View Full Version : Termite contracts - can I just do this?


Displaced Hokie
02-21-2012, 01:57 PM
Never had termites at any of my homes. Now this one had a contract previously and the bait stations all around the outside (those green things in the ground). House is half slab, half basement. I think I should be able to spray/bait and keep it protected myself. What do you all do?

FYI I'm in NC. The house did have some termite damage 7 years ago due to a rotten stump near a crawl space, but that was repaired and I'm digging up the stump. House passed the termite inspection when we bought it last month.

NitroPress
02-21-2012, 02:20 PM
99% of termite control is making sure there is a concrete or otherwise nonwood margin between ground and structure - not a stick, not a rotted tree, not a shingle drooping down. If you inspect your house once a year and make sure there are no "bridges" across the foundation, you should be good. Spraying, bait traps etc. are the 1%, even down there in termite heaven.

Displaced Hokie
02-21-2012, 02:50 PM
99% of termite control is making sure there is a concrete or otherwise nonwood margin between ground and structure - not a stick, not a rotted tree, not a shingle drooping down. If you inspect your house once a year and make sure there are no "bridges" across the foundation, you should be good. Spraying, bait traps etc. are the 1%, even down there in termite heaven.

Thanks, that makes me feel better.

That is what I've always done. Keep the foundation clean, spray around the foundation with stuff rated for termites a few times per year, keep all shubbery away, and look for the tunnels up the wall, etc. The slab portion of the house has the siding start @ 1" off the ground, so I should be OK there too. In the basement area, I can't see how the things could even get up there w/o me seeing it (solid blocks w/o a void in the center).

It's just one of those things where "everyone" seems to have a termite contract. And when you don't, you get the look. The termite guy the old folks had stopped by today and tried to put the hard sell on me. $200 "resign" fee, $75/quarter treatment, $75/quarter to keep out spiders, ants, etc. and some kind of damage insurance. All total, @ $800/year or @ $150/quarter. If it was just $75/quarter I might have agreed.

More suggestions are appreciated...

NJHandyGuy
02-21-2012, 03:02 PM
you can get your own termiticide dedicated sprayer and bait stations ytourself for less than $100

Hobbit
02-21-2012, 03:10 PM
Years ago Termite contracts were the norm because mortgage lenders required clear inspections as part of the closing package. Lender required inspections are a thing of the past unless a home inspector or appraiser notes signs or damage in their reports. In the Tri-County Montgomery area of Alabama there are two kinds of homes, those that currently have termites and those that are going to get termites. I have always treated the soil/slab myself and had good results. By the way never trust your agent to pick the termite inspector when you by a home. They hire the guys that never find a damn thing. Even if they give you a list of inspectors to pick from the list will only include the unethical. They are all about their commission and will take the least path of resistance every time. Now if your selling the home let them pick.

nutjob
02-21-2012, 03:13 PM
Here in CT and the Northeast a termite contract is important during the sale of a house for the buyer.

Our house has the Sentricon system, about $275 a year. 2-3 checks a year.
If termites are found in the traps, they swap in some kind of poison. The traps were postive about 4 times in the last 11 years.

I think the system also has some kind of coverage for damage to building.

I keep the Sentricon in case we do sell. Shows the place has been monitored and protected.

Kevin

NitroPress
02-21-2012, 03:39 PM
I've never had a termite contract nor regular inspections - our California house had had an infestation because the idiot PO built a carport with 8-lane termite highways. Carport was removed, house was fumigated and cleared for our purchase inspection. 12 years later I tore into some of the adjacent walls and found chewed lines from the old damage but nothing else. House passed full termite inspection (except for some unrelated dry rot issues under the deck).

No termite contract here, either; house is 10 years old and has a very wide clearance between ground and vinyl siding. Passed inspection just over a year ago.

I know the problem is much worse in the south, but I'd still say due diligence and some owner-monitored traps are sufficient for a handy owner. Some quick reading on termite contracts and so forth sets off my hard-sell BS detector...

danski0224
02-21-2012, 04:21 PM
By the way never trust your agent to pick the termite inspector when you by a home. They hire the guys that never find a damn thing. Even if they give you a list of inspectors to pick from the list will only include the unethical. They are all about their commission and will take the least path of resistance every time. Now if your selling the home let them pick.


That's because any Realtor referred people have a silent credo: Never Break the Deal.

rockchucker
02-21-2012, 04:47 PM
That's because any Realtor referred people have a silent credo: Never Break the Deal.


I have heard this from you before. This is the biggest load of shit I have ever heard. Even if the guys are referred by the Realtor they have their Business to think of. Not just the Realtor's business. They are not going to put a possible claim for E & O Insurance on the line because some Realtor wants them to lie or whatever. Home Inspectors are not going to say they didn't see anything to close the deal when they could be sued in the long run. Once they see it they MUST put it in their Inspection.

Sorry to say it but you are full of it.



The best way to keep Termites from entering your home is to remove all "Conducive Debris" from the Crawl Space. Moisture will bring Moisture Ants and so forth. But leftover Wood is Food for Termites. If they are present you should only need to get rid of them once then remove all Conducive Debris from in and around the perimeter of your Home. They should not come back if there is no Food for them.

You can do a little research on your own to find out some information. It is always good to know for future reference.

glenmore
02-21-2012, 04:59 PM
It there is anything I really hate, it's termites.

Usually when you have bait stations and you want them to work, you do not spray poisons. If termites come, you WANT them to take the poison bait and take it back to the colony to share with their pals. The idea is to destroy the colony.

There is no clear cut evidence that these bait systems actually work. When you think of it, it is a Rube Golberg contraption that depends on a lot of steps to work. First you have to set up enough stations and load them with nice soft wood bait. Termites have to find this and start feeding. Amazingly enough, termites can find buried wood pretty easily. With your routine monitoring, when you get a "hit" in one of your stations, you take out the bait and slip in the poison cartridge. Ideally, the termites don't just disappear (because they don't like being disturbed), and they continue coming and eat the slow acting poison. You are hoping that they eat a good slug of the poison and take it back to the colony. If no more termites come back, then 1) you've decimated the colony or 2) the termites did not like being disturbed and are taking another path...to your house.:scared:

What all this takes is very conscientious monitoring. You can get all the supplies off ebay.

danski0224
02-21-2012, 05:12 PM
I have heard this from you before. This is the biggest load of shit I have ever heard. Even if the guys are referred by the Realtor they have their Business to think of. Not just the Realtor's business. They are not going to put a possible claim for E & O Insurance on the line because some Realtor wants them to lie or whatever. Home Inspectors are not going to say they didn't see anything to close the deal when they could be sued in the long run. Once they see it they MUST put it in their Inspection.

Sorry to say it but you are full of it.





Well then, I guess I talked to the wrong Realtors about home inspections and getting referrals...

They all told me: don't break the deal.

And, I have seen the itty bitty print on HI reports. Avenues to take them to court are pretty well blocked.

But, I have witnessed many "reports" with claims that are well beyond the scope of "inspection" for a HI.

I recently went through a house with some pretty major firecode violations- none of which made it into the HI report. Violations that did not exist when the house was built and are the result of work done by the previous owner.

I may be full of it, but not this time :)

NitroPress
02-21-2012, 05:15 PM
That's because any Realtor referred people have a silent credo: Never Break the Deal.
Possibly true. As a seller, I let the agent provide recommendations because in the end, with everything signed off and guaranteed by the agent, inspectors and fix-it contractors, I walk away clean. I don't care if they're the biggest conniving pack of rat bastards on earth; it's the buyer's problem.

Which is why as a buyer I will pick and choose my own inspectors, certifiers, repair people, etc.

djjsr
02-21-2012, 05:18 PM
Not to hijack but on the same subject ........... A lot of people surround their homes with mulch or bark chips. Doesn't that increase the likelihood of termites? I've always used rock of some kind around the foundation.

Hobbit
02-21-2012, 05:54 PM
I have heard this from you before. This is the biggest load of shit I have ever heard. Even if the guys are referred by the Realtor they have their Business to think of. Not just the Realtor's business. They are not going to put a possible claim for E & O Insurance on the line because some Realtor wants them to lie or whatever. Home Inspectors are not going to say they didn't see anything to close the deal when they could be sued in the long run. Once they see it they MUST put it in their Inspection.

Sorry to say it but you are full of it.



The best way to keep Termites from entering your home is to remove all "Conducive Debris" from the Crawl Space. Moisture will bring Moisture Ants and so forth. But leftover Wood is Food for Termites. If they are present you should only need to get rid of them once then remove all Conducive Debris from in and around the perimeter of your Home. They should not come back if there is no Food for them.

You can do a little research on your own to find out some information. It is always good to know for future reference.

There are unethical licensed professionals in every field and they don't lose one nights sleep over their daily illegal practices. If you think losing their license, current E&O or being sued is going to deter their illegal practices then you haven't been around the block to many times. I see Realtors, Lenders, Inspectors & Attorneys bending, ignoring & breaking ethics rules & laws all the time. I have testified regarding hundreds of illegal flipping transactions that could only have been pulled off with the unethical practices of most involved in the transactions.

kyles974
02-21-2012, 08:46 PM
99% of termite control is making sure there is a concrete or otherwise nonwood margin between ground and structure - not a stick, not a rotted tree, not a shingle drooping down. If you inspect your house once a year and make sure there are no "bridges" across the foundation, you should be good. Spraying, bait traps etc. are the 1%, even down there in termite heaven.

:thumbup:


displaced Hokie,

when we bought our home it had one room that was sinking because the idiot that used to own the house built a walk out concrete slab. (oh, our house is 1/2 slab and the newer,other half up on blocks)
Well, the idiot had the dirt right onto the outside runners of the flooring, (sorry, ain't no construction guy here, LOL)
well the floor in that room and 1/2 way up the walls had to be replaced.

Any how, I did hire to have the first treatment done. The termites were still active. Since then, I treat at least once a year with Demon WP. In fact, I just sprayed the other day. My local farm store sells them by the packet. I bought two packets for the total of around $25. I sprayed all around the exterior of the house and shed. I sprayed about 3ft around and about 3ft along the bottom of the house. Also sprayed as far as I could reach under the house.
What I like is that there is a 6 month residual for the product. So, this will help with ant's, spiders, etc.,

But, just remeber what NitroPress stated. I'm originally from Michigan, so dealing first hand with termites was a learning experiance, but most important info I learned is excactly what NitroPress has said.

I'm always inspecting my house because I live in a high water table area and termites are bad here. I was amazed when I left a few 2x4's laying on the ground and they were distroyed in no time from the termites. (it was like in a couple of months) So, extra un-treated lumber now gets stored on cinder block's, and have not had a problem since.;)


oh ya, here is a link for the Demon WP I used.
http://doyourownpestcontrol.com/demonwp.htm

Great site with alot of info!

I void warranties
02-22-2012, 10:50 AM
i did my own termite treatment and have had successful results. if you use "termidor sc" which is a professional applied product you can buy on ebay in many sizes, a decent sprayer from northern tool, and build your own rodding tool which is used when applying under concrete slabs and beside foundations. when applied correctly you will be protected for up to seven years. this beats a annual contract with so called watered down professional products.

rodding tool build our own (http://www.qspray.com/termite-rods/)

termidor sc (http://www.termidorhome.com/Termite-Protection-with-Termidor.asp)

Displaced Hokie
02-22-2012, 05:33 PM
Thanks folks for all the good information! I'll handle it myself.

Jakester
04-30-2012, 11:45 AM
Never had termites at any of my homes. Now this one had a contract previously and the bait stations all around the outside (those green things in the ground). House is half slab, half basement. I think I should be able to spray/bait and keep it protected myself. What do you all do?

FYI I'm in NC. The house did have some termite damage 7 years ago due to a rotten stump near a crawl space, but that was repaired and I'm digging up the stump. House passed the termite inspection when we bought it last month.

Yes, you can do it yourself. You will have to do some digging, however. The best product on the market right now is called Termidor SC. I buy mine here: http://www.domyownpestcontrol.com/termidor-sc-p-184.html.

You have to dig a trench around your entire home and spray the Termidor next to your foundation. For areas like a concrete slab porch, you'll have to drill holes through it to treat the soil underneath.

While this can be a good days work, the cost savings when compared to hiring an exterminator are still worth it to me.

Also, Termidor SC should last 10 years.

Here is more info on how to do the treatment yourself: http://www.domyownpestcontrol.com/how-to-perform-termite-treatment-a-87.html

Good luck!

Kevin54
04-30-2012, 12:10 PM
The best stuff on the market was Chlorodane before they outlawed it. It was sprayed around the foundation and stayed in the ground for quite a few years. It caused quite a bit of health problems though. I guess Floridians had some serious health issues because it was used extensively years ago down there.

As far as a termite contract, you want to go over it with a very large magnifying glass. A buddy of mine had a termite contract for years. Well one day, part of his ceiling came falling in from termite damage. His house is kind of odd. The garage is at ground level, but the back is also, but there is a hill. It's not what you really call a split level. Anyways, the damage was in the wall and ceiling between the garage and house. IIRC, it was Terminex that he had. They would not cover it, because they said the termites came from under the slab of the garage and they can't treat that area. He tried a few avenues to try and get them to pay, but he lost out. It was close to $10g's in damage.

So if someone has termite coverage for damage, you may want to double check to see if it would cover the common wall between garage and house or if they would try to skate on that.

dkcase
04-30-2012, 01:19 PM
If there is termite damage to a wood member, what is done to that member ? Do you drill into it and inject into it ? Is it enough to just inject the ground ?

I have some soft spots on a joist in my garage. Siding in back goes all the way to the ground.

Sounds like open up the hidden space around it and determine the extent of damage first? That right ?

I void warranties
04-30-2012, 01:38 PM
If there is termite damage to a wood member, what is done to that member ? Do you drill into it and inject into it ? Is it enough to just inject the ground ?

I have some soft spots on a joist in my garage. Siding in back goes all the way to the ground.

Sounds like open up the hidden space around it and determine the extent of damage first? That right ?
if you use termidor sc you could just saturate the wood with the recommended ratio. http://www.termidorhome.com/

KnightFire
04-30-2012, 01:44 PM
Not to hijack but on the same subject ........... A lot of people surround their homes with mulch or bark chips. Doesn't that increase the likelihood of termites? I've always used rock of some kind around the foundation.

Not really, pea gravel/stone alternatives are just as "dangerous." From the bit of reading I've done on the subject , termites aren't necessarily attracted to the wood mulch itself, but the habitat it provides (just like stone) it keep the soil moist and creates even temperatures.

Termites us mulch and stone as bridges from the soil to your house, if you keep the mulch/rocks down to appropriate levels (~2") you shouldn't have any problems, anything more than that, or where you allow the material to touch the siding, then termites will simply use the material as a bridge to get to their meal and start to munch on your houses infrastructure. I also read that mulch contains very little if any nutritional value to termites, that claim may take a bit more research.

Drainage is more key than material. Termites don't like dry soils, if you ensure your mulch/stones aren't acting as a bridge and have adequate drainage, you shouldn't have any problems.

At least that's what I gathered from a bit of reading and personal experience.

HTH. :beer:

James E
05-01-2012, 01:26 PM
I see that this is a somewhat older thread but recently re-hashed. It's obviously not complete without my input so here goes. :)

It is possible to treat your own home and never have termites. The inspection is fairly simple, especially if you have a crawlspace. It's more difficult if your slab house siding sits low to the grade and your landscaping hinders your access, or you might have an interior crack in your slab that allows termites direct access to your framing. You're just looking for tubes of mud that the termites have built up your foundation or piers. My last house was never under a policy, but I have a close friend who is an exterminator who I got to inspect the house often. My current house had a small infestation many years ago and the previous owners treated it and got a policy, which I continued.

Anyway, I recommend termite policies because they are cheap and they cover the damage when termites do appear.

The OP mentioned that he's in NC, and the prices he mentioned seem high to me. It's initially expensive to get or reinstate a policy, and that's true, but going forward, the annual renewals should be in the $75 to $150 range, and to me (especially since the OP mentioned that he had prior termite damage), that's cheap insurance against future damage.

Also, if the OP thinks he might sell the house anytime in the distant future, the termite policy is almost a requirement for the new buyer. Because there is previous damage, they will shy away from a purchase as soon as they see that on the home inspection--but if the house was treated, inspected annually and is covered by a damage policy that is transferable, that largely eliminates the problem.

Also, depending on where in NC the OP is, there may be more or less of a problem. Down East with the sandy soils and abundance of slab houses, termites seem to be more of a problem. Here in the Triangle, they are less so, but still can turn up.

James E
05-01-2012, 01:37 PM
I should add that it's also possible for termites to make their way through a block foundation and not leave any external tubes. As a result, it's important to check your sill plates for soft spots.