I replied an attached a pic but it did not show up. Hmm...could be posts
with images are automatically rejected...oh well.
In any case, I have confirmed by comparing the bug I have with pictures on
the internet that it is indeed a termite. A drywood termite.
Now I would like to locate where the termites are.
Location: Miami. Single story house, CBS construction, has an attic, 8"
monolithic reinforced concrete slab.
Location of the closet where this is found: interior closet, tiled floor, on
the opposite end of the closet on the other side of the wall is the AC unit
with ducts that leads up to the attic. This closet has an overhead hatch to
the attic as well.
I have screwed wood railings around the perimeters of this closet at
different levels, and then placed wood shelves on them. I also have taken
apart a four poster bed, with the 4 posts, the railings, the head and foot
boards, the slats all standing up and leaning against the corner of this
closet. It is at the bottom of these posts I found the fecal pellets of
these termites. I also saw the same pellets deposited on the posts.
On the wood shelves I have several boxes of books. toys, documents, and
other stuff. Near the bed posts I have a stack of these cedar wood discs
which I use on hangers to keep bugs away. I saw some tiny holes on these
discs, and that's where I was able to isolate the disc in a zip lock bag and
after an hour or so the termite crawled out and I took a picture.
I took out the bed post and slats and wiped them down with a moist cloth. I
examined them and one of them I saw a series of holes. Using a needle pin I
inserted it into the hole, I twisted the needle inside and it had room
inside. Is this where the termite is? or have been? I took that bed post,
spray some bug spray at those holes. Then I wrap the entire post inside
plastic tarp and taped it tightly to the point I think it is air tight. It
has been a day and a half, I do not see any termite crawled out dying.
I also cleaned out all the junk on these shelves, as I did that I was
looking out for more pellets and termites. On some of the boxes I had
books, I removed the cardboard box lid, and on one of them I saw a termite
on the inside of the lid. I killed it. But I did not see anymore termites.
Do they eat books too? Books are pulps that came from wood, so could these
books have termites? I have not flipped through all of them (there are
hundreds of them).
On the top shelve towards the left there, I saw a whole stip of these
pellets. That's where the bed posts were leaning to. The pellets are very
dense there, from far away, it looks like someone sprinkled cocoa powder on
the white shelves. Among those pellets are some wings. However, these
pellets are NOT directly below the hatch to the closet. At first I thought
it made sense these pellets are on the top shelves, assuming they came from
the hatch, but it did not. The hatch opening is a good foot over, and under
the hatch, no termite fecal pellets.
I then removed the hatch door and climbed into the attic. A lot of
insulation. I used a flash light and examine all the wood members in about
a six feet radius, I did not see any termite or any pin holes like I saw
down below. But it could be the darkness, but I don't think so. I did not
pull up the insulation however to check some of them top plate though. I
also did not see any wet spot of water damages.
So if it is not coming from the attic, where is it coming from?
I crawled back down and reexamine the closet where the shelves had the
pellets and where the bed posts leaned against. Now these shelves are
resting on some horizontal wood railings I screwed into the wall, on the top
and middle shelf railing I saw some holes. Not a lot, may be two on top and
three in the middle. I again inserted a needle inside, there are voids
So my conclusion is that the termites are inside the railings, and when I
leaned the bed posts against that wall, they came out eating on the bed
posts too since the closet doors are always closed. The termite most likely
is inside the wall, or may be already inside the wall studs. So I went to
the other side of that wall, where I have another closet. Examining the
clothes, and shelves, I do not see any sign of holes or fecal pellet on that
end. However this does not mean much, since that closet door is typically
open so the termites might have avoided that.
But the termites must have a source of water right? Where do they get it?
From the AC system next door or through the attic? I don't see any termites
in the attic (in fact I saw a few ants - by the way aren't ants and termites
supposed to be enemies?)
So what should I do now? I probably need to contact a professional to come
and take a look, but I want to know what questions to ask. I remember a few
years ago I had a Sears pest control guy here and he tried to sell me a
termite contract, did not bother to take a look at my house, did not walk
around, did not get up to the attic. He basically said "you have termites.
you are in Miami, the termite capital of the world. I can guarantee you
have termites without looking, it is not a matter of whether you have it, it
is a matter of when you notice it. See these horror pictures? you need to
sign a termite contract..." I don't want to wait home for a day for a
salesman to come and waste my time.
Any advice appreciated. Sorry it was so long winded, but I thought more
infor is better.