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Termites

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Joful, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    So, a relative has been bringing me wood they want to get rid of. A bunch of pine, and the remnants of one old dead cherry tree. Tonight they casually mention that their neighbor's house, adjacent to where they had their wood piled on the dirt, has been diagnosed with termites. "Do you still want the rest of the wood?"

    So, I remember back to the wood piles he brought here in May and June, which I initially stacked a few weeks next to my 200 year old barn, but more recently moved down to my main wood stacking area. It was being eaten by something that was producing brown dirt and dust. Full of small holes. I checked the piles at his house, and see the same.

    A whole list of questions start running thru my mind, most of which may have come up here before. Will this infestation move to the rest of my stacks? Currently that wood is under a mountain of big walnut rounds, waiting to be split this winter. Will the termites get into my soil, and plague me for life? Will they attack my house when I stack wood under the porch for winter? Sure, it's cold for part of the season, but I usually move the stack up to the house before it gets real cold, and may have firewood under that porch still in April.

    Then again... this is probably not the only termite-infested wood I'll ever bring home. I'm a scrounger. Maybe I should just be treating the soil around my piles (and the piles themselves?) for termites, on the assumption they're always there?

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  2. BIGDADDY

    BIGDADDY Feeling the Heat

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    Termites ahhhhh. I don't think you should spray any wood you plan on burning, could produce toxins when you burn it. I'm not really sure what you should do other the looking to see if they have spread to other piles and trying to find where they enter the ground. I think there are ways to treat the ground to kill termites but I have never done it. Hopefully someone here has and can tell you. You may call a farm supply place and ask them.
    Good luck
  3. albert1029

    albert1029 Feeling the Heat

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    Dow has a system called Sentricon...bait stations are inserted into the ground around the perimeter of problem area...when termites feed on the bait they pass it on to the rest of the colony...used to just have wood monitors in the bait stations now they are baited from the beginning...I've installed many of these systems around all types of buildings and yes, woodpiles...no toxins are spread and it's effective in almost all infestations ...here is just one of many videos on youtube ...you can have the system around any structure or maybe just the woodpile...I'm sure there are more than a few companies that provide this system in the Philadelphia area, shop for the best price...
  4. albert1029

    albert1029 Feeling the Heat

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    forgot to add that if active infestation is found in structure bait can be placed directly on those buggers...
  5. ironworker

    ironworker Member

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    Not to worry, termites only live in wet wood. Termites are the biggest scam with pest control companies, they feed us lies and take advantage of our fears.
  6. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Good info, Albert!

    Ironworker, I've seen first-hand the aftermath of termite damage in houses. I have a very old house and barn, and there is wood near or at grade in many locations, something I'm working to correct. Besides, this firewood was sitting outside on the ground, and definitely wet.

    More importantly, I found the statement below on colonialpest.com, which seems to imply there's no chance of moving a sustainable colony in firewood. Only workers, destined to die out.

    "While firewood may contain certain insects, termites should not be an issue. Termite colonies live in the soil and feed on wood that they find within their foraging territory. If termites were feeding on the firewood outside, it may be possible to bring some of the workers in with the wood(workers find food, build tunnels, and feed the colony). Workers feeding inside firewood will eventually die without contact with the colony, as well as from desiccation due to lack of moisture."
    ScotO likes this.
  7. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    By any chance does it look like this?

    PPB-1.JPG PPB-2.JPG PPB-3.JPG

    If so, worry not. It is powder post beetles. We have it annually. They do seem to favor certain types of wood. Here, it is elm they seem to go after first.
    ScotO and albert1029 like this.
  8. albert1029

    albert1029 Feeling the Heat

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    Yes, I had some elm they tore up...as far as termites, some areas people never see termites and some have a hard time getting rid of them say if a neighbor has termites and they keep invading your territory...
  9. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    Check out Talstar (Google it). It is a termiticide and the labelling indicates that it is approved for use on firewood, if you allow a certain time before burning (30 days? I don't have the label here to check). I use it on my cabin and woodpiles every 90 days, for carpenter ants, except in winter.
    albert1029 likes this.
  10. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, guys. In this case, the neighbor was confirmed to have termites, and this wood was stacked only 10 - 15 feet from the infested house.

    I had been thinking about this some today, and thought it might not be a bad idea to install some of those soil baits around the wood piles, regardless of what came in with this particular load. Just seems like good prudence for any scrounger. No?
    albert1029 likes this.
  11. blacktail

    blacktail Feeling the Heat

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    I found termites in a tree that I had cut down last year and then did a fair amount of research on them. Seems like they need moist wood and ground contact to do real damage. We get flying termites here every fall but they can't do much unless they find moist wood. I was freaked out when I found termites in the alder I had cut down. It was pretty much dead and rotting. They were everywhere when I started splitting it. I thought I could get them with a torch, but there were too many. I loaded the rounds into my truck and I'll be damned if they didn't fall out when I drove by the river.
    The birds had a hayday where I was splitting. Pretty cool to see the robins feasting by my wood pile.
  12. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    Yea your description sounds like powerpost bettles.

    Termites are everywhere underground, just not as prevelant in your areas. Here in the south there are 2 kinds of houses, those with termites and those that will get termites. Its true, if untreated you will have them in less than 10 years. Even those of us who treat our homes will get them at some point. I have had some sort of old or current termite damage in every home i lived in. They will get in wood that is on the ground in less than 2 months, sometimes weeks.

    I have sentricon stations but once you kill one colony there is always another on the move that it will feed on it. The old system was wood bait, then they pulled them every 1/4 year. If found to be active they put a poison stick in there that would take care of the colony. Once it was found no more actives in there wood went back in, it was a continual cycyle.Now there is is permanant bait that has been labeled for use (the other was only labled for "active" termites) all year long and checked once a year.

    If i lived in the NE i would just keep wood off the ground and dry, but i STILL would treat my home!! I am a licensed pesticide applicator and had some trainings there not something to mess with!!

    The thing is up till i think the 60 or 70s they used Lindane. Its not a problem for adults but it gets in the ground water and can cause birth defects and im sure its prolly a carcinogen which would be adults problem also but the bid deal was birth defects and developmental problems. It was the main termite treatement. It was hell on them and had a live of like 50 years. So many homes with it used as a treatment will just now be getting infested as their homes were treated before they knew if your younger etc and they have not had to worry about it, its just been working. But as that chemical is breaking down and loosing effect you will get termites if you had this. My farm house got termites about 10 years or so ago, it was built in the early 50s and im sure treated with lindane, so that would put it right around the 50 year mark.

    Termadore is the new soil treatment where you flood the soil around all ground contact locations of your foundation, it will only last for 8-15 years and has to be redone. typical home costs for termadore is say $500-1500, depending upon your home footprint size and how easy it is to get to it. Slab homes will be more as they need to be drilled!
    ScotO likes this.
  13. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    I never put wood near my home, if i do and i know it has had or has termite in it it stays in the pile till burned, other wood will sit on a cart or trailer near the home till burned.

    Termites can only be in air contact for a few mins max, their bodies dry out really fast and that kills them. Thats why they travel in mud tunnels, they have to be in high humidity.
    ScotO and Backwoods Savage like this.
  14. Rich L

    Rich L Minister of Fire

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    A neighbor said I could have some rounds that were in her driveway.I moved the first to pick up and there were termites under the round.At first they looked like maggots.When I saw they were termites I poured a little two cycle fuel on them and it killed them instantly.So if I get any wood with termites I'll put some fuel in a sprayer and spray them.Anyhow I left the wood where it was.
  15. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Termites are no fun. We had pest control checkout our place this year as we were having problems with Carpenter ants, and they found termites... Damage in the basement in one of the hearth supports I hadn't noticed and tons of them in the soil around the house. I had to have that Termador soil treatment done. $$$$

    I also have one beam with old powder post damage that's supported on 2 lally columns but should really be replaced someday.

    someday
  16. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    Termites are nothing to mess with. Most companies will do the "Termite letter", which is required here in the south for most companies to loan you money on a home. Basically it gives an assesment, weather you have termites old damage (thats visible) or that they certify you as clean. If they say your clean and then you end up with them its like a bond and they will fix it. But if you dont have documentation or have centricon of your last treatment they will recomend treatment and i think you will get a very limited time on that letter or its only good for home purchase then your on your own.

    Like i said here in the south a house untreated is realy only a few years from getting them.

    If i lay a piece of wood on the ground it will have termites in it in a mattter of weeks or worst case months.

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