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termites in roof

Posted by swallowtail_grower (My Page) on
Wed, Nov 11, 09 at 11:05

Hello, I have termites in my roof, I am on a very limited income and I`ve been told if the termites have taken over so much footage of the house, it has to be reported to the city and the house is condemened. I`ve lived here for 39 years built in 1953 bought in 1970. It`s all I really have is there any type of oil or some kind of spray I can buy and treat myself? Thank you for listening I`m really scared at this point.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: termites in roof

call a pro, i know your income is limited but you REALLY need pros to fix it.


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RE: termites in roof

Are you sure it's termites, and not carpenter ants?


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RE: termites in roof

Yes, we have seen the droppings from the termites and I have a large tree next to the house and at the bottom are the droppings also,has anyone heard of that fact I brought up about if there are so many termites they (the city) will take the house down or should I say too much damage done? Thank You


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RE: termites in roof

Do the droppings from the termites look like sawdust?


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RE: termites in roof

every locality is different as to what constitues condemning a house. around here they literally have to have fallen in before the city condemns them. other places they will condemn them quicker.

one thing is for sure, if you do not get teh home treated and get rid of teh ants or termites, you WILL have worse damage. will the roof fall in and make the home completely unlivable, yes given enough time. how long that is, is impossible for us to say.

since they are in trees and the roof i think you have soemthing other than termites. you may need a spray treatment or you may need a tent over the house and fog it. call SEVERAL exterminators and get quotes. most will quote you for free. if nothing else you will KNOW what you have and what your options are.


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RE: termites in roof

I agree with davidandkasie that what you have may not be termites. That's why I asked you to describe the "droppings."


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RE: termites in roof

What state is the house in?

Dry wood (Formosan) termites could be in a roof, but they are only present in a few southern states.

Subterranean termites would be hard pressed to get as high as a roof. They need access back to the soil and their nest.

Carpenter ants could also be in a roof. They excavate galleries to live in, but do not actually eat the wood like termites.
They leave the wood outside the galleries as small piles that look very much like slightly chunky saw dust.


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RE: termites in roof

If the "droppings" from the roof, and the "droppings" from the tree are ID'ed as being the same, it's likely carpenter ants. Carpenter frass looks like shavings out of a pencil sharpener.

Drywood termite feces look like very small wooden pellets.
Magnified pellets have concaved sides the same color as the wood they've eaten.

Subterranean termites can, and do, easily infest your roof.
Subterranean termites do not always rely on soil moisture.
If secondary moisture sources are found, such as: leaking roofs, ac lines, plumbing leaks, subterranean termite may not return to soil. Sub colonies may have more than one queen and may have several supplementary queens. It's called survival.....colonies do bud out.

Controlling subterranean termites when secondary moisture is present is impossible. You must stop all available moisture, then plan your treatment.

Call a pro. If it's subs, request Termidor, Carpenter ants, I like Termidor on the outside/perimeter and Phantom on the inside. Maybe some dusts in the wall voids and attic.


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RE: termites in roof

Thank you for all of you for posting. I live in So. Calif and my roof did leak and a new roof was put on a few years ago.The droppings look like sawdust and kind of a light brown kind of reddish color I have beams in the front room and it seems to come between the crevices of the beams.I just don`t want to lose my home.


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RE: termites in roof

I've had carpenter ants, and I think that's what you have. They typically eat tunnels through the soft parts of lumber and they can pretty easily excavate a piece of wood without leaving much evidence on the outside -- other than the sawdust -- that the wood is almost completely gone. They are attracted to moisture. Unlike other pests, they typically have a nest outdoors, not inside, but take multiple trips in and out of the house to munch on the wood. One way to deal with this is to spray the base of the house all around with a pesticide for carpenter ants. When they walk through the pesticide, it gets on their legs and then kills them. You also need to make sure there are no branches, grasses, or plants that touch the house so that the ants can't use them as a path to get into or out of the house without going through the pesticide "barrier." If money is an issue, you can sometimes get these chemicals at a do-it-yourself pesticide store and do the spraying yourself. Make sure you follow all the safety precautions, including using a respirator, and wearing rubber gloves and long sleeves.


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RE: termites in roof, part 2

I'll tell you a couple of other things about carpenter ants which you may find helpful. They tend to follow the same path in and out of the house. You may want to slowly walk around your house and see if you can see any ants around the perimeter that are moving toward or away from the house. Don't expect to see a whole bunch of them together; it would be more like a couple of them a minute walking along the same "trail."

Below is a link to a photo of the type of ant you are looking for. Notice the two distinctive black bands on the abdomen. When they are out foraging, these bands are skinny looking, and when they fill up with food the abdomen expands and the black bands look much fatter. There are quite a few species of these ants in the U.S., but they tend to look fairly similar; the ones I had to deal with in my house were about 1/2" long, give or take. Their nests are usually located outside the house and are called perimeter nests. You might be able to locate the nest(s) by finding a couple of ants with fat bands and following them. Conversely, if you find some with skinny bands, they are probably heading into the house to chew on more wood. I used this technique to find a perimeter nest that was in a decaying stump about 25' from my house.

Here is a link that might be useful: Carpenter ant


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RE: termites in roof

Swallowtail grower--it seems to me that your main concern should be whether your home will be condemned. May I ask who told you that your house is "taken over by termites" and must be reported to the city? Was it a pest control company? You need to have the home inspected ASAP to make sure that you are safe there. Once the structure is compromised, it may be necessary for you to move. When you have had the extent of the damage assessed, then a determination can be made as to how best treat the infestation. Good luck to you.


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RE: termites in roof

swallowtail_grower-
I find it unlikely that you can be forced out of your house over this problem. Obviously, you need to get this taken care of, but people live in all kinds of homes in varying degrees of disrepair, and I never hear of them being forced out of their homes. I don't know where you live, or what the local rules are -- so I'm not going to say this has never happened -- but I think it would have to be very unusual and extreme circumstances. I encourage you to not worry yourself unnecessarily. Like sarahw_tx, in her post above, I am curious to know how you got this impression or who told you this....


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RE: termites in roof

If you have a carpenter ant problem, it's probably localized in the fasia or the rafter tails. They will find a damp/wet location and build a nest. A roof leak would be something that would attract their attention. You should be able to locate the nest from the outside as there will be a constant flow of ants up and down the house.
This is usually a localized problem and will not cause the house to be condemned.
Ron


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