Termite woes

dzejna(z7/TX)July 18, 2013

I helped my neighbor this Spring when he had lots of carpenter ants and one or two spots where he found termites. I researched a lot and advised him to call for a professional pest control and get the free inspection they were offering. His house was not damaged but he did have several termite nests around the perimeter of his yard. He decided not to use the professional help and opted for anti-termite stakes from Home Depot. I was a little concerned because his yard is adjacent to mine so whatever he gets, I am bound to get as well, sooner or later. This early morning, we are both out in the garden already. :) He calls me to come around and check his new flowerbed (just built maybe 2 months ago). He was starting to interplant mums and each hole he dug was swarming with termite larvae! Now he is looking up to me to find out what to do. :) I am not really sure because I never heard termites going for flowerbeds itself. The soil was store bought garden soil and some cedar mulch. I am at a loss what to tell him why they showed up there and what to do next. I am also worried they will migrate to my yard if not already there, though my pest control company sprays yearly, but not for termites (separate charge :P). Anyone has a clue?

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melvalena

Call the pros.
Termites live in the soil and come up to eat. You could be living on top of a huge population that has just exploded or is getting ready to explode.

They gotta eat and they will.

We had to have our old house treated twice in 20 years. The pros seemed to think our house just happened to be on top of a huge colony that probably spanned much of the neighborhood. Thankfully we didn't have damage except for our old cheap wood fence. But we did see swarms a lot.

Its not cheap, but the damage they can cause, and/or trying to sell your home with that damage is even more expensive.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 7:04PM
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bostedo(8a tx-bp-dfw)

They are attracted to cellulose and moisture, so it's not at all unusual to find them (subterranean type) in mulched irrigated beds. In fact, at least one leading exterminator installs non-lethal bait spikes around the slab that they check for activity as part of their annual inspection. Anyone living on Texas clay should probably assume they are in the area and stay vigilant.

We've dealt with termites in both old and new homes around the state where the infestations were enabled by some all-too-common quirks/defects in construction. Having an expert inspect a house where a lot of termite activity has been found in the yard makes sense - the good ones will know not just what to look for, but were to look for problem areas based upon the foundation layout... and they still miss things that can't be detected without opening up the walls. It would be difficult for them to fake termite presence or damage, so biggest downside to a "free" inspection from a REPUTABLE firm seems to be the possibility of having to endure a hard-sell pitch for treatment or prevention at the end.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 3:03PM
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