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Termite Damage

 

Termite infestations can be a nightmare. There are over 40 species of termites in the United States. Termites do more property damage in the United States than fire, flood, and hurricanes combined. If allowed to continue, a termite infestation can destroy your home within a few years, or at the very least, cause damage that is very expensive to repair. Termite damage is usually not covered by home insurance policies (check yours). Fortunately, there is a very inexpensive do-it-yourself treatment for prevention of termite infestations, and the side-effect is that this treatment will also eliminate other pests such as ants, spiders, and cockroaches as well. If you've landed on this page, you are very fortunate because we have done all the research for you. If you want to save hundreds of dollars on termite treatment, the products at the bottom of this page will cost you much less than $100, you can apply them yourself, and the treatment will protect your home for years.

Termidor SC Termiticide or Taurus SC is more effective than Premise 2 because while Premise 2 acts immediately, and kills on contact, Termidor  and Taurus SC does not kill immediately, which gives those that have been in contact with the pesticide time to get back to the nest and poison the rest of the colony. Termidor and Taurus SC are undetectable so termites neither avoid the treatment zone nor do they try to find a way around it.

At first thought, a termite REPELLANT may seem like a good idea. A repellant is a chemical formula that the targeted bugs try to AVOID. If you treat the perimeter of your house with a termite REPELLANT, what will happen is that termites that are INSIDE the house will try NOT to cross the barrier, and will essentially be trapped inside the house. In addition, since they will seek ways AROUND the repellant barrier, it may drive them to other areas of the house that were previously free of termites. Termidor and Taurus SC are NOT repellants; they are a poison that is undetectable to the termites, and so they will be free to cross the treated areas and be poisoned, but their days ‒ and the days of all the other termites they come in contact with ‒ are surely numbered.

Termites are "social" critters (but don't look for a termite Facebook page ☺); A termite colony can number in the millions. It is estimated that for every human being on Earth, there are over 1,000 pounds of termites. That means there are 8,000,000,000,000 pounds of termites, or approximately ten times the bio-mass of human beings. Termite farts are also a major contributor of greenhouse gas ‒ 150 million tons of methane a year! That's a lot of "silent-but-deadlies", folks! Termites work 24 hours a day and never sleep. They're a bit less active in the colder months, but they do NOT hibernate; inside your heated home, you can bet that there won't be much slowing-down of their activities.

These critters groom each other and crawl over each other and feed each other the regurgitated wood that used to be part of your house. When they do that, and the wood and / or the surrounding ground has been treated with Termidor or Taurus SC, their death warrant is signed, sealed, and delivered, and it's only a matter of time before they're all dead and their rotting little carcasses are food for your petunias.

Unlike Premise 2, Termidor and Taurus SC do not cause termites to behave like they're poisoned. It has been proven that healthy termites will avoid contact with those that act strangely. Since the means by which Termidor and Taurus SC (or any termite poison) is spread into the colony is by contact with the termites that have crossed the pesticide barrier, or have actually ingested the termiticide, if those that have been poisoned act normally, they will bring the pesticide into the nest and the entire colony will die.

The  information found on the Termidor Web site is inaccurate. They say that this treatment is not available to the public. Well, that statement is partially true; as you cannot go into a hardware store and get this product off-the-shelf (I tried), however, it is available here ‒ either click a link or scroll down to the bottom of this page. A 20 ounce bottle is more than enough to treat the average home. Field tests by the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service showed no signs of termite damage in concrete slab field test plots treated with Termidor for more than 15 years after treatment. Since Taurus SC contains the same active ingredient (9.1 % Fipronil) in the same concentration as Termidor, it's six of one and half-a-dozen of the other which brand you use.

CHECK THESE AREAS BY POKING THE WOOD SHARPLY WITH A SCREWDRIVER:

  • All wood that is on the foundation of your house (in basement or crawl space).

  • Wood on the bottom of entry door frames (particularly next to wooden decks or concrete steps)

  • Any door frame in which the doors are sagging, or where hinges have come loose.

  • Wooden decks - particularly where the wood is up against the house.

  • Any wood immediately below or surrounding drain pipes or faucets.

  • Any wood around pipes that are "sweating" such as cold water pipes (inspect on a hot, humid day).


INSPECT FOR:

  • Look for termite tubes. These can be almost any color (see photo below), and look like somebody spilled a drop of glue or paint. If you see any, destroy them and spray the area with Termidor or Taurus SC solution.

Termites need moisture. A few drops from a leaky or sweating pipe, or slight seepage of rainwater through a foundation wall is all it takes to provide a perfect environment for termites to live.

 

Damage to wood at foundation caused by termites

Termites will usually not eat wood which supports lots of weight. This is why their preferred meals come from wood piles in the back yard, and door frames. However, when the infestation gets worse, termites will eat your whole house if you let them. The photos below show residual damage  that had to be fixed from a past infestation that was caught in time and eradicated.

A structural 2x4 cut and pried open after termite damage has been discovered by poking the wood sharply with a screwdriver.

Close-up of 2x4 broken away to show internal damage caused by burrowing termites.

Close-up of the damage - you can see that this piece of wood was almost completely hollowed out by the termites.

If a termite infestation is allowed to continue, they can get into the walls, and can even get into your furniture. If they start eating the floor joists, you won't know it until you move the piano to install a carpet, or the refrigerator to dust under it ‒ and they end up crashing through the floor. This happens in the worst-case scenario, because termites will not eat wood that is under pressure because when they tunnel through the wood, the weight could crush the wood and kill them (they ain't stupid).

Front edge of a 2 x 4 that was hollowed out by termites.

This is the front edge of the 2x4 which was broken off easily with a screwdriver. You can see that the damage to this structural support member was extensive; the insects hollowed-out this piece of wood until it was no stronger than a cardboard pizza box.

These holes in a main joist were made by other wood-burrowing insects, probably carpenter ants or bees. The termites and other insect infestation was long gone, but the damage remained. In this photo, you can see a termite tube (yellow arrow). If you see any termite tubes on the beams in your basement (usually near the foundation walls), you should call a professional immediately.

  Termidor or  Taurus SC are by far, the best termite treatments available. The active ingredient Fipronil is found in the same concentration in both products, and has proven to be 100% effective in eliminating termites when applied according to directions. One 20 Oz. bottle is more than enough to treat the average home. Use the foam application where termites have infested inside walls or door jambs.
  These products are effective against: Termites (all species), Ants (Acrobat, Argentine, Pharaoh, Crazy, Big-Headed, Carpenter,  Odorous, Pavement, and Thief), Asian lady beetles, Darkling beetles, Cockroaches (Australian, Oriental, Smoky Brown), Black widow spiders, Brown recluse spiders, Centipedes, Cellar and Hobo spiders, Box-elder bugs, Stink bugs, Pill bugs,  House Crickets, Brown and dog ticks,  Cluster Flies, European Earwigs, Millipedes, Paper Wasps, Silverfish, Yellow Jackets.

 

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All photography, illustrations and content on this Web site is Copyright 2014 by David Todeschini and Net4TruthUSA ‒ all rights reserved.

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Last modified: 05/29/15

 

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