Do I have termites?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
Lexi_Roo
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2022 10:42 pm

Do I have termites?

Post by Lexi_Roo »

Hello all,

I purchased my first home in 2022 and had a large fence put in last year for my 3 dogs. This year, I am staining the treated pine portions of the fence. I did not notice any questionable bugs on the West side of the fence, but have noticed large amounts of these white bugs on the East side of the fence. Most are dark brown, but there are a few white ones and I am worried that these are termites. I am not sure how I can attach a photo.

If these are termites, do I have any recourse with the commercial fence installer? They already were out earlier this year to replace moldy/rotting wood pickets.

Thank you!
livesoft
Posts: 86736
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 7:00 pm

Re: Do I have termites?

Post by livesoft »

You have termites since you should be able to readily recognize ants and would not be asking this question. I seriously doubt you have any recourse with the commercial fence installer. You can spray the ones you see with insecticide and they will die. But the ones below the ground will live happily for some time.

In our area termite "broods" have already appeared back at the beginning of April and flown away. They come out en masse as adults with wings and fly away to start new "families." Here is a photo of part of an exodus:

Image
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.
livesoft
Posts: 86736
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 7:00 pm

Re: Do I have termites?

Post by livesoft »

Also note that ant larvae are generally white, but do not have visible legs. Sometimes an ant colony will move their larvae if the colony abandons its nest (for example, because a nest gets flooded by rising water). So when ants are moving larvae you might see them, but otherwise larvae are stored away underground.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.
User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 19999
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:32 pm
Location: Hawaii No Ka Oi - white sandy beaches, N. Arizona 1 mile high.

Re: Do I have termites?

Post by Sandtrap »

Lexi_Roo wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 5:56 pm Hello all,

I purchased my first home in 2022 and had a large fence put in last year for my 3 dogs. This year, I am staining the treated pine portions of the fence. I did not notice any questionable bugs on the West side of the fence, but have noticed large amounts of these white bugs on the East side of the fence. Most are dark brown, but there are a few white ones and I am worried that these are termites. I am not sure how I can attach a photo.

If these are termites, do I have any recourse with the commercial fence installer? They already were out earlier this year to replace moldy/rotting wood pickets.

Thank you!
Termites on "treated pine", not likely.
Depending on your area of the country, Formosan Ground Termites are voracious and will go through the outer layer of termite "treatment to get to the inner untreated core. But, do not care for oily and resinous wood, Pine, redwood, etc, if given other choices. Fir, etc.

Do you have trees nearby?

As a former poster said, you might be seeing migrating ant and termite colonies. They fill the air in swarms on cool nights. If they find a nice place to live, between plywood and wet roofing paper on a roof, then they will settle there for a secondary infestation colony. For example.

Drywood termites eat slow. But, again, if your fence is treated pine, they will fine better eating elsewhere.

The commercial fence installer putting in brand new treated pine lumber is not liable in any way.

Call a termite company and they can send someone to take a look that's familiar with your exact area. Online is very generalized.

Can you take a picture of the critters?

Continue staining. Oil base stain...correct?
j :D
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know
livesoft
Posts: 86736
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 7:00 pm

Re: Do I have termites?

Post by livesoft »

Sandtrap wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 6:55 pm Termites on "treated pine", not likely.
My personal experience is that termites are initially happy to chew on treated pine fences and build "tunnels" up the boards, but they eventually succumb to the preservative in the boards and go elsewhere.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.
zlandar
Posts: 640
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:51 am

Re: Do I have termites?

Post by zlandar »

Mix up some Termidor and apply it to the base of the fence.

They won't be chewing on that fence any more.
tashnewbie
Posts: 4459
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2020 12:44 pm

Re: Do I have termites?

Post by tashnewbie »

I would call a local company that specializes in termite inspections and treatment. They'll usually do the initial inspection for free.
smitcat
Posts: 13602
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:51 am

Re: Do I have termites?

Post by smitcat »

tashnewbie wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 7:34 am I would call a local company that specializes in termite inspections and treatment. They'll usually do the initial inspection for free.
This is a good method - or take a really good picture and post it here or elsewhere for ID.
It does not sound like you have termites but best to be sure in any event since an accurate identfication is required for any future action.
InMyDreams
Posts: 1955
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:35 am

Re: Do I have termites?

Post by InMyDreams »

or show the photo to your local county extension.
Topic Author
Lexi_Roo
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2022 10:42 pm

Re: Do I have termites?

Post by Lexi_Roo »

Thank you all! I still cannot out how to post a photo on here, but have reached out to some exterminators. :beer
livesoft
Posts: 86736
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 7:00 pm

Re: Do I have termites?

Post by livesoft »

I should say that we were never bothered by the termites in our yard which has a lot of trees which occasionally die and decay. It is kind of cool to see a log or stump essentially disappear over 20 years. So termites in your fence would not concern me. It would be impossibly expensive to treat the whole property with poison to avoid termites. The process would kill beneficial bugs and lessen the life that depends on them. However, termites in buildings is another matter. I am very interested in what the pest control folks tell you.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.
Post Reply