Termite help needed


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Old 01-01-17, 02:02 PM
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Termite help needed

Before I type out out scenario, is anyone still active on this forum? I noticed there have been no new posts in over 30 days
 
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Old 01-01-17, 02:07 PM
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Welcome to the forums! Yes, we have some great "bug" people on board. We read all the new posts, no matter where they show up. Have at it, and I'll give Terry a heads up.
 
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Old 01-01-17, 02:23 PM
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Thanks. Well to start off, we live in northeastern pa. During a recent toilet swap in our bathroom, I found evidence of termite damage. I gutted the 2 closest walls and found damage. Nothing to major like all the pics I see online, but enough where I have to replace a few 2x6s. What is really stumpin me here, is the lack of live termites, not a single one to be seen, not even a dead body. I have since sprayed the hell outta the area with a spray from Home Depot. I know from friends that to have the home treated is like 2500 from big name companies, and that is way out of our budget as of now. Is self treating a viable option for us? I def can handle trenching around the house, mixing and adding the pesticide. I am just nervous about the interior treatment, especially since I didn't find a single termite, I keep thinking they moved to a different part of the house. Thanks in advance for any help
 
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Old 01-02-17, 03:03 AM
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I've always sprayed for termites myself using the products available at the big box stores and have been successful doing it that way. The pros might have a better product available to them. What type of foundation do you have? Termites usually have 'mounds' connecting the ground with the food source but it could be hidden inside of block. How long have you had the house? [could it be old damage]

Our bug pro should be along later with more/better info for you
 
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Old 01-02-17, 04:09 AM
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Home was built in 1988 and we purchased it from my in laws about 3 years ago. About 2 summers before we purchased it my father in law painted the exterior Windows, and the wall with damage has a window that was eaten behind the paint on the ext sill. That tells me that when he painted, there was no damage to that window sill outside. I have a crack in the block foundation under the bathroom with the termite damage, but the wall in question is cantilevered off the foundation about 3 feet. I do have mud tunnels outside, there is a covered patio with a concrete pad and pavers, and I pulled away the rubber flashing that goes from the house to the concrete and all behind the flashing were tunnels. I am going to take a better look today out there and see what the deal is. I am most nervous about where these *******s went since I didn't find a single one yet, I hope they didn't make their way upstairs. Forgot to add, the pad and covered patio were built around 2002.
 
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Old 01-02-17, 09:14 AM
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Here I am! I move slowly in the wintertime too, as do the termites...

Certainly, in this part of the country you have subterranean termites. Two types of treatment: 1- soil treatment with a liquid termiticide; 2- termite baiting. Slow and expensive.

As I am in the southern part of PA I’m in touch with pricing and I suspect that the prices you’ve heard pertain to “baiting” which is time and labor intensive and go on forever.. Liquid soil perimeter treatments are much less expensive unless you have an unusual amount of linear footage. Liquid treatments leave a residual barrier.

Question: What is the “rubber flashing”? Is that sheet rubber that is tight against the foundation wall? If so, that is an ideal harborage and insulation for subterranean termites as is “dryvit”, or EIFS (exterior insulated finishing systems).

Question: In the springtime, do you see large amounts of what look like black flying ants? This is when the termite reproductives (swarmers) emerge to reproduce. Large amounts swarm at same time, sometimes multiple times in the spring. Be aware that young colonies do not necessarily swarm. The swarm, if it happens, can happen outside too so you could miss it.

Termites go back into the ground if it is too cold or too dry for them. Many other factors influence insect and termite behavior. We humans have to be careful when we impute our logic into insect behavior. Based on the timelines that you’ve posted I feel safe in saying that you have a termite problem, at least in warmer temps and you need to take it seriously.

In my career I never performed treatments with bait. We always had terrific success with the active ingredient: fipronil, available in various brand names now as it is off patent. This is for the liquid perimeter treatment. The idea is to treat the soil perimeter next to the foundation walls. Soil areas can be trenched, but slabs, sidewalk, need to be drilled with 1/2” or 5/8” holes every 12-18" to facilitate application. This could be difficult where the cantilevered bathroom is, if I picture that correctly. You want to be 6”-12” from the wall but preferably closer to 6-8”.

Fipronil is non-repellent which means the termites don’t even know it is there and they will work in and out of it, taking it by “horizontal transfer” back to their colony mates. Repellent termiticides used in the soil will work against fipronil and this strategy, although repellents will work in general but it is believed that the applicator needs to be more thorough. In other words, the non-repellents are more forgiving than the repellents if a construction element, buried refuse, or other unknown detrimental factor is present.

If you don’t want to DIY the treatment, I suggest that you find a local operator, word of mouth is a good way, particularly someone who belongs to the NPMA (trade assoc.) and uses fipronil. Small to medium sized company where you will deal with the guy that will be doing the treatment rather than a salesperson who would be estimating the job for someone else to perform. Nothing against salespeople, we all are sales people to some extent, and I’ve known good ones. Talk to friends, neighbors, family for referrals.

This is not an emergency so don’t overreact or hire someone too soon. Termites work slowly even in good weather. Take your time and learn. Keep us posted.
 
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Old 01-02-17, 09:17 AM
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Termidor - America's #1 Termite Defense Product

This is a good site to learn about termites, soil treatments, and fipronil. Termidor is the original fipronil termiticide but is off patent now so there are generics available, of which I’ve used with success.

Fipronil is the same active ingredient that is found in the Frontline flea/tick collars for pets, as well as generic collars/meds.
 
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Old 01-02-17, 01:34 PM
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Thanks for the informative reply pabugman. I did call a few local pros today, and one just left a few minutes ago. The others I will schedule throughout the week to get prices and pick their brains for a bit. The guy today I ended up knowing, I did his foundation abou 15 years ago. His plan is to the chemical you mentioned. The front and both sides he said he will inject the ground every 24". The rear is a different story tho. His plan is to drill my basement floor every 24" and inject. With the rear of the house, 1/2 is cantilevered about 3 ft off the foundation and the other 1/2 is a way overbuilt pressure treated deck covered in plywood then rubber roofing then outdoor carpeting. Tons of dismantling to get in there, and no room to work underneath.
I am a mason by trade, so I have been in the building trade my entire life and the best case scenario I can come up with is that the termites entered along a form board that was left in the ground against the house. From there they traveled behind the rubber flashing into a beautiful smorgasbord of fresh framing.
After more tearing away of Sheetrock this am, the damage is farther than we expected and worse. He said it was at least 10-15 years of damage. His price was 1200 for the treatment.
After all of my inspections, I feel confident in sayin that I know where they entered and where they ended for now. It is just really bothering me if they made it upstairs to the second floor. And I guess there is no easy to know without ripping Sheetrock off. They have made it to the top plate and some ceiling joists (one or two) but that damage isn't that bad like the wall I uncoverd today.

Any good/easy way to check my second floor for them?

No, we have never noticed any swarms in the spring time. But then again, with the kids, we are always on the go.

Thanks again for all the info, with 4 small kids in the house we need to take every precaution we can and watch every penny we can.

*edit*
The guy today told me that fipronil will "expand" to an 8ft. area once injected. I have not read anything about this anywhere. Any truth to that statement? And I also noticed he said 24" apart injections, def larger gap than you recommended. I'm assuming that is just to save on material costs
 
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Old 01-02-17, 02:01 PM
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Upon a quick Google search it seems there are 2 termidor products. Termidor sc and termidor he. The sc specs say to have 12" spacing and the he says to have 18" spacing. I am still leary on that stuff being injected thru the basement floor, going under the footer and up the outside wall enough to kill these termites.
 
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Old 01-02-17, 02:10 PM
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Termidor HE

This is a newer version of Termidor. I forgot about this earlier, probably because we never used it but it does allow for less drilling, trenching, less water as it does expand horizontally. I like it and am comfortable with it.

The $1200. price sounds good too.

As far as checking the second floor-without being able to visually see behind the dry wall there is no reliable way. There are cameras that can look into wall voids after drilling access holes. We never used them; I’ve heard second hand that using them in exterior walls is hampered/obstructed due to insulation so I can’t help much there. It might be worthwhile to call a home inspector or building engineer to see if they have success. They might as they do it frequently. I’m sure there would be a fee involved. The further termites get from the soil, the less moisture they have so the less time they can spend away from the soil unless there is a chronic leak, such as plumbing or roof leaks that may be slow enough to not be noticed but would be a source of moisture so the termites can “re-charge” and re-launch from that spot. If you had such leaks, then it may be worthwhile checking further.

Hope this helps. Keep us posted.
 
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Old 01-02-17, 04:32 PM
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Thanks again pabugman. I had another exterminator just leave, I left him a message earlier and when he called back he was only down the road so he stopped by. This guy, #2 we will call him, uses the termidor he but wants to tackle the job in a completely different manor. He wants to trench the front and sides of the house. He also wants to trench under the deck. As far as the cantilevered area, he said that his pressure sprayer will be able to saturate the area enough under the overhang. The overhang of the cantilever is accessible from both sides. He said he will also spray inside the blocks(they are not filled).

I also asked him about why he trenches instead of pressurized spraying in the ground (like #1) wants to do, and he said that the trenching creates a perfect perimeter of solid coverage. He said that if you hit a rock or there are big rocks in the ground, that can leave voids in coverage if you pressure spray I'm the ground around the entire house.

After more poking around, I can say with almost 100% certainty that the bugs didn't reach the upstairs.

So now I have #1 that wants to spray in the ground 3 sides of the house an drill the basement floor and spray for the back wall and #2 wants to perform the work as I described above. Any input on both application methods will be greatly appreciated. Both did recommend to wait until the weather breaks as well, and I think I agree .

Now onto #2 price. Hope you are sitting down. 1000 or 800 if I pay cash. Too good to be true, right??? Now we all have been young and hungry at one point, taking on jobs to get our name out there and not making much money, so maybe that is his deal. Or the devils advocate in me is saying that this dude is not using enough product to cut corners and save money, but the termidor is cheap as hell really for a job like this. I dunno.

Thanks again pabugman, sincerely appreciate your feedback so far man!!! If you were closer, id take you out for some beers!!

*edit* just to clarify. #1 said he will peel back the sod and use his pressure injection system. #2 said he will be trenching down until he reaches the bottom of the parging, he said usually about 2 feet below grade. As a mason, I large from the top block down to the footer completely for a goo solid layer of mud for the tar to stick to. I know older homes only parged down far enough for aesthetics.
 

Last edited by Prplhz966; 01-02-17 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 01-03-17, 05:45 AM
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Any termiticide including termidor HE will not go under the footing and then up the outside of foundation wall. Termidor HE spreads horizontally and vertically; it doesn’t fight gravity and go up except for capillary action which is so minimal that it is insignificant.

I’ve performed a lot of termite treatments with both soil rod/probe using pressure to inject the soil and trenching/filling without soil rod/probe. Both ways are effective, especially with a fipronil based termiticide. The HE is more expensive to purchase which can explain the higher price from first guy.

The second guy giving you a “cash only” price makes me nervous because you two don’t know each other, yet he trusts you with a cash discount when it appears that he wants unreported income. I’m assuming he means cash only or does he mean that a check is acceptable too? In other words, anything but credit card equals cash? If this is the case, then I’m not nervous about it.

Treating the soil perimeter of the house, even where the is no apparent termite pressure in structure, is important because termites could be in the soil but not in the structure. This way more termites would be exposed, enhancing colony elimination. If there are tree stumps near the house I would treat in/around them, too even though they aren’t in the perimeter or on the labeled directions. You can purchase fipronil termiticide on line for your own use.

If I’m picturing this correctly, the overbuilt deck is in/near the visible termites? If so, then it would be important to me to get treatment under the deck. Could they drill hole through the wood to access the soil below? Drill spacing would be the same as cement slab/sidewalk. If so, the soil rod/probe could fit through the holes and into the soil below to inject the termiticide.
 
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Old 01-03-17, 05:53 AM
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Reading about Termidor HE it appears that 18” drill spacing it what they recommend. Maybe the industry is having good success with the wider spacing. After all, the last thing the guy wants is warranty work. Search “Termidor HE drill spacing” and click on various suppliers sites.

Honestly I/we never used HE but did use fipronil based termiticides including generics and got just fine control, both quick and long term results.
 
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Old 01-03-17, 06:57 AM
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Thanks again for the reply. I am glad I asked about #1 wanting to drill my basement floor and injecting because if I understand you correctly that will not rise up the foundation to where the extent of the damage is, the cantilevered area.
Let me explain that area. It is about 20 ft long and the floor joists hang off the foundation about 24". The bottom of the joists are covered in plywood to close it off, and the top is the plywood flooring we walk on. This is all clearly visible from the basement. The problem with drill in there is the hardwood would have to be removed or just drill thru the hardwood. A long bit will drill thru both sections easy, the top flooring and the lower plywood as well. The hardest part I think will be is patching the holes I the lower plywood on the bottom of the joists. No room to fit a drill in to screw a patch over the holes, so I would have to just glue a patch on I guess.

This part of the house is the most affected, so I want to be sure they do it correctly.
 
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Old 01-03-17, 10:45 AM
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I misunderstood your last question, sorry. The overbuilt deck is accessible from underneath, won't be fun trenching but it is possible. That is where #1 said that him shooting in the basement will be good, but like you said earlier, termidor does not defy gravity. The more I think about this, I believe that the entire perimeter can be trenched and treated. I, myself, can definitely trench under the cantilevered section and the overbuilt porch. The cantilevered section will be tough to do, but it def can be done from both sides.

Pabugman, can you message me an email address and I can send you some pics of the area in question?
 
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Old 01-03-17, 02:04 PM
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You can post pics in this thread - http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-pictures.html

If the pics are too big you'll need to resize them first.
 
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Old 01-03-17, 02:21 PM
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Old 01-03-17, 02:41 PM
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Don't judge me on my artistic ability, I know how to lay block, brick and stone, not draw. Ha. If you notice the yellow highlighter line, that represents the rubber flashing to keep water off the box ring and direct it under the pacers to the concrete. In my opinion, the termites entered between this rubber and the box ring. All evidence supports this. There one small mud tube that runs up the foundation into the wood, but only one in that small 12" x 24 area. Under the rubber was tons and tons of them.

I am really leanin away from drilling thru our hardwood flooring at this point. I really need to figure a game plan to treat this area perfectly, as this is where they entered and all the interior damage is. I can remove pavers and drill the slab, but that puts me about 24" from the foundation but imo this area needs to be treated as well because that is where they are entering. If that is drilled and injected, would just a basic trench and spraying the termidor against the foundation in the canileved area be sufficient? How far horizontally does this termidor he "spread"?
The form board should have never been left there, and it's going to be a ***** to remove it, if it will even come out. It's a pitch dark area under there, and they could just tunnel up the rubber once again if I remove the form board anyways.
 
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Old 01-03-17, 04:24 PM
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Good diagram and info. We did have a misunderstanding that should simplify things now.

Do not drill thru hardwood flooring. The only drilling I’m referring to would be cement/masonry drilling. I was referring to drilling through the wooden deck to access the soil earlier but probably didn’t communicate that well. Apparently that can be trenched which is good.

I’m not sure that you need to do any drilling in basement although treating into block walls in the area of infestation would be a good thing, but not especially necessary if a thorough soil treatment is performed. Are the blocks open at top of foundation or capped? I see a sill plate but sometimes there is partial access to the block voids. Saves drilling/patching.

The thrust and focus of my advice is to treat the soil perimeter, tight alongside the foundation walls. The trenches should be flooded so that chemical makes a vertical barrier to an extent as well as horizontal. Driling/treating the pavers and patio 24” from the house is too far away. Let’s get a good chemical barrier tight against the house. Let the termites work in and out of it. The non-repellency factor works to our advantage that way and could accomplish colony elimination.

If you want to remove the form board, that is always good, but sometimes they break apart, leaving wood residue in the ground anyway. Don’t knock yourself out removing the board, although this advice puts me at odds with “the book”. Rather than remove it, make sure that it is treated well, soaked, in fipronil. In this respect you would be making the form board into a type of “termite bait station”. If they want to eat, let them eat...

Thoughts I had today about HE: The advantage of HE is to the pest control operator in that they will use less water, less drilling, less time. HE is not a better chemical as far as toxicity to termites, it is simply more user friendly. It’s a good deal for the operator, not the homeowner. HE is no more, no less toxic than any fipronil based insecticide. Percentages of active ingredient are the same, otherwise the manufacturer would have to request/pay for new labeling from the EPA. Big $$$.

If you’re considering DIY, read the label first especially as to post-construction treatment. You don’t need to treat the entire house in the same day, especially when using non-repellants. I do like to see treatment from one construction element to the next. In other words, with a definable start/stop point. Don’t stop in the middle of a wall. Corner to corner, corner to window well, etc.
 
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Old 01-03-17, 04:25 PM
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Old 01-03-17, 05:06 PM
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Can't thank you enough again, everyones time nowadays is precious, and you have already spent your fair share with me. Thanks.

The block is 10" with a 2x6 sill plate, so there is still plenty of room to access the cores which are not filled.

The only factor I am still confused on is where you said not to drill te concrete, that 24" is too far away from the foundation and to soak the form board. From what I have read online, termidor only lasts a short time when not applied to soil, I believe I read 6 months only. Which leads me to this: if the termites are entering the hose from the outer edge of the cantilevered area, how will treating the foundation 24" behind where they are entering bring them in contact with the product? If they enter again where they did in the past, they will already be in the house before they won't even come close to the treated trench against the foundation. Maybe I'm just missing something here and need some clarity, not trying to question your info whatsoever.
That is why I asked if I should drill the pad as well since that is where they are entering and get them in contact with the product before they come up in.
Maybe this product does go laterally a few feet and that's what I'm missing? It is only 24" away which is t that far really. Or I could even trench against the form board in that tight area, same way the trench would be 24" away against the foundation and apply the product there as well. But, maybe none of that needs to happen and I'm looking at this **** eyed. Ha.

I have no problem at all doing this all myself, especially after your advice, but I think I am goin to hire someone so I have a receipt and proof that I have treated the home for them. Just in case we ever decide to sell. So more or less, I'll be spending 1k on a receipt.

Thanks again for all your help, we sincerely appreciate it.
 
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Old 01-04-17, 03:21 AM
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One of the advantages to hiring a pro is they warrant their work. My SiL has an ongoing termite issue and pays a yearly fee to have her house treated. Basically they come out once a year but if she sees them swarm [or whatever] they come out to retreat as needed for no extra charge.

Normally a termite inspection is required when a house is sold.
 
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Old 01-04-17, 07:41 AM
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Now I get it (famous last words!). The form board is against the patio slab, not the house as I thought. I agree that getting treatment underneath the slab by drilling is a very good plan. I also would want treatment next to the foundation wall as previously discussed. I didn’t realize that underneath the cantilevered space was pretty much an enclosed void as opposed to being open for visual inspection. The form board should be ripped out as best possible and the soil should be soaked, as it will be when treating against the foundation. As well as treating into the trench, I would also broadcast spray the soil surface under the cantilever, especially where the form board was/is.

By drilling the slab and also trenching/treating against the foundation you are essentially treating a double perimeter in that part of the house. Does that sound like the correct understanding?

As to life of Fipronil/Termidor: When applied to the top of a soil area or on top of masonry, yes the residual is short-lived due to exposure to sunshine and other elements. When underneath soil and especially under shelter such as the cantilever and slabs the residual life is much longer, into years. I’m recently retired but we gave, and they still do, multi-year warranties before the annual renewable warranty would be offered (at a price). We rarely got burned for warranty work; when we did it was due to unusual construction elements/practices that we didn’t assess properly. I now feel like we’ve got this covered with the new understanding of the slab in relation to the cantilever.

If you might sell your property in the future, yes it would be helpful to have the paperwork but please realize that if the property is not under warranty at that time then you may end up paying for a treatment again. The last 10-20 years or so our industry has been taking that direction. Reasoning being that if infested once, then maybe again. It’s a reaction to liability; maybe an overreaction and self-serving as it surely costs homeowners for treatments that may not be necessary.
 
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Old 01-04-17, 08:14 AM
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Well, I think I have a solid game plan now. Thanks for all of your input on our problem.
It's really digging at me that none of the pros that came out so far didn't have a treatment plan even close to what we just discussed tho. i have another company coming out Friday, so I'll let them give me a price and pick their brains some.
I also think for this first treatment, I will hire someone. All of them so far have a 1 year warranty so that is enough peace of mind for my wife. You know what they say, happy wife happy life.
I will also order my own bottle of termidor and treat all old stumps on our property and all posts on our rear deck that are buried.

I am still leaning towards #2 exterminator as of now, the cash guy, if you remember. Only hesitation I have is he told me he likes to trench to a depth of 2ft. and I believe that might be too deep to properly apply the product. We know gravity pulls everything down, not up. Any thoughts on this?
*edit*
Here we go again, I'm confused yet again. If a 6"x6" trench is dug and product is applied via buckets or his pressure hose that is correct via termidor instructions. My first instinct is that it will be tough to know the amount of product applied in the trench via hose, and the amount needs to be remotely precise. I would assume using the bucket method, product amount will be spot on when dumping it in the trench. So is the bucket method more precise then just shooting the hose and filling the trench?
Next question. When my pad is drilled and shot, how far should his rod be inserted I the ground? Even the termidor instructions aren't too clear on rod depth when shooting pressurized product in.

Thanks pabugman, you are a true professional and a great asset to this forum!!!!!!
 

Last edited by Prplhz966; 01-04-17 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 01-04-17, 09:40 AM
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The two foot deep trench is excessive but if thats what he likes let him do it. I’m thinking that he does treat the back fill then, either by spraying it when replaced or filling it in when there is some liquid still in the trench and utilizing the wicking aspect of the soil. I wouldn’t stress about the top of the trench; it’s down deeper that is more important anyway. You can always spray the top of the trench yourself once or twice a year.

Power spraying a trench is accurate and effective. We would periodically calibrate our flow by filling a gallon jug and measuring the time. Also, checking the tank levels during treatment I could see where the level was and where it is now. That’s another way to calibrate how much is being applied per side of house.

As far as rodding the slabs-I used both a soil rod by pushing it through a foot or two and treating and used a sub-slab injector which seals tight against the holes but doesn’t go below the slab. Both ways work just fine. Pushing a soil rod thru the holes sometimes doesn’t work well depending on the substrate. The chemical would flow back up the holes onto the slab. No harm but it doesn’t help either. In recent years, especially when we began used fipronil we used only sub-slab injecting and it works fine. Seals better so the pressure is on the chemical to go down and spread out. Even at 18” spacing sometimes we would see it emerge from an adjoining hole.

Sidenote: Fipronil is outstanding on ants, especially carpenter ants so keep that in mind too. If you have mature trees on your property I would spray the trunks to a height of 3-4’ once year or so.

One thing that we didn’t discuss, so I’m assuming the answer is no, is the presence of a water well on your property. That may/may not require special handling.

Thank you for your kind comments; very much appreciated. I’ve always enjoyed advising receptive people.

This forum is full of good people that have helped me when I venture outside of my specialty.

Keep us posted as you go through this.
 
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Old 01-09-17, 09:09 AM
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Just wanted to check in. Had to reschedule my last exterminator until this Friday, had a few things come up. Friday, sat and sun were spent ripping Sheetrock down and fixing damage, expanding the bathroom while it all gutted, replumbing, and moving electrical. Hopefully by this weekend I can have Sheetrock back up and get I the bathroom to start tiling. Fun fun, lemme tell ya
 
 

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