Will I have a termite problem ?

I had an exterminator in for a carpenter ant problem (a yearly event). Next to an attached garage, I had some pieces of pressure treated wood sitting on some 2X4's to keep the pt off the ground. The exterminator lifted one of the 2X4's and found termites in the wood and tunnels under the 2X4. This is about 1.5 to 2 feet from the cement foundation. The ab ove ground foundation is about 2 feet high. He told me that I should have the house treated, otherwise the termites will attack the house. Now, I live in a wooded area, lots of decopmposing wood around, I see termites all the time. Although I don't think I've seen them this close before. I've never had a termite problem. My question is, is it likely that the termites will attack the house? How close do they have to be before you worry?
Thanks,
George
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On 4-Sep-2004, snipped-for-privacy@adelphia.net (George Pagliarulo) wrote:

Termites live in soil and wood. They can't travel very far out of that environment and around here, 18" of concrete/brick/etc between soil and any wood in a structure is considered adequate. With 2', you should be ok. However - make sure that the 2' is consistent and unbroken. Make sure that there are no berms or piles of wood that are against the house. Be very diligent about not leaving wood against the house. Double check any wood decks and porches that attach to the house.
If there are exposed wood joists or sill plates inside your basement, your can check to see if termites get in. Any significant infestation will result in the wood being really poor - you can drive a screwdriver into the wood easily.
You can get a professional to check it for you, but if you don't have a problem now, I doubt with 2' you'll need treatment. Others' opinions may differ.
Mike
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George Pagliarulo wrote:

Carpenter ants should set off alarms.....treating them is less important than finding the reason for an infestation. Yikes! Do they keep recurring in the same part of the house? Have you found and sealed entry points? Got a rotten tree touching the house? We had carpenter ant infestations around our condo when we bought it, and the only places infested were damp/rotted wood.
Carp ants like to inhabit old termite burrows, but that doesn't mean you have termites. It would be rare, at least here in Florida, to leave wood in contact with the ground and NOT have termites in it. They are nature's disposal service.
You state/county extension service is a good source for information about preventing or finding pest problems. Primary would be to carefully inspect the inside and outside of your foundation for mud tubes. You don't need to worry if they are "close", because they are always close. If you have openings where carpenter ants enter from nests outside the house, then you have entry points for swarmers, too.
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On 4 Sep 2004 10:14:04 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@adelphia.net (George Pagliarulo) wrote:
:) I had an exterminator in for a carpenter ant problem (a yearly event). :) Next to an attached garage, I had some pieces of pressure treated :) wood sitting on some 2X4's to keep the pt off the ground. The :) exterminator lifted one of the 2X4's and found termites in the wood :) and tunnels under the 2X4. This is about 1.5 to 2 feet from the :) cement foundation. The ab ove ground foundation is about 2 feet high. :) He told me that I should have the house treated, otherwise the :) termites will attack the house. Now, I live in a wooded area, lots :) of decopmposing wood around, I see termites all the time. Although I :) don't think I've seen them this close before. I've never had a :) termite problem. My question is, is it likely that the termites will :) attack the house? How close do they have to be before you worry?
Impossible to say, I have seen 20+ year old homes supposedly never treated and never a termite discovered and next door to them termites have been found multiple times in the structure. A common thought is a home without a sprinkler system will probably have termites show up 7-11 years and a home with a sprinkler system 4-7 years. If your home is on a slab, the bath trap area is a common place for them to be found, but this location is never opened up until a treatment is done from finding termites in other parts of a home. I would guess over 80% of the homes I treat will also have activity in the bath trap area when I open up the wall, usually they being there long before termites were discovered in other parts of the home. How much cellulose around the home will not determine where they will feed. It is not a nest just feeding on the wood they were found in, the same colony will also be feeding in over a dozen other places possibly over 100 feet away from where you saw them. There are products out there that companies can use as a minimum treatment and still protect your home and usually saving you a bit of money over to having to totally treat the area of concern when you know you have termites.
Curious also on why you have to be treated yearly for carpenter ants..is it preventative or actual nests being found on the home.
Lar. (to e-mail, get rid of the BUGS!!
It is said that the early bird gets the worm, but it is the second mouse that gets the cheese.
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I live in the Northeast in a wooded are with lots of decaying wood. Like the termites, carpenter ants are everywhere. I did have a living tree next to the house that was infested with ants. The bottom of the tree was eaten out and I didn't see any activity so I figured it was inactive. When I took the tree down though, the solid part 6 ft up and higher was infested. Got rid of those, treated the house and figured I was ok. Then found a stump on the other side of the house that was infested. Got rid of that last fall and thought I'd be ok this year but started seeing ants again this summer and treated the house again. Hopefully with those two sources gone I'll be ok next year. I'll probably still have a preventative treatment done in the spring.
(George

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On 5 Sep 2004 08:51:16 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@adelphia.net (George Pagliarulo) wrote:
:) I live in the Northeast in a wooded are with lots of decaying wood. :) Like the termites, carpenter ants are everywhere. I did have a living :) tree next to the house that was infested with ants. The bottom of the :) tree was eaten out and I didn't see any activity so I figured it was :) inactive. When I took the tree down though, the solid part 6 ft up :) and higher was infested. Got rid of those, treated the house and :) figured I was ok. Then found a stump on the other side of the house :) that was infested. Got rid of that last fall and thought I'd be ok :) this year but started seeing ants again this summer and treated the :) house again. Hopefully with those two sources gone I'll be ok next :) year. I'll probably still have a preventative :) treatment done in the spring.
Every large tree around the country will have carpenter ants living in the trees, and they forage well over a 100 feet from the nest so I am more surprised if I don't find Carpenter Ants near a home. They are actually beneficial to the trees. They don't cause the damage areas in the trees but just take advantage of them to live, while cleaning out rotten wood from moisture problems and feeding on many insects that live on the trees . Unless you live in New York you can have an ant treatment done with a product called termidor around the foundation that will pretty much stop all type of ants that may become problems in and on the house.
Lar. (to e-mail, get rid of the BUGS!!
It is said that the early bird gets the worm, but it is the second mouse that gets the cheese.
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If you can keep the wooden parts of your house dry and fungus-free, the chances are good that the carpenter ants will leave it alone, anyway. In addition to that, a wood-preservative/pesticide like boracare ought to provide fairly persistant protection, and isn't any more toxic to humans and pets than you'd expect. (By which I mean, don't use it on food-prep surfaces, and if you burn something treated with it, stay out of the smoke, and don't use the ashes in your garden..)
--Goedjn.
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