Need termite advice - found mud tubes don't see active termites in them

I'm in central Florida and have a stucco over frame house, monolithic slab, drywall interior walls. I saw some swarms of carpenter ants around a bedroom window a while back. Pulling away the drywall, I found carpenter ant damage as well as what to me look like some non-active termite mud tubes running up either side of one of the 2x4's.
Since then I've knocked away some of the stucco along one outside wall at a different location (the garage) at ground level exposing the edge of the slab and found a few mud tubes, then looked inside the wall with a boroscope. I found more mube tubes along a couple of the 2x4's running along the point where they contact the presswood under the stucco.
I knocked away some of the drywall to get a closer look. I have no idea how old these mud tubes are, some extend higher than the area where I've opened the drywall, some just stop. The 2x4's I've checked so far seem solid when jabbing at them with a screwdriver. I don't see any of the classic "swiss cheese" bored into look that I've seen on some damaged wood. If the termites have done significant damage to the 2x4's, should it be obviously detectable from the outside? How do they operate, do they munch as they go or do they build a tube to a particular destination? As I check other walls with the boroscope, if I don't see mud tubes along the 2x4's can I assume they haven't gotten in at those points? I also plan to look up in the attic (or what passes for one here in Florida) to see what I can see there.
A local do-it-yourself pest control place told me that if you do a trench and fill termite treatment around the perimeter of the house, cutting the termites inside the house off from the outside, any termites inside will die out. Does this sound correct?
Thanks for all input.
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In article <f0c1bc20.0310270727.12ff8fc6
:) A local do-it-yourself pest control place told me that if you do a :) trench and fill termite treatment around the perimeter of the house, :) cutting the termites inside the house off from the outside, any :) termites inside will die out. Does this sound correct? :) :) You should be finding termites when you are disturbing the mud. The home may of been treated in the past and carpenter ants have moved into the already damaged wood created by the termite. You should have noticeable patches on the concrete porch or patio, visible marks inside near plumbing, maybe a hole cut into the cabinet under the sinks, a possible hole cut into the sheetrock on the opposite side of the downstairs tubs. The termites feeding on the structure may be on the inside of the wood, feeding on the spring growth, but they will leave a definite mud behind where they have fed. What the shop will sell you will keep termites out of the area where it is put. Basically when you place it around the foundation of the house it will stop tubes from coming up the foundation. In a monolithic slab, the other areas of entry is where the plumbing penetrates the slab, the hole on the slab for the bath trap, and any settling cracks in the slab that penetrate the slab. By treating only the foundation area you will push termites to the more hidden areas. The only product that can protect your home by a foundation only treatment is called Termidor, but it will have to be applied by a professional.
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Doc wrote:

Carpenter ants often move into termite excavations. CA and some termites like damaged or damp wood.

Any chance the house was treated in the past and you weren't advised? Possible the tubes are old and inactive. If you scrape some away and they don't form again, safe to say that tube isn't active.

No. They can eat up a 2x4 and leave a paper-thin layer of wood intact. You should be able to poke around and dig into damaged sections. The thin surface over their borings does usually take on a different appearance, but it goes with the grain, so can be hard to spot. Does your stucco stop well above grade - like at least 6"? It should.
We found a few mud tubes that entered damp wood outside in our atrium. Found the tubes long after we found the damage. A sprinkler head had been hitting the wood panel partition for 10 or 20 years, and had blasted a hole in it. Wood was full of carpenter ants. When I helped hubby with repairs, we found the remains of a section of 1x10 with only the coat of paint intact. About 1' of the board was missing, and the paint was in great shape :o) Sections of at least three 2x4 structural members were missing, along with part of the upright exterior paneling and part of the base trim board. Folks in our condo don't worry about much :o) Mommy and daddy will buy them another if this one falls down :o)
The U of Fla has great info on their website, here: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu / They originated one of the baits for sub-t. termites. I see we have a brand new variety, called a "tree termite", around Dania. That should make life interesting. Formosan have also shown up in Florida, but I don't remember where.

If there is a nest under the house, it won't stop them :o) Who am I to say? :o) Check inside your plumbing access panels - they are a prime location for entry around holes in slabs and into damp wood. I believe, but don't know, that when subterraneans swarm they can enter around an opening above ground - uncaulked window or door, wood in attic - and start building tubes down. If there are signs of leaks in the attic, I would look carefully there. Get a couple of good, guaranteed, licensed, bonded, insured :o) pest control people to take a look. Then educate yourself and make an informed choice.

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I would say that should you pass on your house to a new buyer you can just about forget about saying "Termites, never seen them!". So you might just as well hire a professional to treat the house. The most effective treatment these days is to apply "Termidor" or some other "baiting" type of chemical in the ground around your foundation drilling through sidewalks and driveways outside. Our treatment took less than two hours for two people to perform, used about $150 worth of chemical, and cost us a total of $1127.
Note I bought some of the same active ingredient yesterday at a pet store to rub into the back of my cat's neck.

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Never heard of a cat with termites!
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yes that right, but what if they get up to the attic and get water from the moisture that comes off the a/c unit.. then you never get to them... better call out a licensed termite man to take care of the problem... it will cost you more in the long run.. and just because you get a lic. termite man does not mean the problem will go away.. i had one flood the exterior of a gargage i built in the back yard.. termites came back.. and back and back.. he came out each time and did the flooding, but it was not doing any good... i then went to home depot when you could still buy dursban there and sprayed it and they never came back. that was about 10 yrs. now.. i know that dursban does not last for ever either so i give it another spray ever other year for good luck and so far no more termited.....
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