How to find termites?


If your house looks perfect from the outside how do you know if it doesn't have termites feasting on the inside? What other methods to use to locate termites other than poking around with a screwdriver and visual inspection? Would a maintenance contract with a pest company be advisable regardless if there are termites or not or would DIY method be sufficient?
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Don't they have companies that use animals to literally 'sniff' them out?
Fred wrote:

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I've seen it on TV but don't think we have a local company with termite finding dogs. Dogs could also detect people with illnesses like cancer.
"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net" <"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net"> wrote in message

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I've read that some dogs are trained to even detect when someone is going to have an epileptic seizure .. giving the person enough warning time to lay down or stop working with any equipment or whatever.
Pretty cool animals, aren't they?
Jack
Fred wrote:

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I've read about that. Even without a dog, it is often possible to tell if a person is going into a seizure a minute or two before they actually seize. They just don't teach the trick in med school.
Michael "mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net" <"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net"> wrote in message

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Sick people has a certain smell, SWMBO could detect it some of the time. This maybe typical of people, females in particular, with heighten sense of smell. Now if she could only detect termites!
I understand you could hear termites too as they crunch into the wood - noisy eaters.

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Fred,
Wrong group, try alt.home.repair

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I would not poke around with a screwdriver. Look for mud tunnels leading from the ground to the structure. Subterranean termites cannot live in daylight so they build mud tunnels to travel in. In particular look in areas that have water. Look under sinks and bath tub clean out areas. If you see any black specks in your sheet rock and the paint is loose that could be an indicator. Termites will eat the paper between the chalk and the paint. Actually Orkin will give you a free inspection but I strongly suggest you shop the competition if you are infested. Pricing differs widely depending on the company, time of day, wind chill factor ;~) and several other reasons to stick it to you. You do not want this to be a DIY job if you are infested.
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inspection?
if
Termites live in dirt, not wood. Look for mud tunnels running up foundation walls and footings. They hate light, and will build tunnels to protect them on their trip from the nest (underground) to the wood (your house). If your house is on a slab, you can try digging some test holes around the foundation at various locations.
In my experience, many pest control companies are out to sell you protection you may not need. A good professional home inspector knows what to look for.
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Termite traps, same as the pros. If they're there, get a pro. He can use stuff you can't buy.
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Fred wrote:

Place a landscape timber on the ground. Unless that timber is treated to 1.0 retention rate or higher, termites will eat it. That's how you find termites around here. Most poison resistant bugs I've everheard of.
If you've got termites, a maintenance contract, after full treatment (which is the only way you'll get a long term contract)is cheap insurance. I think mine costs $65 per year. It's a deal for the bug boy too, as in the past 18 years, they've had to re-treat exactly once, and that only partially.
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IF you live in an area with fire ants, you don't have termites. Carpenter ants are another story tho.
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Geez where did you hear that????? I can assure Houston TX has termites and fire ants.
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Not true, at least not here in North FL, we have both fireants AND termites
John
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My area must be the equal opportunity of them all. I have termites, fire ants AND carpenter ants. South Louisiana, home of all the bugs. Perry

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Carpenter
I live in socal and recently layed down a couple of termite infested boards alongside the tablesaw (the saw on rollers, outside) when it came time to cleanup, I noticed there was a huge train of argentine ants making their way through the holes in the lumber cut by the termites. They were dragging them out whole. Almost made me happy to see one pest wiping out the other. Now if I can train them to go to the fence alongside my house and get the termites there..... Pat
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On Thu, 8 Sep 2005 08:35:16 -0700, "patrick mitchel"

I have seen that done. the first step is to open up the termite tunnels in the board so the ants can get in. then stuff some ants in there.
my theory is that the termite poop left packed in the tunnel is part of the termite defense against ants. not sure if it's just a physical barrier or if there is some version of chemical warfare going on as well.
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As in any colony, there are the virile males who procreate like crazy. They're the studs of the tribe. Therefore, a Zircon stud finder might work? . . . . . . . . . then again..maybe not.
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