Checking for Termites


I was vacuuming behind a sofa when I noticed chipping paint on the window sill apron. I put the vacuum hose up to it and to remove the loose paint and it revealed a tunnel in the wood about 3/16" wide - pretty much termite sized. I have to explore further. I did inspect in the craw space and saw nothing.
What are good methodes to self check for an infestation or past damage? I was hit with a large bill and I'm not quite ready to afford the pros now.
Are there any good treatments available the homeowner can use?
John
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JohnR66 wrote:

None I know of. Drywood termites are generally destroyed via tenting the house and gassing. Subterranean ones - the most destructive - by injection into slab/ground of special chemicals.
A tunnel 3/16 seems rather large for termites; additionally, I think it unlikely that there would be only one as they'll riddle wood rather quickly. Drywood termites live within the wood and create multiple "tunnels".
For drywood termites, look for droppings...they look like little piles of dark brown, fine sawdust. For subterranean ones, walk around your house and look for mud tunnels coming up from the ground and attached to the house. The subterranean termites live in the ground and use the tunnels to go to and fro from the food source (wood in house) if there is no wood directly in ground contact.
--

dadiOH
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3/16" sounds more like a carpenter ant tunnel. http://www.doyourownpestcontrol.com/carp.htm
R
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JohnR66 wrote:

termites......blistered-looking surface of wallboard and trim around openings. If you tap on the wood, you can often hear a hollower sound over the infested areas. Wallboard can be blistered from termies eating the paper coating under the paint. Termites avoid sunlight, but if you pick away some of the damaged wood you can probably see some before they retreat. Other signs are shed wings around openings and baseboards.
Some county or state extension services have lots of material online to help ID problems, give info about detection and prevention. They also would be likely to know which species are predominant in your area and have info as to the current and most effective treatment. Ours has an entomologist who can ID the species if samples are brought in.
You should also examine foundations and crawlspaces (inside and out) for mud tubes, which are signs of subterranean termites. Homeowners can be just as skilled as pro's at doing inspections, but get a couple of reputable companies to do insp. Check exterior for gaps (around pipes, doors, windows), for damaged wood, roof/fascia leaks, inside plumbing access, etc. Termites don't eat paint, so sound exterior helps keep them out. Keep landscaping off wood exterior. Ground to wood should be at least six inches.
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Depends on where you live and which termites.

Plenty. Termites are easy to kill, if you reach them. It's more important to know how to use what is available. Talstar One is available many places online, but IME eBay is the cheapest place (for a HO) to get it. -----
- gpsman
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I went to various sites featuring Talstar One, but the list of insects controlled does not include termites. ????
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