Found termites! Now what?

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unclescrooge
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Found termites! Now what?

Post by unclescrooge »

I found termites in a crack in a cement slab. There was a mound of fine soil over the crack which, when kicked, caused termites to come spilling out.

Image

They're about 4 ft from the house, where the crack meets the expansion joint.
Image

How do I treat this?

Will Boracare work?

Do I drill a hole in the patio and inject Boracare down to 24 inches? If so, how to I still a hole in the concrete and what do I use to inject?

Any other issues I should be aware of?

I live in Los Angeles, and have clay soil.

Thanks in advance!
Last edited by unclescrooge on Tue Mar 09, 2021 9:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by unclescrooge »

It seems Boracare is only for wood.
What does one use for soil?
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ResearchMed
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by ResearchMed »

Have you considered having a pest control company come out to deal with this, and, more importantly, check elsewhere outside and inside in case there are any "friends and family" nearby?

RM
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by Normchad »

I DIY almost everything...... but termites terrify me, I would absolutely call a pro for this..... Go ahead and kill what you see, but I'd still call a pro.....

If they get out of hand, they can cause enormous unseen damage to your home..........
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by unclescrooge »

ResearchMed wrote: Tue Mar 09, 2021 9:01 pm Have you considered having a pest control company come out to deal with this, and, more importantly, check elsewhere outside and inside in case there are any "friends and family" nearby?

RM
Normchad wrote: Tue Mar 09, 2021 9:04 pm I DIY almost everything...... but termites terrify me, I would absolutely call a pro for this..... Go ahead and kill what you see, but I'd still call a pro.....

If they get out of hand, they can cause enormous unseen damage to your home..........
I don't disagree. But we remodeled the house 4 years ago and sprayed the interior framing with Boracare. That's supposed to be good for 12 years.
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by curmudgeon »

Generally when you get subterranean termites in a crack like that, they are building mud tunnels to get from nests in the ground to wood supply (the house). I would expect the infestation is more widespread. In particular, I'd look closely for any signs of softened wood (poke it with a knife blade or ice pick) or entry mud tunnels at the lower edges of the house, door frame, etc.
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by Sandtrap »

Are there trees around the home or a forest nearby with large trees?
Are there a lot of shrubs near the home?
Does the ground get damp from rain at least once a month?
Are there drainage downspouts from gutters nearby?

Formosan and other ground termite infestations can quickly destroy the foundation and frame and other wood sections of a home.
Also, check for "secondary infestations" where the main colony coming from the ground and source colony can establish a secondary as long as there is moisture, such as between roof sheathing, fascia and sheathing next to gutters and spouts, etc.

Suggest calling a professional termite company to ground treat as needed.
They might also drill holes around the perimeter of the home if cement and treat that, or other ways and methods.

Drilling yourself and using retail store products might give a false sense of security and remedy, as the termites eat wood 24 hours a day, as you sleep.
You might be able to fix the issue yourself, or maybe not.
Imagine that what you see in the crack might only be the a hint of what's happening under the slab where the invaders march silently in the dark and chew and chew.

Call a professional company, licensed, certified.
j :D
*dislaimer: a lot of folks do these things themselves with great results and lot's of opinions based on own experience and so forth.
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by sharp1aarohead »

Termites aren't really a big deal actually - the first time I had them I was freaked out, but now I know that it's a. common and b. easily fixed. In my area, for less than 1000 dollars you can have your entire house treated for them and a guarantee they won't return. Just call somebody to remediate (if you want to get a good deal call a realtor or property manager to ask who you should use)
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by IMO »

I would call around and see about getting a termite inspection. At least in that situation, either for a reasonable fee or perhaps even free, you can get someone to inspect and give you advice about what specific treatments are needed for your situation. May want to get a few estimates. (Maybe bring a can of spray paint or put some duct tape on spots an inspector says is an issue so you can see if another inspector agrees or not.

The 2nd issue relates to the specific treatment that is felt necessary. In SoCal, I believe you're dealing with 2 varieties of termites (subterranean and flying). They may advise local treatments, or you may get the advice of needing full house tenting. It honestly does get tricky on what treatments may or may not be needed in your situation after looking in attics, on eves, and around the foundation. It also gets tricky on the various treatments, like Orange oil, bait traps, tenting, etc.

It can be tricky treating yourself because of various environmental regulations that may come into play with the various chemicals. You may or may not be able to obtain various pesticides as a non-licensed person.

I'm not again DIY treatments, I have done that myself in another state trenching around a foundation for preventive treatment as it was easy and inexpensive. If a more extensive treatment is needed, perhaps look at having that done professionally and then doing more preventive stuff DIY pending what's legal in CA. Unfortunately, treatments can sometimes get a bit pricey and termites will eventually be back, "I'll be back"


That log sitting on the patio in your picture probably looks pretty tasty to a termite . . . .
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by unclescrooge »

IMO wrote: Tue Mar 09, 2021 10:51 pm I would call around and see about getting a termite inspection. At least in that situation, either for a reasonable fee or perhaps even free, you can get someone to inspect and give you advice about what specific treatments are needed for your situation. May want to get a few estimates. (Maybe bring a can of spray paint or put some duct tape on spots an inspector says is an issue so you can see if another inspector agrees or not.

The 2nd issue relates to the specific treatment that is felt necessary. In SoCal, I believe you're dealing with 2 varieties of termites (subterranean and flying). They may advise local treatments, or you may get the advice of needing full house tenting. It honestly does get tricky on what treatments may or may not be needed in your situation after looking in attics, on eves, and around the foundation. It also gets tricky on the various treatments, like Orange oil, bait traps, tenting, etc.

It can be tricky treating yourself because of various environmental regulations that may come into play with the various chemicals. You may or may not be able to obtain various pesticides as a non-licensed person.

I'm not again DIY treatments, I have done that myself in another state trenching around a foundation for preventive treatment as it was easy and inexpensive. If a more extensive treatment is needed, perhaps look at having that done professionally and then doing more preventive stuff DIY pending what's legal in CA. Unfortunately, treatments can sometimes get a bit pricey and termites will eventually be back, "I'll be back"


That log sitting on the patio in your picture probably looks pretty tasty to a termite . . . .
Yeah, I cut down a Chinese camphor tree and saved the stumps. Should probably get rid of them.
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by unclescrooge »

Sandtrap wrote: Tue Mar 09, 2021 9:23 pm Are there trees around the home or a forest nearby with large trees?
Are there a lot of shrubs near the home?
Does the ground get damp from rain at least once a month?
Are there drainage downspouts from gutters nearby?

Formosan and other ground termite infestations can quickly destroy the foundation and frame and other wood sections of a home.
Also, check for "secondary infestations" where the main colony coming from the ground and source colony can establish a secondary as long as there is moisture, such as between roof sheathing, fascia and sheathing next to gutters and spouts, etc.

Suggest calling a professional termite company to ground treat as needed.
They might also drill holes around the perimeter of the home if cement and treat that, or other ways and methods.

Drilling yourself and using retail store products might give a false sense of security and remedy, as the termites eat wood 24 hours a day, as you sleep.
You might be able to fix the issue yourself, or maybe not.
Imagine that what you see in the crack might only be the a hint of what's happening under the slab where the invaders march silently in the dark and chew and chew.

Call a professional company, licensed, certified.
j :D
*dislaimer: a lot of folks do these things themselves with great results and lot's of opinions based on own experience and so forth.
There is a cedar tree 15 ft from the house. There is a concrete walkway all around the house and a stone paver drive way on one side.

Here in SoCal, we don't get much rain. It's been a dry winter too, but it had been raining once a month.

Not a lot shrubs around the house.

The house had stucco and it extends under the eaves so hopefully there isn't an easy entry into the house.

I'll get some quotes.
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by unclescrooge »

curmudgeon wrote: Tue Mar 09, 2021 9:14 pm Generally when you get subterranean termites in a crack like that, they are building mud tunnels to get from nests in the ground to wood supply (the house). I would expect the infestation is more widespread. In particular, I'd look closely for any signs of softened wood (poke it with a knife blade or ice pick) or entry mud tunnels at the lower edges of the house, door frame, etc.
Not a lot of exposed wood. The windows are all vynl. Stucco all the way up and under the eaves. And a concrete walkway around the house. Half the house is on a concrete slab and the other half has a 5 ft high crawl space which I sprayed with Boracare 4 years ago.
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by Big Dog »

unclescrooge wrote: Tue Mar 09, 2021 11:48 pm
Sandtrap wrote: Tue Mar 09, 2021 9:23 pm Are there trees around the home or a forest nearby with large trees?
Are there a lot of shrubs near the home?
Does the ground get damp from rain at least once a month?
Are there drainage downspouts from gutters nearby?

Formosan and other ground termite infestations can quickly destroy the foundation and frame and other wood sections of a home.
Also, check for "secondary infestations" where the main colony coming from the ground and source colony can establish a secondary as long as there is moisture, such as between roof sheathing, fascia and sheathing next to gutters and spouts, etc.

Suggest calling a professional termite company to ground treat as needed.
They might also drill holes around the perimeter of the home if cement and treat that, or other ways and methods.

Drilling yourself and using retail store products might give a false sense of security and remedy, as the termites eat wood 24 hours a day, as you sleep.
You might be able to fix the issue yourself, or maybe not.
Imagine that what you see in the crack might only be the a hint of what's happening under the slab where the invaders march silently in the dark and chew and chew.

Call a professional company, licensed, certified.
j :D
*dislaimer: a lot of folks do these things themselves with great results and lot's of opinions based on own experience and so forth.
There is a cedar tree 15 ft from the house. There is a concrete walkway all around the house and a stone paver drive way on one side.

Here in SoCal, we don't get much rain. It's been a dry winter too, but it had been raining once a month.

Not a lot shrubs around the house.

The house had stucco and it extends under the eaves so hopefully there isn't an easy entry into the house.

I'll get some quotes.
termites are common in SoCal, but I've seen more of the dry (flying) type in SoCal than sub-terreaneum. But yeah, just call around for local pest control companies. The national companies are hit-and-miss, as it all depends on the Rep that they send. Choose a company that treats only, and does not do repairs. They should have access to some chemicals that are not generally available to the public.
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by Cruise »

Two suggestions:

1. Get more than one pest-control company's recommendation and quote. Last time I had my home inspected, a major player said I had infestation and wanted thousands to treat. I called a smaller local player who said I had no infestation. Obviously, you found evidence of a problem, just make sure you get options for dealing with the problem.

2. After your immediate issues is addressed, consider having a Sentricon system installed.
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by Sandtrap »

Regular or occasional wash down of that slab with a water hose over time might be enough to keep the soil damp below the cracks where the water seeps down. So, even though not much rain, water can come from other sources.

Imagine the slab and concrete removed and damp soil beneath all of the cracks, expansion joints, and joint where the slabs/sidewalks meet the house slab.
Eliminate the moisture sources and the colony will die. So, depending on what a professional termite company sees, it might be as simple as sealing off all of these cracks and joints with concrete caulking, etc, as well as treating for existing ant colonies.

j :D
Last edited by Sandtrap on Wed Mar 10, 2021 6:55 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by LadyGeek »

A recommendation to use a banned pesticide has been removed.
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by myleaf »

When we noticed termites in our home. Our house was professionally treated with Termidor. Worked well. I think this can be done DIY.
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by ironman »

Termidor or Taurus has the same active ingredient (Fipronil) and is extremely effective. It is available for DIY in most, but not all, states.

Termidor SC
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by 71GTO »

Get a pest company The chemicals they use last 8-10 years and they usually offer an annual warranty where they will come out, do an inspection and retreat for free and they also state their insurance will cover any damage found if termites come back under warranty. I've never made a claim so I can't say how that would go if termites did get into the house, but I feel better that they come out and check every year.
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by Peaceful »

unclescrooge wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:29 am
curmudgeon wrote: Tue Mar 09, 2021 9:14 pm Generally when you get subterranean termites in a crack like that, they are building mud tunnels to get from nests in the ground to wood supply (the house). I would expect the infestation is more widespread. In particular, I'd look closely for any signs of softened wood (poke it with a knife blade or ice pick) or entry mud tunnels at the lower edges of the house, door frame, etc.
Not a lot of exposed wood. The windows are all vynl. Stucco all the way up and under the eaves. And a concrete walkway around the house. Half the house is on a concrete slab and the other half has a 5 ft high crawl space which I sprayed with Boracare 4 years ago.
You're not a professional pest control specialist. You seriously need to hire one of the well-known pest control firms in your area. It doesn't have to be national, it can be one of the larger regional firms in your area. You'll probably see their trucks driving around and maybe billboards for them on the highway.

Explain the situation, tell them it is urgent and you need an inspection and most likely a thorough treatment of the entire property. They WILL recommend you to treat those part of the property that may be impacted by the infestation, and you SHOULD follow whatever they recommend. This is not the time to "save a buck" being a "DIYer."

I guess you can comparison shop for this but it doesn't make sense to pay for multiple different companies to come out to do the inspection. As someone else said the treatment depending on the size of your house/property/issues will be a small fraction of the value of your home.

Be sure to tell them about the treatment you did four years ago, it may impact what they can/will/should/can legally do now.

Typically after the treatment these companies will offer, for a fee, to do an annual inspection. You should take them up on that. The point of the annual inspection isn't that they are likely to find anything because if the treatment was done correctly (i.e. as you, an amateur, apparently did not do), it should be good for many years. But, annual inspections, for the annual fee, keeps the warranty in force.

Termites are sneaky critters. What you are able to see may only be a small fraction of the problem. They can get in through the tiniest cracks and cause a lot of damage.

Have this handled professionally this time.
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by GrowthSeeker »

71GTO wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:46 pm Get a pest company The chemicals they use last 8-10 years and they usually offer an annual warranty where they will come out, do an inspection and retreat for free and they also state their insurance will cover any damage found if termites come back under warranty. I've never made a claim so I can't say how that would go if termites did get into the house, but I feel better that they come out and check every year.
I’m not sure that the chemicals are still there after 8-10 years. The company’s warranty may last longer than the chemicals since it is partially based on marketing and statistical probability.
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you.
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by Peaceful »

myleaf wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 6:50 am When we noticed termites in our home. Our house was professionally treated with Termidor. Worked well. I think this can be done DIY.
Not recommended to DIY for this. It's easy to miss a spot or pathway for future infestations, you're dealing with toxic chemicals, and you don't get a warranty for the work. One's home is too high-value an asset to DIY with pest control of destructive pests like termites.

The proof is in the pudding. OP did a DIY treatment four years ago. Now he has termites.
"Be fearful when others are greedy, be even MORE fearful when others are fearful."
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by UpperNwGuy »

Get professionals involved ASAP.
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by unclescrooge »

Peaceful wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:59 pm
myleaf wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 6:50 am When we noticed termites in our home. Our house was professionally treated with Termidor. Worked well. I think this can be done DIY.
Not recommended to DIY for this. It's easy to miss a spot or pathway for future infestations, you're dealing with toxic chemicals, and you don't get a warranty for the work. One's home is too high-value an asset to DIY with pest control of destructive pests like termites.

The proof is in the pudding. OP did a DIY treatment four years ago. Now he has termites.
Peaceful wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:55 pm
unclescrooge wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:29 am
curmudgeon wrote: Tue Mar 09, 2021 9:14 pm Generally when you get subterranean termites in a crack like that, they are building mud tunnels to get from nests in the ground to wood supply (the house). I would expect the infestation is more widespread. In particular, I'd look closely for any signs of softened wood (poke it with a knife blade or ice pick) or entry mud tunnels at the lower edges of the house, door frame, etc.
Not a lot of exposed wood. The windows are all vynl. Stucco all the way up and under the eaves. And a concrete walkway around the house. Half the house is on a concrete slab and the other half has a 5 ft high crawl space which I sprayed with Boracare 4 years ago.
You're not a professional pest control specialist. You seriously need to hire one of the well-known pest control firms in your area. It doesn't have to be national, it can be one of the larger regional firms in your area. You'll probably see their trucks driving around and maybe billboards for them on the highway.

Explain the situation, tell them it is urgent and you need an inspection and most likely a thorough treatment of the entire property. They WILL recommend you to treat those part of the property that may be impacted by the infestation, and you SHOULD follow whatever they recommend. This is not the time to "save a buck" being a "DIYer."

I guess you can comparison shop for this but it doesn't make sense to pay for multiple different companies to come out to do the inspection. As someone else said the treatment depending on the size of your house/property/issues will be a small fraction of the value of your home.

Be sure to tell them about the treatment you did four years ago, it may impact what they can/will/should/can legally do now.

Typically after the treatment these companies will offer, for a fee, to do an annual inspection. You should take them up on that. The point of the annual inspection isn't that they are likely to find anything because if the treatment was done correctly (i.e. as you, an amateur, apparently did not do), it should be good for many years. But, annual inspections, for the annual fee, keeps the warranty in force.

Termites are sneaky critters. What you are able to see may only be a small fraction of the problem. They can get in through the tiniest cracks and cause a lot of damage.

Have this handled professionally this time.

I should have clarified that the DIY treatment was in addition to the professional treatment I paid for at that time.

I asked about the chemical they used and it was not Boracare, so I sprayed that in addition. This was after they told me the chemical they used was only good for a year. :oops:

Also, we treated interior wood before any signs of termite damage. Right now, I'm seeing exterior signs of termites.

Based on my experience with home-related experts, most of them know less than average. This is especially true right now, where they're in incredibly high demand.

I just paid for expert landscaping and their installation of plants and irrigation was extremely sub-par. I had to call them back twice, and there are still issues that aren't fixed.

I'm not saying they're all bad, but I need to understand what is the required course of action in order to make sure they are doing it properly.
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by illumination »

sharp1aarohead wrote: Tue Mar 09, 2021 9:57 pm Termites aren't really a big deal actually - the first time I had them I was freaked out, but now I know that it's a. common and b. easily fixed. In my area, for less than 1000 dollars you can have your entire house treated for them and a guarantee they won't return. Just call somebody to remediate (if you want to get a good deal call a realtor or property manager to ask who you should use)
+1

All sorts of crazy policies for homes are sold because people are so worried about. I had one of those Terminex policies I paid annually for before I knew better, found a similar termite outbreak, and it probably was an out of pocket $80 cost for what they actually did about it. It's basically an exterminator drilling a hole and spraying. I dropped the policy shortly afterwards, absolute waste of money all those years. Better off just DIY or just have someone come every once in a while and treat it. I've also heard these damage policies (ie termites do major damage) they never pay out.
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

GrowthSeeker wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:57 pm
71GTO wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:46 pm Get a pest company The chemicals they use last 8-10 years and they usually offer an annual warranty where they will come out, do an inspection and retreat for free and they also state their insurance will cover any damage found if termites come back under warranty. I've never made a claim so I can't say how that would go if termites did get into the house, but I feel better that they come out and check every year.
I’m not sure that the chemicals are still there after 8-10 years. The company’s warranty may last longer than the chemicals since it is partially based on marketing and statistical probability.
Termidor has long lasting staying power in the ground. Terminix treated my property because I wanted peace of mind, the former owners of the house had termites, they had it treated which included the eradication of the nest. A service would come out quarterly to check sentricon traps and after a few years they stopped coming saying there wasn’t any issues anymore. So I had Terminix come out and retreat it anyway. They told me Termidor had a minimum 10 year sustained effect in the ground and possibly longer than that. The thing that annoyed me with Terminix is they get you on the annual checkups which involves showing up whenever they felt like it, flashing a light at the beams in the basement and then saying no issues. Each year they would jack the inspector fee by 8-10 percent. Talk about a money making annuity. Now I check it myself and if I see anything I’d likely call to have it treated. You can buy the stations from doityourself pest control online, it’s about $350 for a set of 10. You get a pest company and it might cost triple maybe more.

Terminix stopped using Termidor because they were losing customers after discovering a 10 year+ product basically cannibalizes their bread and butter. :twisted:
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by illumination »

Grt2bOutdoors wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 2:35 pm
GrowthSeeker wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:57 pm
71GTO wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:46 pm Get a pest company The chemicals they use last 8-10 years and they usually offer an annual warranty where they will come out, do an inspection and retreat for free and they also state their insurance will cover any damage found if termites come back under warranty. I've never made a claim so I can't say how that would go if termites did get into the house, but I feel better that they come out and check every year.
I’m not sure that the chemicals are still there after 8-10 years. The company’s warranty may last longer than the chemicals since it is partially based on marketing and statistical probability.
Termidor has long lasting staying power in the ground. Terminix treated my property because I wanted peace of mind, the former owners of the house had termites, they had it treated which included the eradication of the nest. A service would come out quarterly to check sentricon traps and after a few years they stopped coming saying there wasn’t any issues anymore. So I had Terminix come out and retreat it anyway. They told me Termidor had a minimum 10 year sustained effect in the ground and possibly longer than that. The thing that annoyed me with Terminix is they get you on the annual checkups which involves showing up whenever they felt like it, flashing a light at the beams in the basement and then saying no issues. Each year they would jack the inspector fee by 8-10 percent. Talk about a money making annuity. Now I check it myself and if I see anything I’d likely call to have it treated. You can buy the stations from doityourself pest control online, it’s about $350 for a set of 10. You get a pest company and it might cost triple maybe more.

Terminix stopped using Termidor because they were losing customers after discovering a 10 year+ product basically cannibalizes their bread and butter. :twisted:

Yea, Terminix would no longer comes by unless you insisted on them coming. And if there ever is damage, I've heard they'll just point the finger back at you that you didn't call them out for annual inspection so they won't cover it. The whole thing seemed like a racket to me. Thousands of dollars for this policy when it was something as simple as hiring an exterminator every once in a while. The total policy payout for treatment was pennies on the dollar.
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by jsapiandante »

I'd second the Taurus SC (Fipronil). When I moved into my house, we had a termite problem that I had a professional treat. He advised me to spray around my house twice a year with a 2 gallon sprayer and I haven't had to deal with any form ants or termites in the 6 years I've lived in the house.

With your particular problem, I'd get a professional to at least do a proper inspection and possibly have them treat it. You can just spot treat with Taurus twice a year after that. You can DIY subterranean termites by digging trenches around your home and fill it with Taurus solution but I wouldn't try it since it seems like you'd have to remove concrete. So unless you know how to remove and replace concrete then I wouldn't even try to do DIY it.
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by unclescrooge »

jsapiandante wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 5:08 pm I'd second the Taurus SC (Fipronil). When I moved into my house, we had a termite problem that I had a professional treat. He advised me to spray around my house twice a year with a 2 gallon sprayer and I haven't had to deal with any form ants or termites in the 6 years I've lived in the house.

With your particular problem, I'd get a professional to at least do a proper inspection and possibly have them treat it. You can just spot treat with Taurus twice a year after that. You can DIY subterranean termites by digging trenches around your home and fill it with Taurus solution but I wouldn't try it since it seems like you'd have to remove concrete. So unless you know how to remove and replace concrete then I wouldn't even try to do DIY it.
Do you know if Taurus SC is safe to use around trees, shrubs and aloes?
71GTO
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by 71GTO »

GrowthSeeker wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:57 pm
71GTO wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:46 pm Get a pest company The chemicals they use last 8-10 years and they usually offer an annual warranty where they will come out, do an inspection and retreat for free and they also state their insurance will cover any damage found if termites come back under warranty. I've never made a claim so I can't say how that would go if termites did get into the house, but I feel better that they come out and check every year.
I’m not sure that the chemicals are still there after 8-10 years. The company’s warranty may last longer than the chemicals since it is partially based on marketing and statistical probability.
I'm no expert, that is what the company I used told me. Our area seems to have issues with termites, so I'll keep up with it and retreat when they tell me. We also took down a lot of trees on our property as well as our neighbors so there's lots of rotting wood out there... I don't want to take any chances with the house.
Trader Joe
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by Trader Joe »

unclescrooge wrote: Tue Mar 09, 2021 8:02 pm I found termites in a crack in a cement slab. There was a mound of fine soil over the crack which, when kicked, caused termites to come spilling out.

Image

They're about 4 ft from the house, where the crack meets the expansion joint.
Image

How do I treat this?

Will Boracare work?

Do I drill a hole in the patio and inject Boracare down to 24 inches? If so, how to I still a hole in the concrete and what do I use to inject?

Any other issues I should be aware of?

I live in Los Angeles, and have clay soil.

Thanks in advance!
Call in a professional.
Naikansha
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by Naikansha »

They will move away when there is nothing more for them to eat.
flyingaway
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by flyingaway »

Is there any different between termites and ants?
Peaceful
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by Peaceful »

unclescrooge wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 2:04 pm
Peaceful wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:59 pm
myleaf wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 6:50 am When we noticed termites in our home. Our house was professionally treated with Termidor. Worked well. I think this can be done DIY.
Not recommended to DIY for this. It's easy to miss a spot or pathway for future infestations, you're dealing with toxic chemicals, and you don't get a warranty for the work. One's home is too high-value an asset to DIY with pest control of destructive pests like termites.

The proof is in the pudding. OP did a DIY treatment four years ago. Now he has termites.
Peaceful wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:55 pm
unclescrooge wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:29 am
curmudgeon wrote: Tue Mar 09, 2021 9:14 pm Generally when you get subterranean termites in a crack like that, they are building mud tunnels to get from nests in the ground to wood supply (the house). I would expect the infestation is more widespread. In particular, I'd look closely for any signs of softened wood (poke it with a knife blade or ice pick) or entry mud tunnels at the lower edges of the house, door frame, etc.
Not a lot of exposed wood. The windows are all vynl. Stucco all the way up and under the eaves. And a concrete walkway around the house. Half the house is on a concrete slab and the other half has a 5 ft high crawl space which I sprayed with Boracare 4 years ago.
You're not a professional pest control specialist. You seriously need to hire one of the well-known pest control firms in your area. It doesn't have to be national, it can be one of the larger regional firms in your area. You'll probably see their trucks driving around and maybe billboards for them on the highway.

Explain the situation, tell them it is urgent and you need an inspection and most likely a thorough treatment of the entire property. They WILL recommend you to treat those part of the property that may be impacted by the infestation, and you SHOULD follow whatever they recommend. This is not the time to "save a buck" being a "DIYer."

I guess you can comparison shop for this but it doesn't make sense to pay for multiple different companies to come out to do the inspection. As someone else said the treatment depending on the size of your house/property/issues will be a small fraction of the value of your home.

Be sure to tell them about the treatment you did four years ago, it may impact what they can/will/should/can legally do now.

Typically after the treatment these companies will offer, for a fee, to do an annual inspection. You should take them up on that. The point of the annual inspection isn't that they are likely to find anything because if the treatment was done correctly (i.e. as you, an amateur, apparently did not do), it should be good for many years. But, annual inspections, for the annual fee, keeps the warranty in force.

Termites are sneaky critters. What you are able to see may only be a small fraction of the problem. They can get in through the tiniest cracks and cause a lot of damage.

Have this handled professionally this time.

I should have clarified that the DIY treatment was in addition to the professional treatment I paid for at that time.

I asked about the chemical they used and it was not Boracare, so I sprayed that in addition. This was after they told me the chemical they used was only good for a year. :oops:

Also, we treated interior wood before any signs of termite damage. Right now, I'm seeing exterior signs of termites.

Based on my experience with home-related experts, most of them know less than average. This is especially true right now, where they're in incredibly high demand.

I just paid for expert landscaping and their installation of plants and irrigation was extremely sub-par. I had to call them back twice, and there are still issues that aren't fixed.

I'm not saying they're all bad, but I need to understand what is the required course of action in order to make sure they are doing it properly.
Um, how do I say this diplomatically...your screen name is a "scrooge" variant...I suspect if you are not getting the quality you deserve, you could be a mite too price-sensitive. Lowest bidder and all, good enough for government work but....

...stuff like this should pretty much routinely be by getting referrals from people you know who had the services done by the company they are referring you to...yes you have to comparison shop but price should not be a primary consideration unless they are wayout of line...

I know, I know...the last time I went into a not-fancy bar a couple of years ago a glass of house wine i.e. antifreeze quality was $8...hol up it's supposed to be $2 - 2.50 isn't it? Oh wait that was 30 years ago wasn't it...

Instead of picking the price point first, pick the quality point first and comparison shop from there. Everything is expensive now, and the sizes just keep shrinking....a half gallon of ice cream is 1.5 quarts...it's been that way for a while....
"Be fearful when others are greedy, be even MORE fearful when others are fearful."
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Tubes
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by Tubes »

flyingaway wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 11:06 pm Is there any different between termites and ants?
They are completely different! Ants are predators of termites.

To the OP: don't panic. Research and come up to your solution without rushing. Termites don't blow up a structure overnight.

I'm in the southeast (different species). I work disaster recovery on old homes. I've seen a lot of termite damage -- just ran into some yesterday. Our termites like moist environments. In the south, the best defense is to start with dry structures.
jsapiandante
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by jsapiandante »

unclescrooge wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 6:33 pm
jsapiandante wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 5:08 pm I'd second the Taurus SC (Fipronil). When I moved into my house, we had a termite problem that I had a professional treat. He advised me to spray around my house twice a year with a 2 gallon sprayer and I haven't had to deal with any form ants or termites in the 6 years I've lived in the house.

With your particular problem, I'd get a professional to at least do a proper inspection and possibly have them treat it. You can just spot treat with Taurus twice a year after that. You can DIY subterranean termites by digging trenches around your home and fill it with Taurus solution but I wouldn't try it since it seems like you'd have to remove concrete. So unless you know how to remove and replace concrete then I wouldn't even try to do DIY it.
Do you know if Taurus SC is safe to use around trees, shrubs and aloes?
The only part I read in the excerpt about restricted use is around plants that are edible. So it isn’t clear about using around trees, shrubs and aloes.
Big Dog
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by Big Dog »

Trader Joe wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 7:25 pm
unclescrooge wrote: Tue Mar 09, 2021 8:02 pm I found termites in a crack in a cement slab. There was a mound of fine soil over the crack which, when kicked, caused termites to come spilling out.

Image

They're about 4 ft from the house, where the crack meets the expansion joint.
Image

How do I treat this?

Will Boracare work?

Do I drill a hole in the patio and inject Boracare down to 24 inches? If so, how to I still a hole in the concrete and what do I use to inject?

Any other issues I should be aware of?

I live in Los Angeles, and have clay soil.

Thanks in advance!
Call in a professional.
Exactly. Don't be penny wise and pound foolish. If there is one tunnel that you can see, there are bound to be more. A professional knows where adn what to look for. (Termites are the fact of life in SoCal. Seeing home tented in your neighborhood is common.)
tibbitts
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by tibbitts »

It's amusing that last night we had a post about how Bogleheads assume they should d-i-y everything, and now this. It sounds like in this case the OP either had a poor treatment done before or was given bad information about the duration, so that's especially understandable. And as with many services I'm not sure you put much weight on references, because it's difficult for other customers to evaluate the services too. But I still wouldn't choose this as something to d-i-y.

However I think the OP was asking for equipment (for drilling the concrete and injecting the chemicals) and chemical recommendations, so maybe someone can provide those - although the chemical part might be state-specific.
GrowthSeeker
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by GrowthSeeker »

I think Termidor can only be used by professionals, not DIY, not certain.
Many termite poisons work by repelling termites. They run away. Termidor does not repel them: it kills them, they take it back to the nest and it kills the nest
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you.
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by HomeStretch »

You mentioned a newly installed irrigation system. It can take time and observation to get the irrigation zone run times/frequency and head spray just right. Check to see whether the concrete crack is getting spray/run-off or if the zone run time/frequency is making the surrounding area too moist as that is attractive to termites.

Have you checked under the nearby log end table and flower pots for termites? I would move anything wood away from the house including the end table, wood mulch and trim dead branches. During active infestations I have found them in all these places with untouched bait stations just feet away.
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by neilpilot »

GrowthSeeker wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 12:07 pm I think Termidor can only be used by professionals, not DIY, not certain.
That's only true for a few states.
https://www.domyown.com/termidor-sc-p-1 ... L-EALw_wcB
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unclescrooge
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by unclescrooge »

Peaceful wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 11:52 pm Um, how do I say this diplomatically...your screen name is a "scrooge" variant...I suspect if you are not getting the quality you deserve, you could be a mite too price-sensitive. Lowest bidder and all, good enough for government work but....

...stuff like this should pretty much routinely be by getting referrals from people you know who had the services done by the company they are referring you to...yes you have to comparison shop but price should not be a primary consideration unless they are wayout of line...

I know, I know...the last time I went into a not-fancy bar a couple of years ago a glass of house wine i.e. antifreeze quality was $8...hol up it's supposed to be $2 - 2.50 isn't it? Oh wait that was 30 years ago wasn't it...

Instead of picking the price point first, pick the quality point first and comparison shop from there. Everything is expensive now, and the sizes just keep shrinking....a half gallon of ice cream is 1.5 quarts...it's been that way for a while....
LOL, thank you for being diplomatic. I know you're thinking I'm cheap, but it's really pronounced as smart :mrgreen:

But in general, I agree, you get what you pay for.
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unclescrooge
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by unclescrooge »

HomeStretch wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 12:17 pm You mentioned a newly installed irrigation system. It can take time and observation to get the irrigation zone run times/frequency and head spray just right. Check to see whether the concrete crack is getting spray/run-off or if the zone run time/frequency is making the surrounding area too moist as that is attractive to termites.

Have you checked under the nearby log end table and flower pots for termites? I would move anything wood away from the house including the end table, wood mulch and trim dead branches. During active infestations I have found them in all these places with untouched bait stations just feet away.
Yes, need to remove the tree stumps. The irrigation doesn't hit the concrete. It's for the slope, about 15 ft away and 5 ft lower than than the house.
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unclescrooge
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by unclescrooge »

Thanks everyone for the feedback.

I found out that drilling holes in the concreteevery 12-18 inches and injecting Taurus SC (4 gallons every 10ft) is a good treatment.

However, I had a professional exterminator come by to give me a quote. He quoted $1,750 for about 70 linear feet for the treatment.

However, he looked in the crawl space and said I didn't need to waste my money. I should just keep a look out for mud tunnels in the crawl space, which is easy to do since I have 5ft of clearance, concrete walls and it's well lit.

The termites in the crack are probably exploratory in nature and there is no need for concern.
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unclescrooge
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by unclescrooge »

neilpilot wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 12:33 pm
GrowthSeeker wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 12:07 pm I think Termidor can only be used by professionals, not DIY, not certain.
That's only true for a few states.
https://www.domyown.com/termidor-sc-p-1 ... L-EALw_wcB
Taurus SC is the generic version of this and can be bought by anyone in California.
neilpilot
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by neilpilot »

unclescrooge wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 3:48 pm
neilpilot wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 12:33 pm
GrowthSeeker wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 12:07 pm I think Termidor can only be used by professionals, not DIY, not certain.
That's only true for a few states.
https://www.domyown.com/termidor-sc-p-1 ... L-EALw_wcB
Taurus SC is the generic version of this and can be bought by anyone in California.
I know, but I much prefer Termidor.......I'm a BASF retiree :wink:
vested1
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by vested1 »

Here in SC termites are a major problem. I paid a reputable long term family business $1,300 for the initial treatment that entailed the inspection and the placement of buried containers of a chemical which surround the house, every few feet. They come back yearly to retreat for $300. They are bonded and guarantee that there will be no termite damage or they will pay for the repairs. This is documented (contract) for resale purposes if we ever want to sell the house.

We also have a contract with the same company to treat for other insects every quarter for $85 a visit. If we see any bugs they come out immediately at no charge, but the very few we've seen have been dead, which is what I would be if my wife ever saw a live cockroach. Well worth it. We live in a forest next to a lake.
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by SpideyIndexer »

Would one recommend treatment with Termidor now, during the central California rainy season? We already suffered thru a few very active atmospheric rivers. Or wait 3-4 months when things usually dry up? The Termite company says no problem with treating now but other sources say the chemicals are likely to be diluted.
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by unclescrooge »

I would think applying a liquid to the soil would get diluted heavily with the severe rains were getting.

I would wait until spring. But I'm not an expert.
sleepy06
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Re: Found termites! Now what?

Post by sleepy06 »

Can't hurt to wait.
if they want to do it now, could wait for a dry few days and could apply it then.
Termidor, for example, has to be fastidious to moisture or would not be approved for 5-10 year application interval.
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