Termites 2007 misc notes

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Termites 2007 misc notes

Notes from call to Antique Termite and Pest January 3, 2007


Talked with Aaron Miranda, an inspector.

He found my previous inspection record from 2001. Found evidence of subterranean termites (and also dry-wood termites?) at that time. Did spot-treatments only.

Found evidence of subterranean termites in the water heater closet. Don’t know yet whether they drilled through the slab to treat the soil – have to check the treatment record, not the report.

Now I’ve seen a pile of pellets in the atrium inside from the front door on the left, and also actual termites and wings inside in the master bath, and piles of pellets in the back corner of the garage where the shelves meet the heater closet (SE corner of garage).

Aaron says a “limited” inspection to identify the types of termites would cost $150, a “full” inspection about $250. Regarding the dry-wood termites we already know the answer (tent) but I believe we need a full inspection because it’s been over 5 years and because of the subterranean termites: we need to identify all the locations in the house where we might need to get through the slab and treat the soil.

For fumigation, they need about a week’s notice to set it up, and we need to be out of the house (pets and all) for 3 days. The gas has no residue at all and will not harm any types of clothing. We can put food in special plastic bags and leave it in the cupboard or fridge.

Plants that are inside the tent will die. We need to find out if they can keep the bushes at the front outside the tent.

Regarding the landscape: we might be able to put down grass before they tent, but we shouldn’t put down other plants along the border of the house. They will be walking on the grass across the front yard to get the tent put on; other grass areas should be safe.

Tenting costs about $2000.

I called Robert Pearman the landscaper to talk about this and left a message.

Prep - there are exterior prep companies; see listing at http://www.discountfumigation.com/links.php

  • Reserve a hotel for us and the cats for 2-3 nights
  • Double-bag food that doesn't already have a factory air-tight seal
  • Rake back gravel 12" from the house to expose dirt
  • The day before, water the dirt to a depth of 2" all around the house - "approximately one hour of soaking"
  • Before tenting, schedule PG&E to turn on the gas and re-light pilots after the expected all-clear date/time
  • (Electricity and water must stay on.)
  • Remove TV antennas and dishes
  • Fence boards on the west side: remove 12" of vertical boards and un-nail the top runner
  • Remove valuables (jewelry, furs, cash)
  • Remove plastic-encased pillows (the ones from the hospital)
  • See about removing the chimney top - isn't it glued down?

Food things to remember to bag:

  • Cork-sealed wine bottles are OK as long as they're on their sides or upside-down.
  • Open liquor
  • Cat food
  • Medicines
  • Toiletries (mouthwash, toothpaste, cosmetics)
  • Tea, coffee, spices

Links and resources, and notes on what they said:

  • nature.berkeley.edu/lewis/index2.html - the Berkeley Termite Page. Papers here say that fumigation is 100% effective against drywood termites, and that other methods are not. Electricution, in particular, is hit-or-miss and you have to know exactly where they are. Cold and heat also are spot-treatments and unreliable, plus they cause damage you have to repair. For subterranean termites, injecting a termiticide is good, and a physical barrier (a perimeter of sand for example) is effective, and other methods (e.g. coating termites with poison and sending them into the nest) are not.

More body goes here.


This page was last edited April 26, 2008.