Termites in Yard: Cause for Concern?

akthompsonNovember 12, 2007

While I was planting fall bulbs yesterday, I noticed a mess of termites crawling in the soil near our house. We have a 1949 brick home. We haven't seen any evidence inside the house of termites (house is built on a concrete foundation). There are a lot of tree roots throughout the yard... Maybe termites could be feasting on sunken roots?

We moved in two years ago and had a termite inspection that came back clear. Does the presence of termites in the soil mean that we should call a pest company out? Thanks - I'm still new at this. ;)

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davidandkasie

yes, they WILL eventually get into your house. call around and get several estimates. when we found termites this past spring, the prices ranged from 1100 to 3000 for treatment. they put a barrier down around the house, and drilled into all concrete to spray under it as well. we ended up going with Terminix because i KNOW how well they stand behind their service contracts. if ever we have active termites again, as long as we are paying the yearly contract, they will retreat at their expense. if they cause any damage, they will pay to fix like new.

BTW, a termite inspection when buying ONLY means that there was no visible termite activity. they look for tunnels and chewings around the walls. nothing else really. most of the time they don't even show prior termite damage. our house came back clean, but after we discovered the termites this spring Terminix found evidence of OLD damage, and showed me where the house had been treated previously, the TI when we bought simply said no evidence of current termites.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 1:41PM
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yborgal

Sounds like subterranean termites. They burrow under the soil and create tunnels to crawl in to climb the walls and into the "innards" of your home.

You mentioned concrete foundation, but is your home concrete block or brick? In our last home they created tunnels between the brick and concrete walls. We only found them because of damage to the frame of a nearby window.

We now have a bait system in place and we sleep better because of it.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 5:31PM
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davidandkasie

they will also come up thru ANY crack/opening in the foundation. and i don't care how solid your house is, ALL houses on a concrete slab have a crack somewhere. heck, where the plumbing comes up is usually a 12x12 hole, sometimes bigger.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 5:45PM
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suburbanmd

If the termites are less than a foot away from the house then I'd be especially worried -- in my experience at least, the soil up to a foot from the house is injected with termiticide to form a chemical barrier. So if they're that close, there's no effective barrier. Even if they're further away, then this is a wake-up call to get a barrier treatment, if you have no record of a recent treatment. Definition of "recent" depends on the kind of chemical, so get a few pest control operator opinions on that. Incidentally, once the barrier is in place, you'll need spot retreatment if the soil is disturbed in specified ways (e.g. if a plumber digs it up to fix an underground pipe).

As for bait systems... My pest control guy is as honest as the day is long, and he doesn't believe in baits. He treated a house that had severe termite damage (e.g. you could poke a screwdriver through one of the interior walls) despite having a monitored bait system for years.

Here's an anti-Sentricon web page:

http://www.syix.com/emu/html/sentricon.html

Personally I wouldn't sleep well if my house was protected only by baits.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 4:40PM
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vinnyc

Every back yard in the country probably has termites somewhere. Pour on the poison anyway, it won't hurt anything, right?

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 3:14PM
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izzie

I was searching for wood rot treatments and found that boric acid/borax may also help with termites. Do a search or sites I found ohioline.osc.edu also alsnetbiz.com

    Bookmark   November 30, 2007 at 12:17PM
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teedup1

I have to laugh about people being surprized to find termites in their yard, trees, or house.

My dad was a master finish carpenter and he always said that wood and lumber used for building, even for new houses, has termites/eggs in it already. Years later, the patio overhang DH and I had built 20 years prior was severely infested with termites and we told Dad about it. Kiddingly, he remarked that it had been all those termites holding hands that had kept that patio cover standing upright as long as it did. He worked with wood his whole life and never ever got freaked out about termites. I won't either.

A termite problem is treatable but not preventable. Most people who have had their house tented, think the problem is gone forever. Wrong!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2007 at 12:27PM
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wisrose

I bought my home 4 yrs. ago, it had wood chips/mulch around the house. One day i was digging and found temites eeek!! So i checked another spot eeek and eeek and eeek all around 3/4 of the house I found termites. I immediately dug up all the wood chips and took them to the dump. I got Terminex in to check my home and NO sign of termite damage. They recommended the bait system, $1,400.00 for first year. They put baits every ten feet around my house, one full year, no sign of termites. I canceled the program even though it would now only cost I think 400 yr. Do I think there are still termites out in the ground...YES. Do I still worry about it...YES. Do I think the bait system will control them...Obviously NO..I buy a termite poison liquid from HD and pour it around my foundation, cheaper than termiex!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 11:52AM
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