Termite compilcations

ccarrollApril 24, 2008

I have a long-standing termite problem in Arizona. Possibly I have a stubborn case, or possibly the exterminator (who's very cautious about excessive chemicals use) isn't being aggressive enough.

I've just discovered that there's possibly quite a bit of damage in a high ceiling, along with window trim below, and it seems like a frighteningly complex problem to deal with - especially because I'm sort of money and don't know any real experts.

Has anyone dealt with this? It apparently involves removing the sheet to see what's going on, and then:

-replacing any wood

-treating the wood with Boracare or something to combat termites

-replacing the sheetrock

-re-hanging the chandelier


Is is possible to find one person who can do all this, or does it have to involve 3-4 guys with different trades?

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that is going to require a carpenter, a sheetrock guy, and a painter, not just an exterminator. maybe even a framer, depending onthe damage.

you are not going to pull the existing sheetrock down and put it back up. therefore you have to put up a new sheet, mud the seams, texture it to match the rest(and certain texture styles would actually mean redoing the whole wall/ceiling), prime, paint. that is not that big a deal like it sounds, but if there are structural problems behind the rock, you can be looking at major expense.

are these dry wood termites or subterrainean? if dry wood, they need to tent the house and kill them all. if subterraianean, then bait stations and a chemical treatment aroudn the perimiter of the house are required. some people will swear by the bait stations, but in MY experience they don't work every where. a chemical barrier underground works, but it must be continuous. they have to drill holes in any concrete to spray it under the concrete as well as in a trench around the home.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 5:10PM
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Thanks for your detailed response, D&K. As far as I've been told, they don't tent in Arizona, as tenting is only for the flying version, which we don't have here.

I know a guy who seems to be competent, but he may not be in the mood to do this, and says it would run about $1000 if there's substantial damage. If he did it, he'd do almost everything - removing the sheetrock, replacing the wood, more sheetrock and painting. However, he's clueless about treating the wood first, which I'd like to do; I'm told that the Boracare helps (although I hope that doesn't just send them to another part of the house). Do you know if it's just a matter of painting the surface of the wood? And if he decides he won't do the job, I'm at my wit's end.

By the way, I agree about the bait stations and have never used them. I was just talking to someone from the state pest control agency who says that there's been no evidence yet that they work.

By the way, is there a help desk here? I have a lot of problems with this site.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 9:59PM
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I thought the bait stations were only used a warning system. They weren't meant to kill a colony but only to be inspected on regular intervals. If you saw any signs of termites then you treated the area.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 8:17AM
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Who are you using for termite control? When we lived in Tucson, we initially inherited a contract from Terminex when we purchased the house in 2000. We found them to not be very reliable or helpful. We ended up with Truly Nolen, had the whole drilling subterranean thing done (about $1700 if I remember correctly) but the house remained under contract with them so when we sold, the termite contract went with the house. Also, if your house was under a continual contract (meaning that there was no termite damage when the contract started and it is new damage) and you still have termite damage, you may want to check your contract to see if the exterminator may have some liability for damage while under contract with them.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 9:05AM
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bait stations can have the chemicals put in them to control termites, though most of the time they only put the bait in there and inspect it.

our experience with Terminix is the exact opposite. i personally know how well they stand behind things in my area. our office had some damage, we called them and they had a crew out in a week( would have been sooner but it was raining for several days) to rip down the damaged wall, reframe it, put the new siding up, and repaint. all at no cost to us and with out the slightest hesitation on their part. another guy at work had a similar issue at his house and they took care of it right away. and on top of that they retreat the entire structure for free.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 11:50AM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

I am in Texas and had a swam a couple of years ago, found out they had been in the structure of the house probably when we bought it even though they showed us a termite check prior to buying. We did major research on termite companies and went with Truly Nolen after talking to several people that had used them. They did extensive treatment of our grounds and trenched around the house and saturated the area and all of the concrete was treated, they sprayed inside also (no smell to the spray). They did a very good job and it did kill the termites, we had been watching the active termite sites in the ground and they were gone.
They did put out bait stations with just plain wood in them but as of this year when we paid our yearly renewal last month they no longer do the bait stations, many companies have stopped using them because there is no evidence that they were helping. In fact we had a situation that helped prove they were fairly worthless. We had a piece of board laying on the ground that our bbq pit legs were standing on, when we went to move it and lifted the board there was a colony of active termites, this was less than 4 feet from a bait station that had no activity in it. As he told us it is just totally by accident that they stumble upon a source of wood so that would make sense that the bait stations would not be a lot of help.

We have been very pleased with the results of Truly Nolen, when we called to tell them about that piece of wood and active termites in the yard they were over here the next day to look at it and they once again sprayed all over that area and did the rod in the ground treatments to saturate the soil.

We have the existing damage some of which we have not yet repaired but no new damage and no sign of activity at all.

I would be really careful who you hire to do your repair work, I watch Holmes on Homes on tv and man it is amazing what some people will do to peoples homes and say they know how to do repairs. Check them out well! Going cheap may end up costing you much more in the long run.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 8:19PM
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Although I got quite a bit of feedback about termites, the real question was about repairs.

This seems hopeless. In the last weeks I've asked everyone I know for recommendations, and ended up with several contractors - none of whom panned out. One didn't speak sufficent English, one turned out to be lying about being licensed, one didn't want the job because it was too small, etc.

I'm so discouraged that I'm considering resorting to Angie's List. I've looked at the local Arizona site Rosie On The House, and Yelp, but they're useless. The local hardware store, which used to be a reliable source, has stopped giving referrals.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 8:33PM
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