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Drywood termites (long)
Old 09-24-2009, 03:18 PM   #1
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Drywood termites (long)

So... just moved back into our house in San Diego after 3 years in CO, and come home to a bunch of swarming termites last week in our back bedroom (non-permitted add-on by a previous owner, covered wall and ceiling with pine plank paneling).

The termite guy was just here and after poking around, showed me a number of places that the termites are or were nesting. Mostly in the add-on area, but also several spots outside around the front and side eaves. Meanwhile, the termites are still swarming all over the neighborhood, you literally can't go outside without having one land on you.

He recommended a whole-house heat treatment (supposed to be as effective as tenting, but no toxic gas) warrantied for one year, with a yearly renewable warranty that covers any treatment you need after that. He said we could also just do the back addition, but that obviously doesn't address the ones in the eaves. He also said we might want to wait till November, when it will be cool enough that they won't be swarming any more, since the heat doesn't offer any lasting protection, just kills what's there.

I grew up in OH, so no real experience with termites. They seem to be common here and something that everyone has to deal with at some point or another. I'm inclined to treat the whole house and get the warranty, even though I normally avoid "extended warranties," because this seems like a case where we will almost certainly need treatments in the future.

Anyone have experience with this? There's a 2005 thread that covers some aspects, but it was mostly about the ground termites, which are different.
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Old 09-24-2009, 03:43 PM   #2
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Anyone have experience with this? There's a 2005 thread that covers some aspects, but it was mostly about the ground termites, which are different.
We have swarming termites several times a year here but the geckos think they're yummy. Never had any nest in dry wood-- they look for wet wood or some source of water.

We've treated for ground termites but never for the swarming/flying types. The tenting makes people feel better but it's a colossal hassle to remove food and find a place to stay during the process. Even with the poison gas there are still burglaries.

What about spraying the nests you see with a pesticide and just keeping an eye out for further damage?
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Old 09-24-2009, 04:00 PM   #3
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What about spraying the nests you see with a pesticide and just keeping an eye out for further damage?
Well, with the heat you're only out of the house for 6-7 hours, and the termite guys are there the whole time - setting up, monitoring, tearing down. So I'm not too worried about theft.

One problem is I can't see any "nests," just small holes in the wood (where they come out), or a few spots where it's crumbly. It doesn't seem like a spray would be effective since I can't see the bugs.

They do offer spot treatment, but the whole back room seems to be questionable and by the time you do that plus the spots I'm wondering if it's better to just pay the money upfront ($3300 to do the whole house, $350 per year warranty) and get tented and spot-treated after that as needed.
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Old 09-24-2009, 07:13 PM   #4
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(non-permitted add-on by a previous owner, covered wall and ceiling with pine plank paneling).

.
Can you rip that stuff out?

If you remove the easily accessible dinner, it may make a difference.

ta,
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Old 09-25-2009, 11:18 AM   #5
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Can you rip that stuff out?

If you remove the easily accessible dinner, it may make a difference.
Yes, eventually we will take down and rebuild the entire addition up to code. Which on the one hand makes it appealing to just take the paneling out and put up drywall, but on the other hand, since it's not going to be permanent we may just ignore it. Or we may drywall it if we have problems again relatively quickly.

I talked to several neighbors yesterday, one of whom said everyone was calling our area "termite hill" for a while because of all the problems. All 3 people I talked to said we can count on having infestations on a regular basis, and they all tent periodically and do the annual inspections/
warranty. So it's looking to me like maybe we should just add this to our list of standard home maintenance costs if we're going to live in coastal SD.
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Old 09-26-2009, 02:24 PM   #6
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Here in Phoenix the first symptom is mud tunnels near the lower part of exterior walls. Then you get the treatment (trenching outside, sometimes drilling inside) then the standard routine is an annual renewable warranty that runs from $75 to $150 depending on the house footprint.

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Old 09-26-2009, 05:54 PM   #7
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i have experience with termites. We used to get them all the time. Imagine going home and finding hundreds in the kitchen. What we did was treat it locally with chemicals and boric acid. It worked.
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