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Termite question
Old 11-05-2010, 09:15 PM   #1
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Termite question

We had our house treated for termites in May, both drywood and subterranean. From everything I was able to learn, both kinds are very common here (coastal southern california). Fast forward to this week, when I noticed that our back patio (10x12, concrete pavers) has a bunch of what look little mud tubes/mounds piling up in the cracks between the pavers. I don't see any tubes on the house foundation.

Is it likely that these are the subterranean termites again? If so, how big a deal is this if I don't see anything on the house? Is it really possible to get rid of them? When we had them treated last time it sounded as though all they do is treat the ground around the house because the colonies can be quite large and located some distance away, so injecting chemicals into the ground won't necessarily kill them.

Any thoughts? I know, I'll call the termite guys, but I'd like some impartial opinions first...
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Old 11-05-2010, 09:35 PM   #2
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It seems that you can kill the active ones but it doesn't stop them from returning. They swarm and spread and the subs can be located away from the treatment area. We got the service contract after tenting and get the annual inspections. Got to keep on top of them.
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Old 11-05-2010, 09:49 PM   #3
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Our house had termites when we bought it in 1994, but after 3 treatments, we seem to have gotten rid of them. The last two treatments were for subterranean termites only, and consisted of drilling a bunch of holes through our concrete slab foundation and squirting poison down the holes. The ground surrounding our house has not been treated, though they tried to sell us such a treatment. We haven't seen any sign of termites for about 10 years -- we get yearly inspections. I'm told that the mud tunnels are a means of ingress, but I've never actually seen any of those at our house.
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Old 11-05-2010, 10:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WM View Post
We had our house treated for termites in May, both drywood and subterranean. From everything I was able to learn, both kinds are very common here (coastal southern california). Fast forward to this week, when I noticed that our back patio (10x12, concrete pavers) has a bunch of what look little mud tubes/mounds piling up in the cracks between the pavers. I don't see any tubes on the house foundation.
Other critters make mud tubes too, so you could stick a screwdriver in there and see who comes crawling out.

I would think that termites are "smart" enough (or they try enough different paths) to stick with tunnels going up the footers to the yummy baseplates. They wouldn't waste their time going between pavers unless you're storing wood out there or making a lot of sawdust with a project.

I think the tenting and the Sentricon systems are a triumph of fear over common sense, but we've had Termidor sprayed on the ground around the house with great effect on reducing the ant population. The termites have never come back, and although the ants recovered after a few months they've stayed outside.
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Old 11-06-2010, 12:50 AM   #5
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If they are sub termites, it is true they can be a LONG way from your house... and you can not kill them all no matter what you do...

All you do is try and build a barrier between them and your house... you do this with a poison... chloridane is the best, but was banned maybe 30 years ago...

You can treat around the pavers, but they will still be 'down there'.... not way to get rid of them...
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:36 AM   #6
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I wouldn't mess around with termites. They are too destructive.

Call your termite man.
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:41 AM   #7
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Ok, thanks for the replies. Whatever chemical they injected into the ground, they did do all around the house, and it's build on a slab so around the outside it's easy to see if there are any tubes. We've had various parts of the walls apart for other construction projects, and the only place that we had serious sub termites was in the back, where an original patio was enclosed by a prior owner in a workable-but-not-code way. So I don't feel the house is likely to fall down around us any time soon.

I've knocked over some of the mud mounds but didn't see what was in there, and can't get in between the pavers without lifting them and probably screwing up the alignment. I'll probably call the termite people and have them take a look but it sounds like there's not much reason to go crazy treating anything new.
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Old 11-07-2010, 01:20 AM   #8
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I thought this post would be about Dave Ramsey.
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