mattmacklind
mattmacklind SuperDork
5/28/11 8:42 p.m.

I was removing some bags of leaves and clearing some other wood today, and when I lifted up some bags that had been sitting for a few weeks, they were riddled with termite workers. I didn't see any winged termites, they were all the gross larvae looking workers, all diligently working to consume my rubbish. My problem is, this is like five feet from my house and obviously there is a colony there or nearby. Its also been raining here for a few weeks, which apparently makes them happy.

I suppose termites in the yard is not by itself an emergency, and they probably live all around houses everywhere. I have also heard not to disturb a colony in a yard, as they may move into your house. I don't have any signs in or around my house, but I think they sped up the rotting of an old fence post that fell a few months ago.

Anyone else have this experience? I think it might be inspection time for peace of mind.

Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
5/28/11 8:51 p.m.

Check thoroughly. After we got this house, and after Terminix came and poked around and said everything looked good, we started tearing down the previous owners' paneling that had separated the basement into smaller rooms.

One of the 6x6 posts holding the building up looked like a loofah bath sponge thing. The part still resting on the ground was more like 1x2...

There were issues specifically related to stupidity with this house (holes left in foundation allowing dirt-to-wood contact) and with the previous owners (leaving old wood to rot under the deck, right up against the house), but the bottom line is that if you don't look carefully, it's possible to miss them.

It was an expensive pain in the ass undoing the damage and treating/fixing stuff to hopefully avoid a repeat.

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 New Reader
5/28/11 9:25 p.m.

God, I hate termites. But they are pretty much everywhere, and serve a purpose. We had one corner of our garage tunnelled up to the ceiling, but fortunately caught them before they entered the floor. They came up through cracks in the slab behind the wood trim. The winged termites only come out at certain times of the year depending upon location. Check this link. Termite swarms map

The trick seems to be don't leave anything near your house to attract them. We no longer put mulch in beds near the foundation, and removed rocks/concrete drain pads that keep the soil moist. Basically, they cannot tolerate dry conditions, which is why they build mud tubes to travel in above ground. They can range quite far from the colony (I was told over 100 yards), so you aren't necessarily sitting on top of it.

An inspection wouldn't hurt. The stuff they used on our house about 5 years ago (Termidor) isn't nearly as toxic as the old stuff, seems effective, but doesn't last nearly as long (~5 years). Good luck.

Hasbro
Hasbro Dork
5/28/11 11:15 p.m.

Shoot, even here in the Tucson desert they are prolific.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon SuperDork
5/29/11 7:56 a.m.

The little bastiges are everywhere down here including the flying Formosan types http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/oct98/term1098.htm , making it a must to keep a termite bond up to date.

The number 1 cause of termite infestation in houses is like JoeTR6 says: mulch. Pine bark nuggets and that red dyed stuff are the worst. A strong indicator of infestation is big ant beds, ants eat termites so if you have a big ant pile right up against your house it's likely they are chasing a food source, i.e. termites.

spitfirebill
spitfirebill SuperDork
5/30/11 7:43 p.m.

Termites were swarming here last weekend. Its fun sitting on the front porch and watching them fly all around your house.

Jake
Jake HalfDork
5/31/11 12:05 p.m.

Must be a good year for them- I am starting to see them in the flowerbeds out front. Like the OP, I had bought a couple bags of mulch that I didn't get to put down right away, and once I did, there were termite workers in them. Now, I guess I could shovel and burn all that mulch, but I still need something to go in the beds, otherwise the weeds will be epic. My house is a raised ranch on a tall block foundation, so I'm not TOO too panicked about there being some termites about, but this is the first time I have ever seen them this close to my house.

4eyes
4eyes HalfDork
6/1/11 12:50 a.m.

You don't have a Marcos or Morgan do you?

spitfirebill
spitfirebill SuperDork
1/18/12 3:16 p.m.

Termite canoe bot?

stroker
stroker HalfDork
1/18/12 4:14 p.m.

Sentricon is your friend. We've used it for years. Not cheap, but effective.

Knurled
Knurled UltraDork
5/24/13 7:13 a.m.

It's more likely than you think.

JoeyM
JoeyM MegaDork
5/24/13 7:16 a.m.

Hey Guys,

"Olivia" (actually Alton Rowe) appears to be a proto-canoe. PM me when they start paddling.

spitfirebill
spitfirebill UberDork
5/24/13 8:24 a.m.

I was hoping she was Olivia Munn. dammit

mattmacklind
mattmacklind UltimaDork
5/24/13 8:40 a.m.

Interesting thread resurrection. Turns out although they are in the yard, they are not in the house, in case anyone wanted to know two years later.

moparman76_69
moparman76_69 Dork
5/24/13 8:49 a.m.

On a side note, try googling Alton Rowe.

Ian F
Ian F PowerDork
5/24/13 9:58 a.m.

Not a bad thread to resurrect... reminds me I need to inspect my house again...

Enyar
Enyar Dork
10/29/15 7:34 a.m.

Instead of starting my own thread I figured I would bump this one to keep all the information together.

We just bought our first home and upon replacing some door locks....it appears there may be some creatures living in there. Is DIY termite care /prevention a GRM thing or should I farm this out? Anything I should be doing other than keeping old wood as far away as I can from the house?

jimbbski
jimbbski Dork
10/29/15 9:54 a.m.

Farm it out. The extermination companies know where the buggers usually live so they know where to look. You don't. Get an inspection pronto!

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy PowerDork
10/29/15 9:58 a.m.

I think it is best to pay a pro to eliminate an existing infestation. You can DIY future prevention if you want, but this is one of those things that paying a pro to do so there is possible legal recourse if something goes wrong might be the smarter method.

trucke
trucke Dork
10/29/15 2:37 p.m.

Farm it out. After the initial $ sting ($700-$800) the annual fee is about $125. It's worth it! We see termites, we make a phone call.

mattmacklind
mattmacklind UltimaDork
11/10/15 8:24 p.m.

Twas four and a half years ago I started this thread...time flies.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess MegaDork
11/10/15 8:42 p.m.

I live in the woods. Termites are everywhere. Nuke from orbit; it's the only way to be sure.

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