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.
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
If she is in a thrid floor condo then she should be contacting her
building management. The problem could be more widespread that she
They might be on the third floor because they ate everything on the first
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.
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.
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 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...
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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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