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mikegbuff
06-11-2007, 02:02 PM
I live in Upstate SC where termites are a problem. I live in a home built on a slab foundation. I had some minor damage in the home last year that was taken care of by my previous termite bond - just minor damage on a baseboard. The initial termite treatment when the home was built has now expired (over 5 years ago), so this bond is no longer valid. I'm looking for a product and method of application to prevent/control termites in the future. From what I have read, the best way is to put liquid termiticides in a trench around home and drill holes into the garage/porch areas and into every other brick on the slab to get chemical in behind there.
The do-it-yourself store here sells "Surrender" termiticide and it's about $90/gallon. My home is around 200 linear feet, so I will need around 4 gallons of this stuff according to the instructions. That would cost me $360 to treat my home. The pesticide company in town wants to charge $625 to treat the home. If anyone can recommend a termiticide that is the same price as the one above or cheaper, would it be worth it to do this myself or should I just bite the bullet and pay to have the company treat my home? The company offers a bond/warranty for 5 years at an additional cost of $125/year. That puts my five year total cost at $1,250 with the pest company. This includes any retreatment for infestation of the damage and damage repair. Any damage repair requres a $150 deductible.
Also, would it be wise to use pine needles instead of mulch around the base of my home? Is mulch a risk even if the home is treated for termites?
I am not a licensed applicator, so I assume I am limited in what I can buy.
I appreciate any help anyone can give. I have already gotten very helpful info on how to care for my lawn, plants, and equipment from this site. This user community is great!

Mike

Ric
06-11-2007, 05:31 PM
Mike

1st Let me say I dropped my Termite license years ago and may not be as up to date as you or I would like.

Surrender is old school termite treatment and is just another Name for Dursanban Termiticide. The big difference in Dursanban TC and Dursaban Pro that was used on lawns is the Percentage of Active ingredient. Many guys would buy the Termite Dursban and water it down for lawns illegally at a great cost saving. One of the Problem with retreating with Dursban TC is the second application may cause the first to be less effective. I will cover this later.

The big problem in termite control is it can be a guessing game and knowledge of the Construction of your home is invaluable when dealing with Termite. Slab homes today have a problem in the fact the slabs crack before the Framing is finished. Cheaper grades of cement because of the high cost of cement is one of the big problems. these cracks along with Pipe chases leave opening that Termites can get in. Today because of pressure from Tree Huggers and poor performance of Ground poisoning along with cost, most homes are now being treat by spraying boric acid on the wood framing long after the slab is spored. Timbore is the product used most if you wish to look it up. But it is best only used in construction and even helps with general house hold pest control. Boric acid is a stable compound and will last the life of your home hopefully.

You don't need to panic yet. You treatment from last year should be still good. To retreat too quickly can also cause you more problems as stated before. What you need is a way to monitor. Senticon was the first big product to gain a large market share in Termite monitoring. There are many products on the market now but the brand name of Senticon is like that of Bobcat is to Skid Steer. People will say I have a New Holland Bobcat not a New Holland Skid Steer. This is called Branding a Name.

Just Saturday night I had a similar conversation with a guy who use to spray slabs before the cement truck arrived. He unfortunately is a complete idiot who did it for 5 years and only knows to fill the tank with water and pour this junk in it and get the slab soaked before the cement ruck arrives at 10 o'clock. Several other were part of the conversation and I suggested he go to Home Cheapo and get the Monitoring stations and install them himself. Someone else jumped in a said they where very high priced. Next we talked about making your own because they are so simple. A length of 1.5 PCV pipe and a box of PVC 1.5 Caps a long with some Loblolly pine is all that is needed.

Cut the pipe 9 inch or so long and bury it in the ground about 8 inches deep every 5 to 10 feet around you home. Next insert a 3/4 X 3/4 by 6 inch block of Loblolly pine and put a cap on top to keep the water out but easy to remove. 4 times a year or every 3 month check each of these to see if you have any Termite activity. It should be easy to spot since termite will build Mud tunnels up the side of the wood before eating it. Loblolly Pine is in fact like candy to a kid for termites. If you have activity it doesn't mean Termite are in your house but close by. Treatment can be done using termite baits in the same 1.5 PVC pipes.

I hope this helps it took me long enough to type it one finger. If you have more question maybe some else will reply for I will be gone the rest of the evening.

Prolawnservice
06-11-2007, 09:39 PM
WOW, great post ric, I like the homemade bait station idea, man you could charge for advice like that. Maybe you should write a book. Thank you!
Why don't you like boric acid?

grasswhacker
06-11-2007, 09:48 PM
Ric, thanks! I have thought the the Senticon was a great way to monitor, and bait the stations to kill the colony, and have seen the kits at Lowes which do essentially the same thing, but much cheaper.
However, your homemade stations sound like a good idea as I have not had anything done for a while and need to see if any activity is close. No swarmers that I have seen either, inside or out, so that is good, and I do check regularly for any tubes in the crawl space.
Again thanks.

Ric
06-11-2007, 10:58 PM
WOW, great post ric, I like the homemade bait station idea, man you could charge for advice like that. Maybe you should write a book. Thank you!
Why don't you like boric acid?

Prolawnservice

Nothing wrong with Boric acid Just treating with Trimbor is more or less limited to new construction.


grasswhacker

Making your own monitoring stations is the easy part. Checking them faithfully every 3 months is the problem.

mikegbuff
06-12-2007, 11:58 AM
Ric,
Thanks for the great answer, your idea makes perfect sense to me to monitor/treat any activity around the perimeter of the home. According to my inspector and others I called, the problem is that my home was fully treated about 7 years ago when it was built. It was only spot treated when I had damage recently and that's when they said the whole home needed to be retreated due to the chemical is only effective for 5 years. The method of treatment they recommend - trench, drilling - is described in my first post. It sounds like from what you are saying, I should just monitor for termites with your method and treat them in the same area with your treatment method. That sounds great if it would work in my situation. Let me explain a little futher to be sure your method could take care of my problem.
Before when I had damage, there were no tubes on the brick on the outside of the home below the vinyl siding. I keep a close eye on this. The person who treated the home said they came up in behind the brick, between the slab and something else, so I didn't see tubes. Thus, their method of drilling holes in the cement holding the bricks together (about every 24 inches) and shooting chemical in there. They also said digging a trench and treating the entire perimeter of the home would keep termites from coming under the slab and up through any openings there. I assume this means you cannot do anything about any termites already under the slab?
Your method sounds great and I appreciate your input. I 100% respect what you are saying. My question is that the inspector seems to think the termites have gotten beyond the permeter of the very exterior of the home and past the brick below the vinyl siding. Should I be concerned about this? I am adamant every few months about checking all my baseboards and walls in the house and looking for tubes outside. As explained above, since there were no tubes outside the home, I only figured out I had termites after pressing on the baseboards and feeling that the wood was damaged. The inspector showed me live termites in the mulch around my home, so they are definitely there. I do not know exactly where you live but termites are really bad where I live. They say there are two kinds of houses in SC, "ones that have termites and ones that will get them." I did not have this issue in NC when I lived there, so I'm new to this. Again, I respect anyone's input or ideas and would love advice from you guys who have more knowledge and experience than I with termites. I'm just not sure if the threat is over-hyped here or if it's real. I have talked to at least 10 people and they all have termites bonds covering their homes and all say I should have one. But again, those are regular homeowners, and not industry-knowledgeable folks like you guys. I just want to be preventative, rather than reactive to damage like I was this last time.
Thanks so much.

Mike

Ric
06-12-2007, 12:31 PM
Mike

I actually have to do some work today so I will try and make this short. Yes gone are the days of Chlordane and 50 years half life residual for termites. And Chlorpyriflos (Dursban) is old chemistry that sometimes doesn't last a year. But the Newer bait system and neutrals instead of repellents have made Termite control easier. As stated before Slabs crack before the framing is complete and this allows Termites to get in the inside without passing the Perimeter barrier. However baits systems on your house can in fact control Termites in your neighbors house. The Queen may in fact be 100 ft from your house and the workers will carry the bait back to her. One of the problem with bait systems is previous treatments of Repellents that negate their effect.

BTW I am in Termite country here in Florida. There are several species here but it is the Formosan Termite that is heading my way that is the real problem. Google the Formosan Termite and see if it is in your area YET.

PS Product of my choice for Termites you can not legally buy. However I have seen it on E Bay.

mikegbuff
06-12-2007, 03:41 PM
Ric,
Thanks for your quick reply again.
So are you saying in your opinion, paying a company to treat it and paying for the bond yearly to insure it is a waste? That's really what I'm trying to decide on....if it's worth it to pay to have insurance on damage, which requires payment for the treatment.
Anyone else reading this, what is your opinion on have the safety of a bond vs. saving some $ upfront?

Mike

A.T.A.K
06-12-2007, 04:57 PM
I disagree with this post, you need to have termite insurance (notice I used insurance instead of bond). I am in Florida with Ric and I also have a full ticket in pest control. My company offers termite protection. It will take you longer to understand WDO's than lawn pests these insects will eat and destroy your biggest investment your home. You will pay astronomical prices for auto insurance but are hesitant to pay a professional to do it correctly I do not understand why this is even a question. You are asking for advice on how to treat your home for termites first you need to have a construction back ground to start. There are a lot of questions to be asked what type of slab do you have what is the exterior sheeting do you know the entire pipe and wire entries on the home. Second what species do you have in your area what is there pressure like this will determine the product to use the % and the treatment. Has anyone explained to you it can take a full day to treat it correctly even with an experienced tech. I do not want this to be a mistaken as one of those I know more than you type posts. We clean up after people all the time and depending on the amount of damage the homeowner did themselves the more I charge. When I get told, my buddy owns a landscape company and he told me I charge the crap out of them. Just remember one thing if your termite company screws up they pay for their mistake if you do well you get the point. You mentioned if you had a claim the termite company charge $150.00 deductible never heard of this shop around. I hope this was not to negative and help you understand not to try it on your own. PM me if you have any questions.

TLS
06-12-2007, 05:31 PM
I've always have been interested in termites. However, I suppose it's the "big secret" that pest companies adhere to that makes us leary of what exactly the scope of the work to be done is.

I feel you as an industry need to explain to the client WHAT it is your going to do. In the lawn application field....there are no smoke and mirrors. In pest control, it's seemingly kept quiet.

mikegbuff
06-12-2007, 05:52 PM
No, I do not take your comments personally, but I do not know how you can assume I pay astronomical prices for auto insurance or what that has to do with anything. You ask why I ask the question...that is because I do not know. I want to know from professionals like yourself. It's not that I'm hesitant to pay a professional, I'm just hesitant to pay for something I would enjoy doing and learning if it would not cost me in the long run and be just as effective. From your statement, it appears this is above my level. I am a 99% do it yourselfer but I always try to become educated before I start any task so that I do not get in over my head, that is why I came here to ask. I did not know that I need a construction background, etc so I came here to ask what I need to know. I was hoping to get several replies from seasoned pro's like yourself. Like you said, I just don't want to do any damage to my foundation, plumbing, or electrical. I bench press 300 and run marathons, so the physical part (trenching) or a long day of work isn't a problem, looks like just my lack of knowledge of the structure and termite qualities would be the issue. Your post tells me that this is over my head...exactly what I wanted to know. Thanks for taking the time to explain the cons of doing this myself. I don't know why that company charges a $150 deductible for any damage. They are the cheapest on treatment ($625) while I have gotten other quotes of $800 and $1200 with the same type of treatment. The company I'm looking at is also a little cheaper on the bond (insurance) - $125/year. So it looks like the deductible would be worth it since they are so much cheaper on the treatment and bond. The home is slab and 2,000 sq feet. I know can't give you all the details you were asking about the home structure, but does this sound like a reasonable price for the treatment and bond if you can determine from the info I have given?

Ric
06-12-2007, 06:27 PM
Tim

I tried to qualify my post by saying I am no longer licensed in termite and have not stayed current with Termite treatment. I will also admit you have an excellent reputation and have been very good about helping many people in the industry, Myself included. I would not have a bee suit etc if it weren't for you.

However I also feel I did MikegBuff some good In talking him out of treating with Surrender. I also was dealing with the question by the way it was asked. People who like to be "do it yourselves" are hard to talk into using professional help. Therefore I didn't try. I could have answered with a "Call a professional" in fact I could answer every home owner question that way. I will agree even an experienced Tech plays a guessing game with Termite treatment and Insurance is a good thing. I also feel the Monitoring station can be very effective and have used baiting very successfully. I took the Fumigation School in Ft Liquiordale and still came out knowing very little more about Dry Wood etc. There is a lot to learn about WDO that isn't even close to L & O.

Here in my area Termite work is a real scam and BEPC are for ever fining people here and statewide. I don't have to tell you about those fines because you get the same reports I do from the State. Pest Control can be a real scam and I am see a lot of Scams being run both on Termites and now White Foot Ants. I have been successful in controlling White Foot Ants with one maybe two treatments while others are selling year long contracts and never controlling them, only suppressing them. But I don't want to get started on the Scamers that hurt our industry so bad.

A.T.A.K
06-12-2007, 07:16 PM
Ric you did a nice post I thought. My company use both baits and liquid treatments and no less. Oh and good job on steering Mike away from Surrender I never liked Dursban thank god it is gone. As far as explaining or treatments we encourage or clients to watch techs are less likely to cut cornners this way. The process not treatment is explained fully even with videos so they know what to expect. I agree a lot of the industry is a joke these days with guys power spraying Termidor and calling it done. I don't want to sound harsh but with Lawns if you screw up a little sod will fix the mistake. I have seen termite claims in the millions would you risk it.This is why I came off a little gruff home owners can handle Lawn and home PC. Firstline showd us Home owner termite control is not a good idea. As far as people wanting to learn the field I have helpped several mow and blow guys get their license even termite so if you want to learn here is where they started so ask you will be suprised how many people will help if you ask nice.

Ric
06-12-2007, 07:47 PM
Ric you did a nice post I thought. My company use both baits and liquid treatments and no less. Oh and good job on steering Mike away from Surrender I never liked Dursban thank god it is gone. As far as explaining or treatments we encourage or clients to watch techs are less likely to cut cornners this way. The process not treatment is explained fully even with videos so they know what to expect. I agree a lot of the industry is a joke these days with guys power spraying Termidor and calling it done. I don't want to sound harsh but with Lawns if you screw up a little sod will fix the mistake. I have seen termite claims in the millions would you risk it.This is why I came off a little gruff home owners can handle Lawn and home PC. Firstline showd us Home owner termite control is not a good idea. As far as people wanting to learn the field I have helpped several mow and blow guys get their license even termite so if you want to learn here is where they started so ask you will be suprised how many people will help if you ask nice.


Tim

I have friend from right here on Lawnsite that is a lot more than a blow and go operator. He has been in the business for many years and self studied to be very sharp. I went to his home in the hopes of helping him out with business plans and ended up learning as much from him as he hopefully did from me. He was too far from me to work under my license. But I felt if anyone deserved a break he did. I ask and you agreed and he is now holding a card under your license because he is but a few miles from you. I talk on the phone with him more than you, but he tells me how much he is learning working for you part time and still running his own business. Hopefully you feel he is doing a good job for you and one day he can successfully pass the Test. I will not list his name as to not embassies him.

I thank you for helping Myself, My Friend and many others in this business. You are as you say a helpful person, and BTW all around good guy.

A.T.A.K
06-12-2007, 09:21 PM
Ric thanks for the kind words. He is doing just fine paying his dues at this point by winter he will be in the fun stuff not a whole lot to teach him. He is learning applications at this point. As far as helping people if I can see a more honest and compatent industry I will help day and night.

A.T.A.K
06-12-2007, 11:47 PM
TLS the pest industry has no big secrets trust me it is not brain surgery. If you ask most will tell you how and what to use. This is only one of many boards of this type. There are some pest boards as big as this one in which they are glad to help just Google them. Yes there are a lot of less desirable in the pest industry but are you going to tell me the lawn industry is completely trust worthy? The only difference is the class of employees we hire most LCO's bring down the industry by the employees you hire this is why most PCO's shy away from lawn operators. I don't mean to be derogatory by any means. I can only speak for what I have seen and consulted on. So when the pest control operators shy away or seem short with you this will be the reason. All PCO's have to be registered with the state (meaning they have to have a legal status and no felonies) In Florida there is only one english speaking man per crew for the most part so LCO's in Florida don't get much accolades. I will not go any further into this because this topic will go on for days. Thanks for the rant and I try not to offend anybody to much I just donít like to see my industry bashed on because it is misunderstood.

turfman33
06-13-2007, 06:19 PM
Good answer A.T.A.K......My 2 cents on the subject is and like I have said to you A.T.A.K, if you don't have a SOLID interest in the subject of not just the PEST (includes Weeds and Disease because thats part of our pest problem) Control but the Pest's themselves, (Life cycle, eating habits, how they grow etc) then you don't belong in the Industry.

A.T.A.K
06-14-2007, 09:23 AM
Thanks Turfman 33. There is another satisfied customer.

MarcSmith
06-14-2007, 10:14 AM
fwiw

I got a deal on my home in Florida to have sentricon installed. 1000 installed and monitored for one year, and then 300 a year after that to monitor and maintain. which included a damage warranty to he house once you get sentricon I was able to transfer the warranty to the new owner of the house and from what I understand that once you have sentricon, that you can not be denied future monitoring as long as your account remains in good standing. So if your termite guy were to leave, sentricon would make sure you get a monitoring service...but that was 10 years ago....

razor1
06-14-2007, 10:34 AM
What is the best termite bait?

Thanks for all the good info.

mikegbuff
06-14-2007, 11:31 AM
A.T.A.K. & Ric & others,
Two questions...
Would you discourage putting mulch in flower beds around the house? I'm not sure if this is a stupid question or one that could be hard to answer. Obviously I know the termites that are there (if any) would like to eat it, but could this actually attract termites that are not already there? Again, I do not know the habits and lifestyles of termites, only that they eat wood. I do not put it very thick against the house base (1" at foundation, just enough to cover the ground) and it is only against the bricks, no where close up to the vinyl siding. About 3" thick in areas not right against the house.
Also, are you saying the consensus is to use bait stations along with treating the slab home foundation? The company I talked to about doing mine offers the bait stations for an additional charge to install and an additional quarterly monitoring charge.
Thanks,
Mike

Ric
06-14-2007, 02:31 PM
Mikegbuff

IMHO Plants cause no problems with Termites because they eat Dead wood not live. Mulch is too fine and doesn't offer a food source either. However Mulch and plants can cause problems with other insects and even rodents. Unkept overgrown plants offer real nice hiding places for these creature and every where they touch the house they cause a bridge to home entry by these pests. The over grown plants also inhibit pesticide treatment like heavy thatch holds the chemicals from the soil. Even well maintained plant beds will share some of these problems.

BTW Dead roots from large trees in the form of stumps can draw Termites and Carpenter Ants. But once again a well maintained yard shouldn't have these items. One problem is builders who bury this stuff at construction to save a dump fee.

A.T.A.K
06-14-2007, 03:59 PM
I will try to give a little insight without going into too much detail. Sentricon is a good termite bait the first real one to hit the market (which worked well enough as a standalone treatment). I prefer Advance termite bait myself but I offer several of them out there and will never specify which one is used in a agreement because there will always be a better one to come as a matter a fact my agreement does not even specify liquid or bait as I use both. Termites and mulch it does not matter if mulch or rock is used. Termites use thermal shadows to locate food and UF found more termite activity in rock beds than mulch. As far as DOW finding another company to monitor your system good luck would you honor somebody else work you will pay another install fee. Marc that is a good price on the treatment and inspection fees. Ric is 100% right about the maintance of your yard. Right now the only termites which will attack live plant material are Coptotermes Formosanus and Nasutitermes (there are a couple of subspecies for the Coptotermes Formosanus. Mike I have mulch and rock in my beds do not worry about what you put down as bed dressing as it does not matter if you have termites you have them.

TLS
06-14-2007, 09:58 PM
Thanks ATAK. You explained a lot and enlightened me. I guess I always found it to be some big secret (killing termites), that only those "in the know"....know.

It is a bit different than LCO's though, as just about any homeowner can become quite good at taking care of their lawn.

A.T.A.K
06-14-2007, 11:05 PM
You are welcome any time you have a question I will be glad to help. I want our industry to be thought of as a trade instead of the bug as we are so affectionately called.