Advise for choosing an exterminator


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Old 12-07-12, 01:05 AM
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Advise for choosing an exterminator

Last weekend I discovered termites in some scrap wood in my garage that was lying against an exterior wall. I removed the wood and also removed a 1foot by 4 foot piece of Sheetrock from the wall where the termites were found. I did not see any termite damage to the exposed support beams. I just received 2 estimates for termite treatment and will be getting another one next week. I am looking for some advice as to how I should proceed. I live in the NYC area.

The first company that gave me an estimate is a local exterminator that will drill holes around the perimeter of the floor inside of my garage. He will also drill holes all around the outside of the house and use PHANTOM chemicals to treat the termites. He said it is a onetime deal and will kill all the termites even though there is only evidence of termites in the garage. One of the problems I have is that I will have to move all of the stuff inside my garage away from the walls and remove shelves from my workbench. 2 days work 4 me. Cost $850.00 for the garage only, $1600.00 for the whole house.

The other company uses bait stations all around the outside of the house and will use chemicals on the exposed wood in the garage without me having to move too much stuff. They monitor the bait stations every 3 months etc….
Cost: 2155.73 or about $200.00 a month for 12 months. 2 year guarantee.

Questions:
Do I need to treat the whole house even though evidence of termites are only in the garage area?
What is better, chemical treatment or bait stations?
Is this something I can do myself by just treating the garage area with chemicals? I can buy chemicals and bait stations in the store or online.
Any other suggestions. This is a lot of money especially now during the holidays and fixing my house after Sandy…
 
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Old 12-07-12, 08:40 AM
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We do only the traditional soil treatment, sometimes supplementing that with direct wood treatment meaning spraying the wood with bora-care or equivalent. Our favorite soil termiticide is Termidor (active ingredient-fipronil). I don’t think that is available to you in New York state which is unfortunate. It is safe and proven. Phantom is a fine termiticde as well. Both Phantom and Termidor are non-repellent which is a big plus and goes a long way toward killing the colony as opposed to repelling and killing.

Non-repellents are the way to go in soil treating for termites. They stay in the treated area and work it back to the colony which is underground close by.

Baiting systems work if the termites co-operate and eat it. When the treatment period is over, then what? No residual protection in the soil; you would need to renew the baiting treatment annually. I’m not saying that baits don’t work; in my opinion there are too many variables. They probably are going to spray the wood with bora-care or similar product.

If you were approaching this as a diy and your basement is easy to inspect I’d suggest treating just the garage. Usually pest control operators don’t want to treat just part of a structure. I’m assuming your garage is attached to the house?

If your basement is easily inspected, by that I mean can you see the overhead joists, sills, foundation wall? If this is the case then I would feel better about doing just the garage. Never use a repellent termiticide when doing a partial treatment.

The chemicals above can be purchased on-line although I and no one I know has done it so I can’t reccommend one over the other.

Keep us posted.
 
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Old 12-07-12, 11:19 AM
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Things must have really changed pricewise since 1996. I had had the initial treatment from a local company when my house was built in 1990, but my Ex hadn't kept up the service so we had to start over when I moved back in. It was about $700 as I remember for the initial drill and spray. About 3 yrs later they offered the bait stations for something like an initial $250 charge (I was already paying about $125 for the yearly contract) and the yearly contract would drop to about $100 or so. After install they checked monthly for 3 months...then quarterly along with an annual interior inspection.

Never had any issues in the next 10 yrs, though my neighbors did.
 
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Old 12-07-12, 12:50 PM
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Thank you for your input. I had similar concerns about the bait system but it seemed an easier solution for me. I really don't want to drill in my garage and the inspectors make it sound like life or death if you don't treat the whole house. If I could just get away with a DIY treatment it would save me a fortune. We inspected the basement and the only evidence of termites was on the wall where the garage is attached to the house. If I could just get away with treating the wood in and around the garage and basement walls that would be great. Do I really need to treat the soil?

I'm still waiting for one more estimate from a well known company next week.

Lowes sells Spectracide termite spray and foam if I can figure a way to drill and pour it into the wood would that work? I could get BORACARE gallon online for about $75.00 although I have not done research on how to apply yet. Still in shock.

I'll keep you posted when I get my next estimate...
 
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Old 12-08-12, 02:31 PM
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Dont know what the active ingredient in Spectracide is. If it is a repellent then, no I would not use it especially in the context of a spot treatment.

For liquid soil treatments I like Phantom (brand name) or anything with the active ingredients: fipronil and imidacloprid.

Bora care will protect the wood if you can apply it thoroughly to the wood. Like working with honey. You will mix it 2 to1 or 3 to 1 with warm water. If putting into a wall void go with 2 to 1. Consider using Tim-bor which is the same active ingredient as bora care but in powder form. It does not penetrate the wood as well but is better suited for injecting/shooting through drilled holes in wall coverings. I used tim-bor in wall voids and on sill plate prior to our pole-barn being closed-in and insulated. Good for all crawling insects as well.

Is the garage attached to the house?

Is the garage interior drywalled or can you easily inspect the wall studs, sills, plates, etc?

Is there insulation between the studs?
 
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Old 12-08-12, 04:21 PM
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I searched all over and Specricide does a good job of hiding their active ingredients. I've done some research and found Timbor, borathor and termite- prufe are the powder version of boracare. All have the same active ingredient. If I do the spot treatment myself I will use one of these. The garage is attached to the house is Sheetrocked and insulated. I removed a small section of Sheetrock where I saw termites and the wood looks ok, no damage. I'm just not sure how large diameter to drill holes in the exposed wood or how far apart. I also did some research on professional bait traps If I decide to use them as well. I can get the same traps the pros use, so why pay them.. I have Orkin coming next week I will pick their brain now that I have some basic info. Thanks
 
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Old 12-08-12, 04:36 PM
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Sounds like a plan. The diameter of the holes to drill will be determined by your dust application eqpt. If the sills were exposed you could just spoon it on and smooth it out.

For dusting thru holes I like the bellows type duster. I like to use it “upsidedown” that is with the spout at the bottom. When dusting voids for roaches, ants with other dusts then I use it upright as you only want a little. To protect wood from termites and fungus, use a lot of dust.

Since these types of dusts can compress and pack, only fill the duster half way. Shake it frequently to keep it loose between void treatments. One hole in the middle of the void just above the sill plate is good. You should be able to hear the dust going in as well as see some puffing out the cracks and crevices. If you are consistent about filling the duster half way, you can also visually measure how much dust went in. You may want to re-fill to half way point between every void until you get a feel for it. You’ll catch on quick, you just have to get started.

When/if you get “hits” in the bait stations, don’t hesitate to give them plenty of fresh bait. Colonies can be large. Too little toxicant will still hinder the colony but if the little fellas want to eat, then feed them!

Keep us posted.
 
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Old 12-08-12, 11:08 PM
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I should clarify. Timbor, borathor and termite-prufe are the powder versions of boracare and get mixed with water to create a solution. Boracare is like honey and also needs to be mixed with water. Whichever I decide to use they are all liquid form when applied. So I need to find out the diameter hole to drill and how far apart to space them. I was just going to pour the liquid solution into the holes using a small watering can wait a day and reapply. Any ideas? Thanks...
 
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Old 12-09-12, 03:02 PM
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I would use the dust in raw form. You will get more active ingredient into the void that way. To treat bare exposed wood such as vertical studs and overhead joists then mixing with water and spraying is the only way to go.

The borates are drawn to any moisture, including the termite mud tunnels if present, as a dust or liquid.
 
 

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