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Old 08-22-2011, 02:50 PM   #41
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For certain situations, another approach is to apply a penetrating borate solution to the mudsill, the rim joist, and the outside foot or so of the floor joists. If you've got a crawlspace or an unfinished basement this isn't hard to do. It's also a good idea to spray the inside surface of the foundation wall below the mudsill with this solution. And, if you are doing new construction, it's cheap insurance to spray the solution inside the voids of any cement blocks before the "termite cap" or solid block goes on.
The termites do NOT like this borate solution--they will not build mud "pipes" over cement blocks that have been treated with it, and they can't eat the wood that's been treated. The stuff you spray on has the borate and chemical penetrants (including glycol) that will allow the borate to reach completely through a 2+" thick piece of wood sprayed on just one side. It lasts forever, as long as the wood doesn't get soggy or the stuff doesn't get rinsed off the concrete (it's a waste of time and money to put it on the outside concrete walls for this reason). It's very safe stuff, and a fairly easy DIY job if you can get at the wood. When done you've got a perimeter that should deter subterranean termites. Typical brand names are BoraCare and is Tim-Bor. Some brands also contain an anti-mold ingredient that can be useful in some situations.

This approach will be less useful in homes built on a slab--it's hard to get at the wood to spray it, and any crack in the slab can let the buggers get to an interior wall, rather than just the exterior ones.

New construction is even easier, and this borate treatment is very popular now (including slab construction). A spraying of the lower wall framing and sheathing of the whole house takes less than an hour before the insulation goes in.
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:19 AM   #42
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I did a quite of bit of research a few years back when I found some frass (termite poop) in the house. It turns out that I had drywood termites. As someone else mentioned, these are 'slow-eating' termites. They can definitely do damage, but not nearly as fast as the subterranean variety (the kind the OP has with mud tunnels).

As far as drywood termites are concerned, their colonies are apparently quite small (< 3000) unlike the subterranean kind which can have HUGE colonies. While drywood termites can cause problems, they can be treated locally without tenting. If you tent for drywood termites, there's no guarantee that they won't show up a week after you tent the house.

I had the house professionally inspected 2-3 times and was not impressed with the inspection. Two of the times, *I* had to point out the infestation sites. We had a small infestation on the side of the house. We made a decision not to treat it since we will be tearing down that side anyways for a home addition. I plan on doing some sort of preventative treatment like Timbor or Boracare. Both seem to be quite well regarded and cheap insurance.
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:41 AM   #43
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Anyone know if termites will eat pressure treated wood?
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:54 AM   #44
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Anyone know if termites will eat pressure treated wood?
Not if it's borate or copper-arsenic.

They may still use the wood as a bridge to get to something more yummy, like door/hallway molding.
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:07 PM   #45
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I got my termite treatment today. I now have a termite force field around my house and I feel bulletproof!
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:07 PM   #46
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I got my termite treatment today. I now have a termite force field around my house and I feel bulletproof!
We found a termite hole (and a dozen of the little critters) in our familyroom arch wall in 2003 and did a full treatment around the house's foundation. The termite signs disappeared but we knew we'd have to confront some damage there one day.

Last week we removed about 1000 sq ft of drywall from the familyroom. We knew we had a cold joint in one corner but we were pretty surprised to find termite tunnels in just about every single stud bay. And, of course, they'd eaten most of the lintel over the arch. I can reach in there and pull out wood by the handful.

We're removing that arch anyway, and the contractor said it "didn't look that bad". I'd hate to see what he considers "bad".
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