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Old 08-13-2011, 02:11 PM   #21
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I wouldn't call my problem an infestation though. So far there no damage anywhere, no termites inside or anything like that. I think I'm going to keep spot treating until I see evidence of a bigger problem. If I had a friend who was an expert it would be different but I know full well if I call an exterminator they will tell me I have a serious problem whether I do or not.
Many times when I've expressed unhappiness on this board at spending money, I've been called a cheapskate... or worse.

Hawaii is one of the country's top areas for termites. So with the greatest tact and kindness I can muster, let me opine that you're being a cheapskate. You're also being blissfully ignorant. Whether you'd call it a problem or not, you're infested.

It's like cockroaches: there's never just one. You have termites living somewhere near or under your house. They've figured out that it's yummy. They're going to find a way in that hides the tubes you've seen. They'll do it through foundation cracks, through any wood touching the ground under the house (whether it's inside or outside or under the house). The reality is that they're already in your house gnawing away.

In our house we didn't find an infestation until I noticed a spot on the interior wall. When I rubbed it off, it turned out to be a small hole. When I picked at it, a termite came out to see what I was up to. There were never any visible tubes because they came up through a foundation crack.

Call an exterminator. If you're going to be a cheapskate then at a minimum have him spray Termidor around the foundation. A better approach would be to drill holes in the foundation every three feet around the house and inject Termidor under the foundation. You don't have to go for baits or Sentricon or services-- just spend a few hundred bucks to have it done right.

Otherwise in 3-5 years you're going to find little holes in your interior walls... with antennae waving out of them. It'll cost a lot more than the few hundred bucks you'd be spending now.

BTW you have ground termites. The flying ones are a different breed that rarely takes hold unless you have a source of chronically wet wood for them to work on. We have flying termites swarm a couple times per year and they've never bothered the house, although the geckos think they're yummy.
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Old 08-13-2011, 03:22 PM   #22
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BTW you have ground termites. The flying ones are a different breed that rarely takes hold unless you have a source of chronically wet wood for them to work on. We have flying termites swarm a couple times per year and they've never bothered the house, although the geckos think they're yummy.
All ground termites in our area have breeders that usually fly out of the stump or your closet on the night (or very early morning) of the full moon in March-April. This is also the time of year that you get the most termite control advertisements on TV and radio.

Much like ants, they land wherever is convenient, mate, then lose their wings and try to start a new nest.
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Old 08-13-2011, 05:28 PM   #23
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Many times when I've expressed unhappiness on this board at spending money, I've been called a cheapskate... or worse.

Hawaii is one of the country's top areas for termites. So with the greatest tact and kindness I can muster, let me opine that you're being a cheapskate. You're also being blissfully ignorant. Whether you'd call it a problem or not, you're infested.

It's like cockroaches: there's never just one. You have termites living somewhere near or under your house. They've figured out that it's yummy. They're going to find a way in that hides the tubes you've seen. They'll do it through foundation cracks, through any wood touching the ground under the house (whether it's inside or outside or under the house). The reality is that they're already in your house gnawing away.

In our house we didn't find an infestation until I noticed a spot on the interior wall. When I rubbed it off, it turned out to be a small hole. When I picked at it, a termite came out to see what I was up to. There were never any visible tubes because they came up through a foundation crack.

Call an exterminator. If you're going to be a cheapskate then at a minimum have him spray Termidor around the foundation. A better approach would be to drill holes in the foundation every three feet around the house and inject Termidor under the foundation. You don't have to go for baits or Sentricon or services-- just spend a few hundred bucks to have it done right.

Otherwise in 3-5 years you're going to find little holes in your interior walls... with antennae waving out of them. It'll cost a lot more than the few hundred bucks you'd be spending now.

BTW you have ground termites. The flying ones are a different breed that rarely takes hold unless you have a source of chronically wet wood for them to work on. We have flying termites swarm a couple times per year and they've never bothered the house, although the geckos think they're yummy.
I might be a cheapskate but I can promise you that Im not blissful about any of this.

I know little or nothing about termite treatments. I know if I call an exterminator hes gong to tell me that my house is about to implode from termite damage unless I give him $$$$$$$$$. How do I know what a basic type treatment is and how much I should expect to pay? You said something about a few hundred?
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:10 PM   #24
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I know little or nothing about termite treatments. I know if I call an exterminator hes gong to tell me that my house is about to implode from termite damage unless I give him $$$$$$$$$.
Pretty much. Unless you have their Sentricon baits and a contract for weekly monitoring visits.

The funny thing is that when our storage shed was being eaten alive by termites (a $900 repair), our neighbor was using the Terminix service. We went over to tell her about our termite problem and noticed a tunnel on a potted plant (wooden pot) on her back lanai. None of their Sentricon baits had any termites. Her house was surrounded by baits that were monitored weekly and none of them found any of the critters. But I bet the Terminix franchise owner has a really nice boat.

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How do I know what a basic type treatment is and how much I should expect to pay? You said something about a few hundred?
You could try the traditional route of calling three or four exterminators for a quote. Drill into the sidewalks & ground around the foundation, squirt in Termidor only, maybe spray the plants in the yard around the house with more Termidor. No bait traps, no monitoring, no house tenting, no armed guards or flamethrowers. Hawaii is generally considered an expensive state for labor-- we paid $325 in 2001 and $285 in 2008.

We haven't noticed any tunnels since 2008; I check the house's perimeter quarterly. We're about to rip into renovate the familyroom addition that spawned the 2001 infestation, and it'll be interesting to see how extensive the damage was. While we're in there we're going to properly repair the joint between the main house foundation and the familyroom concrete pour.

Our 1978-built rental home has never had a termite problem (I check its foundation quarterly too). The land used to be sugarcane & pineapple (heavily sprayed with pesticides in the 1950s on) and when the neighborhood was built the entire tract was treated with Chlordane (dioxin). I doubt we'll ever have a termite problem there.

I used to think Chlordane was pretty nasty stuff until I learned that most of the Manoa homes built in the 1930s-1950s had their lots treated with DDT & motor oil.
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:51 PM   #25
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My late FIL owned a pest control company for over 40 years. He loved to talk termites and I went out on the job with him a number of times.

He said that when he began his business in the 1950's, he could treat a house and know that the house would never have termites again. However, using the poison he was required to use in the 1990's, he treated houses and hoped the termites would stay away until the required 5 year warranty (on new construction) expired.
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Old 08-13-2011, 09:05 PM   #26
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Pretty much. Unless you have their Sentricon baits and a contract for weekly monitoring visits.

The funny thing is that when our storage shed was being eaten alive by termites (a $900 repair), our neighbor was using the Terminix service. We went over to tell her about our termite problem and noticed a tunnel on a potted plant (wooden pot) on her back lanai. None of their Sentricon baits had any termites. Her house was surrounded by baits that were monitored weekly and none of them found any of the critters. But I bet the Terminix franchise owner has a really nice boat.


You could try the traditional route of calling three or four exterminators for a quote. Drill into the sidewalks & ground around the foundation, squirt in Termidor only, maybe spray the plants in the yard around the house with more Termidor. No bait traps, no monitoring, no house tenting, no armed guards or flamethrowers. Hawaii is generally considered an expensive state for labor-- we paid $325 in 2001 and $285 in 2008.

We haven't noticed any tunnels since 2008; I check the house's perimeter quarterly. We're about to rip into renovate the familyroom addition that spawned the 2001 infestation, and it'll be interesting to see how extensive the damage was. While we're in there we're going to properly repair the joint between the main house foundation and the familyroom concrete pour.

Our 1978-built rental home has never had a termite problem (I check its foundation quarterly too). The land used to be sugarcane & pineapple (heavily sprayed with pesticides in the 1950s on) and when the neighborhood was built the entire tract was treated with Chlordane (dioxin). I doubt we'll ever have a termite problem there.

I used to think Chlordane was pretty nasty stuff until I learned that most of the Manoa homes built in the 1930s-1950s had their lots treated with DDT & motor oil.
Based on what you said earlier, why does not seeing tunnels give you confidence that you have no termites? How do you know they aren't coming in thru cracks or whatever? That was my problem with your earlier post. If I have no visible damage and no tunnels but still cant have confidence that I'm not in trouble then when can I ever be confident?

If I could spend $300 and be reasonably confident that I'm in good shape I would do it tomorrow. But right now I have nothing visible and if I don't see any more tunnels coming up, then it wont make a difference if a guy comes out digs holes and sprays water into them. If I cant have confidence when I see nothing now, how do I have confidence because I had a guy spray and see nothing then?
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Old 08-13-2011, 09:51 PM   #27
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Finally found an advantage to living in an extremely cold state. We don't have termites around here; at least I've never known anyone who had termite damage to their home.
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Old 08-13-2011, 11:12 PM   #28
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Based on what you said earlier, why does not seeing tunnels give you confidence that you have no termites? How do you know they aren't coming in thru cracks or whatever? That was my problem with your earlier post. If I have no visible damage and no tunnels but still cant have confidence that I'm not in trouble then when can I ever be confident?
If you've never seen external tunnels then you probably don't have termites. Of course it's no guarantee. Eventually, though, when they come into the house via other means, they build external tunnels (as well as their other paths).

If, however, you had a tunnel and you haven't brought in an exterminator, then you probably still have termites. You don't kill off the nest by spraying some pesticide and destroying the tunnels. They're just inside the house (and underground) by other means, eating away and working up the population and getting to the point where they'll build more external tunnels (as well as damage the interior walls). Eventually they'll make you aware of their presence.

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If I could spend $300 and be reasonably confident that I'm in good shape I would do it tomorrow. But right now I have nothing visible and if I don't see any more tunnels coming up, then it wont make a difference if a guy comes out digs holes and sprays water into them. If I cant have confidence when I see nothing now, how do I have confidence because I had a guy spray and see nothing then?
You don't have any confidence. However you've taken action to kill the underground termites (which requires an exterminator) and you have a warranty for a few months.

As the warranty nears its end, if you haven't seen any interior damage or exterior tunnels, then you can start to feel confident.

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Finally found an advantage to living in an extremely cold state. We don't have termites around here; at least I've never known anyone who had termite damage to their home.
Yeah, I have to admit that's one advantage of having an exterior deep freeze. I don't think that method has ever caught on around here, although I remember seeing the "all natural extermination" ads.
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:31 AM   #29
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I haven't seen any termite activity in years, but to go back to what I wrote earlier ....

When I was seeing termites and tunnels it was only a year after our home and others in the neighborhood were built. The previous owner of our home had had termite treatment as anyone in our neighborhood would have what with all the trees, stumps, and visible termites. (Previous owner sold the home after living in it about 6 months due to a job transfer.)

Nevertheless, despite the treatment there was plenty of visible termite activity everywhere including tunnels occassionally up the foundation. What would you do in this situation? You know the foundation/perimeter has already been treated for termites, but you still see termites?
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:16 AM   #30
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Nevertheless, despite the treatment there was plenty of visible termite activity everywhere including tunnels occassionally up the foundation. What would you do in this situation? You know the foundation/perimeter has already been treated for termites, but you still see termites?
I guess I'd be checking the warranty on the previous treatment and calling the exterminator again.

Termidor is supposed to be the latest "magic bullet" that sterilizes the colony. You would hope that it was mixed in the right concentration, applied correctly, by a reputable exterminator.

Another problem is basic prevention: keeping rotting wood & moist ground away from the house. Our storage shed developed its termite problems because of a compost pile (30 feet away) that we'd built with old wooden pallets. The termites thought the pallets were yummy, but we didn't figure out their connection to the storage shed until it was too late.
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:26 AM   #31
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Just so I don't get ripped off, if i call someone and tell them I want a basic termite treatment, how many holes should I expect them to dig? Every 3 feet or so around the house? What kind of holes are we talking? I assume they will use a machine and not a shovel?
Whats the difference between this and the termite treatment that Ive read about that costs $1000-$2000 for a medium sized house?
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Old 08-14-2011, 03:06 PM   #32
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Just so I don't get ripped off, if i call someone and tell them I want a basic termite treatment, how many holes should I expect them to dig? Every 3 feet or so around the house? What kind of holes are we talking? I assume they will use a machine and not a shovel?
Whats the difference between this and the termite treatment that Ive read about that costs $1000-$2000 for a medium sized house?
Our holes have since been covered over by stamped concrete, but every 3-4 feet sounds about right. They use a half-inch masonry bit on a hammer drill (through the sidewalks & lanais) and inject the liquid with a root sprayer from a pressure hose, so it probably spreads 1-2 feet. Our house has 2000 sq ft on the ground floor so I'd think that qualifies as bigger than medium.

I guess the price difference depends on the method. Houses can be tented (and gassed) or portions can be frozen/heated to kill termites. They might be using other chemicals, or you might be seeing the difference between having it done in Hawaii or having it done in your area.

But Termidor is effective enough that I don't think the more exotic methods are necessary.
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Old 08-14-2011, 04:43 PM   #33
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When I was a kid living to FL we had a 2 story 100% wood house that was close to 100 YO. I can recall having to have it "tented" several times over the years and we had to stay at a friends house for a few days until the poison gas killed all of the critters. I believe that those termites also could fly.
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Old 08-17-2011, 02:42 PM   #34
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OK, so I broke down and called an exterminator. Its a family business and was recommended by a friend who had used them so I feel a little more comfortable that I wont get ripped off. The appointment is for Saturday. I'll report back later.
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Old 08-17-2011, 02:52 PM   #35
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OK, so I broke down and called an exterminator. Its a family business and was recommended by a friend who had used them so I feel a little more comfortable that I wont get ripped off. The appointment is for Saturday. I'll report back later.
Good decision, IMO. Hope everything works out.
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Old 08-18-2011, 10:15 AM   #36
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I guess I will post again to give some info..


You do not tent a house for subterrainian termites... if you do not do the outside of the house where they come it, tenting does nothing...

You tent when you have the dry wood termites (I could be using the wrong term here... it has been over 30 years).... they are the flying ones that were mentioned... I had a nest land on my house one day (and happend to have seen them).... the next day went to get some poison for them and when I took a look they were gone... I was worred that they had decided my house was the place to stay, but I never saw any sign of them again....

You only drill holes if you have concrete next to your house.... you trench the dirt otherwise.... I think the trench is not supposed to be a lot smaller than when I did the work.... mine were about 4 inches from the slab and 4 inches deep... we would flood the trench with about 100 to 200 gallons of chlordane... once treated, if you do not break the soil after filling in the trench you are safe for probably 50 or more years... (that is at a 1% solution... some people were cheap and used 1/2% which did not give as good results)....

I did my sisters house with chlordane over 30 years ago and if you dig around the house today where it was in the trench you can still smell it...


As I said earler... spot treatment is worthless... don't waste any time and money this way... treating termites is like that old Fram commercial.... you can pay me now or pay me later... later costs a lot more....
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Old 08-20-2011, 02:21 PM   #37
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Nords, when you said you paid $325 in 2001 and $285 in 2008, was that a spot treatment, or the entire perimeter?

My exterminator quoted me $250 for spot treatment and $850 for the entire perimeter. Both with a 1 year warranty. He said if he was doing a random inspection and hadn't been called there because I had seen a couple tunnels, he would've said I was termite free because he was found no evidence anywhere. Inside or out.

The treatments include digging trenches like Texas Proud talked about. No holes being drilled.
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Old 08-20-2011, 04:49 PM   #38
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Nords, when you said you paid $325 in 2001 and $285 in 2008, was that a spot treatment, or the entire perimeter?
My exterminator quoted me $250 for spot treatment and $850 for the entire perimeter. Both with a 1 year warranty.
The treatments include digging trenches like Texas Proud talked about. No holes being drilled.
Both were for a full perimeter treatment, although the first was 10 years ago on a 2400 sq ft house and the second is a 12'x16' storage shed with a concrete lanai.

I think $850 is a fair price, especially with the warranty, and most especially considering the costs of repairing damage later if this isn't stopped now. Of course he's probably not using Chlordane, but at that price you'd want Termidor. This is not an area where you want to go with the lowest bidder.
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Old 08-20-2011, 04:55 PM   #39
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He's using Termidor. According to Wikipedia, Chlordane has been banned since 1988.
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:55 AM   #40
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He's using Termidor. According to Wikipedia, Chlordane has been banned since 1988.

Not only banned... but if they find any they get it in bunny suits....


And I used to have it all over me way back when...
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