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Termite Treatment - Do it myself

Posted by piddlerdad3 (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 6, 06 at 0:47

I live in a suburb about 15 miles Southeast of Dallas, and have Subterranean Termites. Our house is concrete slab and brick. The house is 17 years old and we have lived in it since 2001. That year in April, we found termites and the home inspector came back since we had him out for the home purchase, and treated by drilling holes in the local area and filling with liquid. The termites were only found along a bathroom wall (near the bathtub drain and sink drain). The evidence and the termites disappeared. In 2002, we had the same type situation appear in our other bathroom, and had someone come out and do another local treatment. This time, no drilling was done and the company sprayed liquid on all infected areas. We had good access as we removed a panel that exposed the area under the bathtub. Again, signs and termites disappeared. We've gone for the past 3 years with no problems and i check for them every year at this time.

This year they are reappearing, and eating away at my laundry room wall - right there where the washing machine drain comes up thru the floor. They are going from low to midway up the wall, eating as they go. They make some pretty creative mudtubes that extend out from the wall. pretty cool. Only bad thing is it's my house and not my shed (my shed - the place where we stack firewood and let it rot - never gets termites. go figure). We are in process of adopting and have no money left to spend on anything right now.

I can pay for some chemicals or baits. I must deal with this myself as I cannot afford an exterminator. What are my options? On one website, I read that baits are only for assurance after the home has had a perimeter treatment (drilling and filling every ten feet or so). I don't have a drill that will accomplish this. Can i do something else for a local treatment? The termites are only in the laundry room.

Thanks for any help,
dennis


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Termite Treatment - Do it myself

There is nothing you can do to spot treat or self treat as you have discovered.

The only effective means of eliminating termites is by professional bait systems combined with a chemical barrier method.

Depending on the size of the house the entire treatment package should cost no more than $800 with annual renewal packages of about $150.

Considering everything you would pay for self-treating or buy off the store shelf would be wasted money, that's a bargain.

Especially when compared to the loss in property value you are experiencing because you have active termite infestation.

Call the professionals.


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RE: Termite Treatment - Do it myself

Find a company that uses Termidor. It has a 10yr lifespan, stays affixed in the soil, termites can't detect it so they don't try to avoid it.


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RE: Termite Treatment - Do it myself

Hello Manhattan,
I wish I had money like other people, because your idea is definitely the best; but unless the company that treats will only cost me around $200 to $300 - one time, then I'm doing this myself. I did more looking as I had time and found quite a few articles on how to do this. Most of them recommend liquid treatment of the infestation area, then bait systems around the perimeter of the house, not necessarliy drilling and filling. For example, at the link below is one place to shop for the needed treatment chemicals and baits.

It looks to me like I could choose between Premise or Termidor, etc for liquid treatment of the infestation, then put out bait stakes to starve the colony over several months / years. I'm not educated on termites like professionals, and am not knocking them at all; but I don't have enough money to go that route, and refuse to use a Credit card and build up debt.

Can anyone advise me if I'm being completely bone-headed or is there some truth to the idea that homeowners can treat for termites themselves?

Many thanks,
dennis

Here is a link that might be useful: Pest Supply


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RE: Termite Treatment - Do it myself

Dennis, I have no idea whether the DIY methods are as effective as professionals. I suspect that you could take care of your immediate problem ok, if nothing else. But I look at termite treatment as insurance: I don't have to worry about any damage to the house, major or minor, from termites, as long as I pay the $100/year. We've had two cases of termite damage, the initial one before the treatement, and a later one, that was completely repaired by Western under contract. Fortunately, the initial damage was not structural and it didn't cost us all that much to repair. But of course it could have been worse, you hear horror stories. Here in Maryland, as in many parts of the country, termites are a fact, and you just have to protect your house. If you have an initial treatment of $800, spread out over a year, that's $66/mo, and then $100/yr after. If you do it yourself, you have the initial expense, plus your labor, and then you're self-insured. That means that you get to worry about whether they will come back, and if you will know it. Just some thoughts. Steve


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RE: Termite Treatment - Do it myself

Dennis, I also live in the Dallas area. When I purchased my home the inspector found evidence of carpenter ants. I went to Home Depot and the Spectracide rep happened to be there. He talked me into trying Spectracide Termite and Carpenter Ant treatment. Its sold in both concentrate and ready to use sprayer. He said one treatment wouldn't get rid of them but with regular use it will. I sprayed around the foundation every month or so and never saw carpenter ants. This year, I didn't use it, and found some. Might be worth a shot, especially if you know where they are located and can spot treat with it as well. You can also buy the in ground system at Home Depot but use them with caution because termites are smart little rascals. If you leave poison in them all the time they will find a way around. Your supposed to keep bait in them, check occasionally and only put poison in when you find some on the bait. You would also need to find out what the spacing on them is because they need to be placed all around the house at specific intervals.
Granted, by far, the best way to go is professional treatment and I wouldn't skimp when chosing a company. I would find one that guarantees their work and get the full service. There are DIY options though, they only question is how fast and how effective they really are. You may treat and they may appear to go away, but are they really dead, or did they just move, or go underground temporarily. As I said they are smart little critters so thats why the pest companys literally pumps hundreds of gallons of poison under and around your house to ensure they have nowhere to hide.


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RE: Termite Treatment - Do it myself

About 8 years ago I bought my house, which was built in 1979, and the home inspector found that someone had drilled holes in our concrete slab for termite treatment. The person that sold us the house gave us the receipt for the termite treatment from Terminix. At the time, that basement was unfinished. Since then, I've finished the basement by putting carpet down there and drywalled it.

I use my basement extensively and haven't seen any signs of termite infestation like wings, and shells that they leave behind. I never got the annual plan. Since I plan to put my house on the market in the next couple of months, should I be worried about this? Anything I should be looking out for in terms of termites? Would I be held liable if the house does come down with termites 2-3 years down the line?


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RE: Termite Treatment - Do it myself

I treat my and my neighbors' homes for termites, carpenter ants and carpenter bees (we both have cedar sided homes and the bees love that).
He has never had a termite treatment since buying the new home in '68. My father, who lived here from '78-'85 did and had a contract with a local company.
That company came to check for termites, found none (though the inspection was lacking) and told me it was time for re-treatment at a cost of $1400. Not going to do that.

I use a product for termites, carpenter ants and bees and all other manner of insects. It's by Ortho. Orthoklor I think. It's expensive and concentrated. About $38 here in the Atlanta area for a quart. Used it two days ago on my neighbors home after 4 years from the last treatment. It's supposed to last for five years in doses for the termites in the treated areas.
My neighbor said he saw lots of black ants, carpenter bees and wood roaches all around the ground near the treated areas.
First time I used it, I used it at max strength for all areas. This time I went for smaller doses in the bee and ant areas. Just as a test of effectiveness.
Like I said, it's sort of pricey per quart, but doesn't take much per gallon of diluted product.
And I didn't like the fact that the exterminator that came out didn't want to crawl up and back in the partial crawlspace I have under my kitchen and laundry room.

Just my 2 cents.
Dan


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RE: Termite Treatment - Do it myself

I had good luck with this site - the owner is helpful and will advise you on what products would work best. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Do It Yourself Pest Control


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RE: Termite Treatment - Do it myself

I'm going to look for that Orthoklor. I looked it up on the ortho website and it the claims of 5 year protection is true then it would be better than the spectracide product. They don't carry it at Home Depot but I'll check elsewhere. IMHO the real difference in DIY and pro termite control is not necessarily the fact that they have stronger poison (although they do). The main difference is the extent and quantity of their treatment. They pump quite possibly hundreds of gallons of chemical under your foundation, drilling at strategic locations to make sure that they get 100% saturation. You can't get that with a small bottle of concentrate. For a true infestation you need to get pro help. If you are doing preventative treatment or you know that you just have a few (keeping in mind that where there is 1, there is usually many) then DIY could work if treat the right areas.


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RE: Termite Treatment - Do it myself

Great information. The only effective means of eliminating termites is by professional bait systems combined with a chemical barrier method. The best way to go is professional treatment and I wouldn't skimp when choosing a company. I would find one that guarantees their work and get the full service. There are DIY options though, they only question is how fast and how effective they really are.


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RE: Termite Treatment - Do it myself

Had back porch light on seen this swarm of white winged insects. Went on computer found out that these might be termites. Have not seen any indoors just on outside is that bad? Can't afford a professional, what can I do?


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RE: Termite Treatment - Do it myself

"I mean the only reason the pros charge so much is because they can do the work faster due to their equipment. "

And thy have access to insecticides you cannot purchase without licensing.


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RE: Termite Treatment - Do it myself

When selling a house I had an inspection done and then checked the results myself to find I was lied to. I had them indicate the specific locations of the reported "tunnels" so I could check their work. I guess they figured this corporate-looking fool wouldn't put on a pair of jeans and crawl around under the house because this was the cleanest crawlspace I've ever seen. Not only were there no tunnels anywhere but the wood scraps they wanted to charge $200 to remove were imaginary as well.

If you don't DIY, at least get a second opinion and TELL them you're going to get more opinions and that the results all better agree.


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RE: Termite Treatment - Do it myself

:"I guess they figured this corporate-looking fool wouldn't put on a pair of jeans and crawl around under the house"

I have put a disposable jump suit on over dress pants and a dress shirt (I had a 3 piece suit originally) and done an inspections, including crawling in a crawl space that only had about 12 inches of headroom (and a few spots even lower).

When I came out the look on the seller's face was priceless.


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RE: Termite Treatment - Do it myself

I treat mine every year with store bought DIY stuff. (spikes and spray). No termites yet.
BUT...and somebody PLEASE please please correct me if I'm wrong.
But...I've been told that a person must have a "termite certificate" from a professional in order for another person to get a loan to buy a house. Otherwise, loans are difficult to obtain.
AND...to make things worse, it's darn near impossible to get one of these "certificates" on existing structures that were not professionally treated since new.
Is that correct?


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RE: Termite Treatment - Do it myself

"I've been told that a person must have a "termite certificate" from a professional in order for another person to get a loan to buy a house."

If they want a conforming mortgage, and most do.


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RE: Termite Treatment - Do it myself

I received a free termite inspection, the inspector looked at the unfinished area of my basement said he saw some "mud tracts" then he took my husband with him into the backyard, was told he moved some soil showed my husband "white bugs" showed us pictures and said they were termites. We also wanted to be covered for ants, which we have had in the past, and he said 1700 for all they would set the baits come back and check them. I called a company who a friend uses for a second opinion knowing her company would be less money, he too looked at unfinished part of basement, went into the garage, and backyard and said we didn't have termites! I'm confused? Can termites just go away? Was first company ripping us off? Could second company be wrong? I plan on calling in a third company to see what they say, first company wanted 1700 to set baits cover us for all other bugs. Second company said 800 to cover us for ants and termites, would set baits too. If I really don't have termites I don't plan on using anyone, but I do live on Long Island and recently read how 90% of homes have termites, can I be in that 10%?? Your thought will be appreciated.


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RE: Termite Treatment - Do it myself

I would recommend using some Termidor SC and digging a trench around your home. If you have areas of your home that are underneath some concrete you will need to do some kind of drilling. You can rent a concrete hammer drill if you don't have one and still save a lot on money vs hiring an exterminator.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to do your own termite treatment


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