Shelter tubes in basment.

Reply

  #1  
Old 04-12-18, 07:56 PM
D
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: United States
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Unhappy Shelter tubes in basment.

Sorry to piggyback on this thread, but I have a somewhat similar situation, and I've read some info that PAbugman has written across the interwebs.

I also live in PA, I purchased a nearly 100 year old home in Oct, 2015. Concrete foundation (basement is semi-finished with 70's wood paneling and drop down ceiling). During the inspection, shelter tubes (live) were found in a room off the basement, under the porch. Called realtor, and homeowners brandished a paper of treatment done in July, 2015. I called them and they explained that, yes, sometimes it takes awhile for the treatment to work, and you'll have stragglers for a bit. They put me at ease after I mentioned that I knocked down the tubes and they didn't rebuild. Told me to call in the spring and they would come check things out. long story short, that call didn't result in them coming and I didn't worry because I didn't see new evidence of activity.

A few weeks ago, I was replacing one of the basement windows (had serious termite damage (wooden frame in concrete right about at ground level). Had to remove some paneling to get to studs etc, found some live shelter tubes on concrete wall behind paneling. Searched behind most exterior wall and found other signs and some eaten studs. Company came back and they wanted 225$ per year (550 plus another 225 to go until next July) since the first treatment to retreat. Doing more digging, researched the chemical they used: TimBor, which they stated was used as a perimeter treatment. None of the research I conducted state Timbor being used as a perimeter a treatment. There was also clearly no trenching or drilling done to the perimeter.

Is it possible the previous owner just wanted a company to "treat" the problem so it could be documented and passed on to the next owner? Keep in mind they did not disclose the problem. Also, that treatment cost $1350

Further, would you recommend Dominion 2L used in proper doses to trench the perimeter myself? I know you're a big Termidor believer, But I saw great reviews for Dominion 2L, as well.
 
  #2  
Old 04-13-18, 12:43 PM
P
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,841
Received 40 Votes on 35 Posts
Dominion, active ingredient Imidacloprid is a good second choice. It's what I and others used until fipronil, the active ingredient in Termidor, came out. You don't have to purchase Termidor in the event that the price is influencing your decision. There are generics available now of which Taurus SC is one. There are others. Fuse is a combo of both active ingredients. The choice is yours, but choose one of those two active ingredients as they are non-repellent and that is where the industry is as far as termite control. A treatment may take up to a couple of months for control but usually much sooner than that.

Tim Bor is for direct wood spplication only. If they are implying or if their paperwork says they did an exterior treatment with it, then I question their knowledge, ability and ethics. Don't hire them for anything. I suspect that they mean they did an interior perimeter treatment, though a drop ceiling would make that prohibitive and a clumsy treatment at best. Also, the paneling hides the walls and studs behind it so no treatment there. Typically no one uses Timbor or Boracare as a stand-alone termite treatment. Both are a good supllement to a proper subterranean soil treatment. Did they make a treatment diagram? If the paperwork says they did an exterior treatment with TimBor, consider reporting them to the Pa. Dept. of Agriculture, pesticides division. That's who regulates and licenses pest control in PA. The Ag web site can get you contact info for your area.

The price of $1350 should be enough for an exterior subterranean soil treatment unless your property is much larger than average linear foot wise. Should have gotten a legit treatment for that price. That's an awful lot for a Tim Bor treatment. BoraCare is the same active ingredient as TimBor, but due to the other ingredients it will penetrate deeper into the wood. BoraCare is much better for termites. Tim-Bor barely goes 1/4 inch unless the wood is wet, then it draws in further. BoraCare is much more expensive than TimBor. I'm wondering if the previous owner got taken but now it's your problem.

Termite mud tunnels at first are exploratory, meaning that they are just looking for conducive conditions. When they meet resistance or don't like what they find, they will abandon them quickly, but they are still present and looking. When they find what they like, they will reinforce the tunnels so more workers can travel up and down. These tunnels will be rebuilt quickly when broken.

Keep us posted.
 
  #3  
Old 04-13-18, 01:24 PM
D
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: United States
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
PAbugman,

You have reiterated some of my same concerns and questions. I've been doing a lot of reading about various products/ treatments etc. as of late. I had previously overlooked, on the paper work, that they also used Centerfire (Imidacloprid). Which makes way more sense. I'm still not 100% convinced that they trenched, though. The reason I question this is that Perennial Tulips grow in the spring time along the foundation of the house. If it were trenched up in July, wouldn't that disrupt these plants? Or I'm I just angry that termites are back and looking for excuses? The document does also state they were only there for 45 mins. Maybe they used high pressure, or injectors?

Either way, I've already purchased the Dominion 2L, figured worst case scenario, I'd only be out about 35$ (2 28 oz bottles) and a days labor.
But another question I had that I couldn't seem to find an answer for in my research: If I live in a duplex, would a complete perimeter treatment be the only effective method? Because, talking to the neighbor, he was not involved in the treatment that occurred in 2015.
 
  #4  
Old 04-13-18, 04:38 PM
P
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,841
Received 40 Votes on 35 Posts
The chemical treatment shouldnt bother the tulips but the mechanical action of trenching would, I believe. No way did anyone do a termite treatment in 45 minutes, especially if they did in fact treat the interior with timbor. Even two operators couldn't do it that fast. If the 45 minutes is accurate, they simply power sprayed the exterior perimeter, meaning they used power spraying eqpt and simply did a surface spray like we would do for general pest control, not termites. The chemical needs to be applied so that it either soaks down or is applied with soil rods down beside the foundation walls. That's where the termites are.

Did they report how much gallonage they used? I'm curious what they say but they could say anything, too.

It would be better if the other half of duplex treated, but this is where the non-repellent nature of imidacloprid or fipronil can work anyway as the termites won't know it's there and will move in and out of the treated zone. It's important to get it down at least several feet if not more. Before treating the trench, you could tax a metal rod like re-bar and hammer holes in the trench about every linear foot to facilitate the chemical going down.
 
  #5  
Old 04-13-18, 08:17 PM
D
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: United States
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Yea I wasn't confident with this company. It seemed like they knew the client was trying to sell the house, and therefore wouldn't really care if the termites were eradicated, or not. I'm not a big fan of a business model that you essentially pay for "insurance" annually that the termites won't return. Makes me less confident that the job will be done correctly and thoroughly the first time. I don't believe there was any mention of gallonage.
I like the idea of adding some deeper holes with a spiked rebar.
 
  #6  
Old 04-16-18, 10:53 AM
D
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: United States
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Much to my disappointment, was inspecting basement further today to see where any water may be entering, with all the rain we have gotten.
Noticed an area, about 4 feet below ground, where the concrete was wet. in the same area is where a wall was built, and on the other side, a window and the paneling begin. Pulled back the paneling in the corner, and found a termite haven. Damp and a wooden stud to feast on. Here is where I've found the most live termites to date, about 10-15 at once. Not sure how water is getting in, doesn't appear to be any pools of water outside in that area.

Is there any truth to using household Mule Team 20 Borax as a termicide, in the interim while I wait for my other products? Or would I just be providing them much desired water?
 
  #7  
Old 04-16-18, 05:10 PM
P
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,841
Received 40 Votes on 35 Posts
The borax in 20 Mule Team is related the the boric acid (disodium octaborate) that is the active ingredient in BoraCare and TimBor. Its not the same, but related. If you were going to all the trouble to figure out a ratio and then spray it, it would make more sense just to purchase Tim-bor.

I would tear out all paneling, studs, furring strips, etc out of the basement. Spray the exposed termite mud tunnels and the wood at top of foundation wall with Dominion. Eventually proceed with the exterior treatment.
 
  #8  
Old 04-16-18, 06:37 PM
D
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: United States
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Got it, will do. Figured I'd explore option of Borax since I had it readily available. Waiting a day or 2 more for the Dominion.

I also removed some drop-ceiling panels, and rafter seems to be ok above all this activity. I know they had made it to the first floor, because upon ripping up old carpet, found plenty of termite damage in the oak floor. The guy who did the repair said the termites tend to stay away from pine (and other types of wood I can't recall). Would they have surpassed the rafters in search of oak? Did they pressure treat wood in 1924? This would obviously be my main concern, of course, with the structure of the home. Hopefully they have just been eating studs and ceiling tiles.

I'll also remove ceiling tiles and treat sill-plate with Timbor powder.

I really appreciate your responses thus far, thanks.
 
  #9  
Old 04-17-18, 03:04 PM
P
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,841
Received 40 Votes on 35 Posts
I doubt that there is any pressure treated wood there. Subterranean termites like soft woods more than hardwoods, but if moisture content is high enough they will attack hardwoods.

I like TimBor powder used raw on top of wood that will be concealed or have little access to. When we put up wood in our basement and built our pole barn, we laid raw TimBor on the sills before they were enclosed. TimBor works as an anti fungal, too. If the wood is damp/wet then the TimBor will draw into the moisture source.

It sounds to me that you are on a good strategy and direction. As you get into this, you will learn even more.

Keep us posted.
 

Last edited by PAbugman; 04-17-18 at 03:05 PM. Reason: correction
  #10  
Old 04-26-18, 12:18 PM
D
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: United States
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I was able to do the treatments on 4/21, and replace the 2nd and final window, also removing paneling and studs etc in the active areas. I have not found any re-emerging activity, and the area I spot treated looks to have dead an/or dying termites. What else can I be looking for to suggest the treatments were effective?
 
  #11  
Old 04-29-18, 04:41 PM
P
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,841
Received 40 Votes on 35 Posts
We would make wooden stakes out of pine or softwood, about 1 to 1 1/2 feet long and make a point on one end. Hammer them into the soil perimeter that you treated, can be behind shrubs or whatever to hide them if desired, and inspect them once a month for termite activity and/or galleries in the wood. They will rot from dampness too, so learn the difference and replace them as needed. Termites make galleries in between the grain; dampness makes it all soft.

Get, if you haven't already, a probing device. My favorite was a long screwdriver so I could probe the floor joists where they sit on top of the foundation wall as well as the band/header joists and sill plates. Also probe vertical wooden poles/posts, bottom of stairs, window frames, door frames, etc.

Be aware that sometimes the termites will swarm even shortly after treatment. It's called "post treatment swarm". That does not mean failure, but it is cause for more attention. It is still swarming season here in PA. Usually about the middle of May it is over. Now if they swarm next year inside or immediately next to the house, that is cause of concern and possible re-treatment.

Since swarming evidence will stop in middle of May, that is why you want to continue inspection/probing about once a month for a year or so.

Remove all mud tubes by scraping them off or damaging them enough so that if you see whole and complete mud tunnels, you know that they shouldn't be there. That's what pros do after treatment so as to help monitoring.

Well done to you, and keep us posted!
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: