Termites


Hi, Termites have been found in my friend's third floor place. She wants to use something that is non-toxic. Any recommendations? And, what type of termites would be on a third floor? I thought they were only on ground floor.
Thanks in advance.
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By definition it's got to be toxic. There are various less toxic pesticides but most of them must contact the pest to be effective. With termites you need something with residual effect as well. I suggest phantom.
If she is in a thrid floor condo then she should be contacting her building management. The problem could be more widespread that she realizes.
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How are you sure its termites, they dont come out in the open they stay hidden, is it a condo or rental, and what about the first and second floors,
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On 7/8/2010 12:36 AM, DebbieOney wrote:

I've heard of drywood termites that could infest attics. Think they are more of a Southern bug. Think they have to fumigate the whole structure to get rid of them.
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DebbieOney wrote:

They might be on the third floor because they ate everything on the first and second.
Termicides are (usually) used outside so toxicity is almost irrelevant. Further, what's toxic to termites is harmless to humans.
What she wants is Termidor (or similar). Application is done by digging a 6" trench around the foundation and pouring in the material. You can treat her house for about $300-$500.
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HeyBub wrote:

Trenches work for subterranean termites, AFAIK. Around my area in Florida, dry-wood termites predominate and tenting is the most common (only?) treatment used, although there are plenty of signs of sub's around, too. Last I heard, baits worked for subterranean only. Tenting uses very toxic stuff, and the blue tarps are all over the place this time of year.
A careful inspection by the homeowner can reveal as much as the typical pro inspection, but one has to know what to look for - hollow sounding wood around doors and windows, tiny holes that might have dark granular stuff spilled out, shed wings around any kind of entry point (wiring and plumbing openings, gaps in siding, foundation wood close to the soil, blistered appearance of painted walls or wood, esp. around doors and windows. Termites can eat the paper coating of wallboard without penetrating the painted surface. When wood is attacked, bare wood sometimes had a slightly more rippled appearance than intact wood, and poking around with an awl will open up termite tunnels. I'd get at least two inspections by reputable contractors, Also can sometimes get ID and best treatment method from local extension service - the better ones have data on predominant strains of termies.
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OP, pay attention to this post, it is accurate.
snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

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"DebbieOney" wrote

Hi back!

How were they identified as termites? There can be alot of confusion on that.

There isn't anything non-toxic for termites. You place the toxic items where humans and pets can't reach. You may have to evacuate and tent the place.

Not all termites are sub terrain sorts (ground termites). Though that's about all we have in *my* area, that is not true of all parts of the world or even the USA.
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We contacted a local firm (ELHRICH) years ago and they did a barrier job, 1 foot increments around the exterior and interior, drilled holes and infused a chemical termites would not go through...thus the name BARRIER. 15 years later they were back, same company had a new method on controlling termites. Termites need to shed to live, a substance is now available to stop the shedding process and thus killing the termites. On the outside of a home holes are drilled for tubes to be inserted, inside of these tubes are pieces of wood termites enjoy eating. This attracts termites and when activity is detected this wood is removed and a substance that termites eat but will keep the from shedding is applied, termites eat this and keep coming back to get more and tell all of their buddies...in time the entire colony has been destroyed because of their in ability to shed,,,if termites are killed this will not eliminate a colony, only keep them from coming back to eat... I am happy with this and keep it up to date...

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jimmy wrote:

Barrier treatments are to keep out and/or kill subterranean termites. They are typically used, at least in Florida, for new construction. There has been a lot written about failure of barriers either by improper mixing of insecticide or because the barrier did not remain intact.
Dry-wood and damp-wood termites live in wood mainly, rather than in the ground...different bugs, different methods of removing them. Termites essentially live everywhere, but there are imported varieties, like Formosan, that are newer and more destructive. Termite control is not for amateurs.
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Thanks everyone for your responses. I've read about using boric acid to kill termites. Anyone have any experience with this? What are the safety issues?
Thanks in advance.
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DebbieOney wrote:

There are no safety "issues" with Boric acid.
There are no safety issues with ANY insecticide when used as directed.
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DebbieOney wrote:

There are no safety issues. Boric acid mixed with flour or sugar is good for roaches, ants and similar. Forget it for termites.
In fact, forget EVERYTHING for termites other than calling a pro and having them do the job right. As an alternative, you could just leave them alone and let them reduce all the wood in your house to a papery shell.
--

dadiOH
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dadiOH wrote:

I agree 100%. Termites do not emerge to daylight, so getting them in contact with boric acid would require some magic....termite treatment and fighting fires are best left to professionals.
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On Sat, 10 Jul 2010 08:59:54 -0400, " snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net"

Boric acid doesn't work on termites because they don't eat it. They eat wood.
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I agree with the others about getting a pro involved. Termites can do a lot of damage. If you are really insistent on using some not toxic solution another one is diatomaceous earth. The issue is getting any of these to termites. They feed on the wood inside your walls so they do not wander around and pick up these things.
If you are on the 3rd floor then I'm guessing you are in a condo? You really need to contact your condo association if you have termites. The cost of extermination may even be covered by them. Plus they need to know so they can check the rest of the building. If you have found some the odds are good that they are elsewhere in the building as well.
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I made a topic a few weeks back about termites. First thing you need to do is find out what kind of termites you have.
http://www.livingwithbugs.com/drywood_termite.html
Found this with a quick google search. There is a map picture on the page that will give you a rough idea of what type of termites you could have.
http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef604.asp
Here is another page with info about subterranean termites and what their mud tubes look like.
If you have subterranean termites on a 3rd floor they could have caused structural damage eating their way up there or they may have done very little damage at all. They nest outside under the ground and find their way into your home by building mud tubes. Check around the foundation and in the basement if there is one. Use a flat screw driving for tapping on wood and baseboards to see if it is hollow. Often they will leave just a small part of wood intact on the surface making it look like no damage is done. Give it a poke with the screw driver and see if it goes through. If you have a unfinished basement look that over and I'm guessing you will also find damage in floor joists, etc.
You will need a pro. Termidor is the best for subterranean termites and should completely get rid of the problem. It bonds with the dirt around your foundation and fwir is not toxic unless your planting stuff in it.
Don't know much about dry wood termites because I had subterranean.
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Spork wrote:

Some good info on U of Florida website, including choices of treatment:
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ig098 http://www.flaes.org/pdf/pub3e.pdf
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BLUNT AND TO THE POINT no other way except to eliminate the colony...clear and not simple, this must be done

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