Termites, spiders, and other critters

msjd123August 2, 2002

My dh and I recently bought our first home, and I have a question about bugs. We have a lot of spiders around the the outside of the house, particularly black widows. Everyone in this area has them, and they're not getting inside, so I'm not that concerned, but we're thinking about having a pest control company spray for them anyway. At the same time, I'm wondering if we should ask the pest control company to spray for termites too. My know-it-all MIL says *everyone* has termites and should have their home "tented" every 5 years. I highly doubt that to be the case, but would still be interested in any feedback on this. Is it worth it to have a pest control company come out? Does anyone know how much something like that costs? Is it something we would have to do on a regular basis, or is it a one-time thing?

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I once read that for every spider you see, there are 10 OTHER critters you don't because of them. If they aren't getting in and causing problems then I'd leave them be and let them continue to rid you of other pests.

Why spray for termites if you don't even know if you have them? If you've got them then you must address the problem; but to just get the place sprayed with long-lived dangerous chemicals because you might have them seems pointless. And don't ask the exterminators if they think you should get the place sprayed . . . of course they will say yes. Get an independent inspection to determine if you have them . ... and treat for them as safely as you can; but only if you have them.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2002 at 7:05PM
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I would not let a black widow "be" I don't care what it eats! They are poisoness, aren't they? Of course, you're talking to a mega spider hater, poison or no. Now if everyone in your area has them, it's a question of how long a pest control treatment would last you until they come back again. I don't know the cost involved but I say it's probably cheaper than a trip to the emergency room to treat a bite. But if you have to get it done every month or something then maybe there's another option. If they'll do a free estimate, you can find out what's involved before you have to commit to anything.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2002 at 10:43AM
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Bob, I have to agree with you on not asking a pest company if they want to make a few bucks -- which is what I guess this amounts to -- but I do want a termite inspecton for peace of mind as we didn't have one when we bought our house. I didn't realize there were independent companies out there. Ohforpetesake, I'm with you on black widows; we have a new cobweb every day -- and they're big, sticky ones! -- and they just FREAK ME OUT! I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm afraid to go into the garage without turning the lights on!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2002 at 12:37AM
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In case you have yet to get your termite issue resolved, NOT everyone has termites. I own a home inspection company and do termite inspections. When homes are built, the builders are supposed to take extra precautions to eliminate wood debris from remaining in the ground when backfilling, and they generally take other termite prevention steps as well. Treatment is not needed and never recommended (by me) unless I find signs of an active infestation.
A termite inspector SHOULD look at all accessible areas for any signs of infestation (termites aren't the only wood destroying bugs). For subterranean termites, shelter tubes will be present from the dirt to wood. You should have a minimum of 6" clearance between the ground and any wood siding/trim. Look and probe around door frames and exposed wood framing for deterioration.

If you use firewood, keep it stacked well away from your home (as well as any other wood). Good luck. Kevin

    Bookmark   August 19, 2002 at 10:55PM
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Hi from Iowa!

I don't know much about spiders...but can't you spray them your self and see if that takes care of them?? I would try that first.

As far as termites go. The Terminix company in our area does a free termite inspection for people as long as they aren't selling their house. We did have termites in our garage. I noticed these brown...kind of sandy looking things going from the foundation up to the wall and was wondering if it could be termites. It was. Well...I can tell you this...they don't just spray to get rid of them....they told me about two treatment methods and they are quite expensive and involving. Your MIL wasn't totally off the mark. The way I've heard it is: It's not will you get termites....It's more like when will you get termites?

God Bless

    Bookmark   August 20, 2002 at 6:11PM
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I had my house treated before I would purchase it. There was some old damage but nothing active. I am on a slab and they had to drill through the slab and apply treatment. However, I found some temites on a piece of wood about 25 feet from my house. What should I do? The termite company said they only cover the house. I would like to try and kill this colony . One less to worry about. The company said to just remove the wood. Any suggestion?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2002 at 1:20PM
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ttab, if there is no infestation in the house, I wouldn't worry. It sounds like your treatment is doing its job. Termites are very prevalent in many areas. That's why you should take precautions to keep wood away from the ground near the house so you don't attract them.

Termites don't just go for the house. They want food and look for the easiest place to get it. Wood contacting the ground is easy for them. The termite company is right. Just remove the wood. Keep an eye out for any new problems around the house. Basically, if it's not broke, don't fix it and you should be fine. Good luck. Kevin

    Bookmark   September 3, 2002 at 10:55PM
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