gainesville, FL.

:laughing: they changed their tune.

Bugzilla 08-09-2008 12:39 PM

Unlike subterranean termites that have to return to the soil to come in contact with the termiticide, the gas (usually Vikane) should kill drywood termites overnight. My guess is the termite company did not get an efficient seal, or the tarps were dropped too early. If drywoods are found only in 2 or 3 accessible areas, I would suggest spot treating them, which is very inexpensive compared to fumigation. This is accomplished by drilling into the termite galleries in the infested wood members and injecting an insecticide labeled for such useage. Fumigation is not used for subterranean termites, only for Drywoods and Formosans. Although they originate from the ground, Formosan termites build aerial nests in walls, and do not have to return to the soil, thus the combination of soil treatment and fumigation is suggested. If you've got Formosans, don't tarry in treating them. They eat ten times the amount wood in the same time period that regular subterranean termites do. New Orleans is being devoured by them.

True, wet wood will not allow the gas to penetrate, and the same is true for Timbor. It has to be applied to dry wood. Somehow I doubt that that the timbers infest with the drywoods were soaked enough to blunt the gas. Drywoods do not prefer damp wood even a little bit.

Bugzilla out--

bofusmosby 08-09-2008 05:02 PM

I understand that "spot-treatment" will take care of the termites found. What concerns me, is what about the termites elsewhere that you didn't find. Since you just had the house tented, and these that have been found are still alive, then who's to say that there aren't other colonies that also survived. Tent it again! Of course, that is if they are the drywood buggers. Without a complete kill, if there were others in the house, its a good chance they are still alive as well. The problem is, it may be several years before you discover them. By that time, to have the house tented again, it'l come out of your pocket. Even if you buy a warranty, what about all the wood that will be destroyed before it is re-tented several years down the road.

I am speaking from my own experience. I am not a pro, but I really don't trust a lot of the pros either. I know there are some good ones out there, but its a coin flip to find one of them.


Bugzilla 08-09-2008 05:17 PM

Sounds like you've had some bad experiences, Bo. I guess exterminators are like any other profession. There are incompetent computer programmers, carmakers, homebuilders, etc. I guess the trick is to find an exterminator who has great customer testimonials. Sierra, if the house is still under warranty, by all means, get your money's worth and fume it again. Typically drywoods don't do as much damage as quickly as subterraneans because the colonies are much smaller.

Bugzilla out --

Nestor_Kelebay 08-09-2008 07:25 PM

I don't know what it is.

I keep on telling people about this new treatment method that ANYONE can do that's highly effective at erradicating termites, and people just don't seem to pay any attention.

The City of Toronto hired Dr. Tim Myles, and entomologist from the University of Toronto to come up with a plan to deal with termites in the city. The method he came up with, called "Trap, Treat and Release" is as effective at eliminating termites from a single house as it is in eliminating termites from entire neighborhoods.

The system simply involves taking cardboard (which termites love) rolling it up and putting it into a can for the termites to find. You check the can periodically, and when you have a lot of termites in it, you remove the can, remove the cardboard from the can, and shake the termites out into a large tray were you can treat them with a very slow acting, but highly effective insecticide. Then, you put new cardboard in the can, put the termites back in that can, and return it to it's original location.

Termites instinctively groom each other by eating and licking foreign material off each other's bodies. So, when the treated termites return to the nest to tell all the other termites where to find cardboard (Yummy!) the insecticide on them will be spread to all the other termites that groom the treated termites.

Once the cardboard has been found, your termite trap will attract more and more termites. You gather them, treat them and release them back where they were so they carry the instecticide back to the colony. The number of termites in your trap will reflect the number of termites in the area. Initially, as news of the cardboard to be had spreads, there will be more and more termites in your trap, making it look like the termite population in your house is going up. But, as the insecticide is carried by the termites back to the nest and is distributed to the other termites in the colony, the number of termites you find in the trap will decline. The termites are always going to go for the cardboard if they can, and there is nothing about the cardboard that would warn them off. Thus, the method remains effective until there are no more termites in your house, and that will mean you won't find any in your trap either.

It's easy, it's effective and it's cheap. If you have termite problems, why pay an exterminator thousands of dollars when you can eliminate them equally effectively yourself for well under $100.

The information on how to make the traps, where to put them, what kind of insecticide to use and how to apply it is available free of charge from the Urban Entomology Program at the U of Toronto at Tel: (416) 978-5755

This is a relatively new thing that anyone can use to rid their homes of termites. The reason why the information is being given away free was because the method was developed with Ontario tax payer's money, so the rights to it are owned by the people of Ontario.

On the above web site, you can see the results of termite control tests done in neighborhoods in Toronto, Guelph and Pickering. If you have a termite problem, you should at least read those test results to see if this method is effective enough for you.

Bugzilla 08-09-2008 07:36 PM

Hey nestor, what you're describing is similar to baiting system technology. Termidor (active ingredient: Fipronil) also has "transfer effect" technology.

Bugzilla out --

Nestor_Kelebay 08-09-2008 08:49 PM

Fipronil is one of the termiticides mentioned on the Trap, Treat and Release web page:

However, the slow acting insecticide that you treat the live termites with is "sulfluramid". Or, at least, that what they used in the field trial studies in Toronto, Guelph and Pickering.

Bugzilla 08-10-2008 05:45 AM

The method you mention, or a variation thereof has been in use in the US for about 12-13 years. Fipronil (Termidor active) was developed in France. It is a non-repellent, gets on the exoskeleton and transfers to others through touching, grooming, and feeding. And you are right. It's the best way to control termites (subterranean).

Bugzilla out --

bofusmosby 08-10-2008 07:10 AM

Are there any such bait tactics for the drywood termites? These are very widespread in the southern states.

Bugzilla 08-10-2008 07:40 AM

Termite bait systems are not used in drywood termite control, however, Termidor is labeled for use for spot treating Drywoods. If just a few members of the colony contact this termiticide, they take it back to the nest and wipe it out. This can take anywhere from 2-6 weeks or more, but Drywoods inflict damage very slowly.

Bugzilla out --

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