Termite control at home?

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Forum topic by JCamp posted 09-23-2020 04:21 PM 249 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1229 posts in 1433 days

09-23-2020 04:21 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I’ve been redoing a room at my house that was built in the 1950s. I found one board that had almost a 2 foot section that looked like it had been ate up by termites(guessing since I’ve never actually seen any before). I did not see any around there at the time but I am wondering what my treatment options are. At my last house we had it treated by a local company and it was a $1000 but we were going to be selling it so it made since to have a professional treat it as a perk of being able to show that to interested buyers. We plan on keeping our current house for a long while though so if I can save some money (this house it’s about twice the square footage as our old house so I’m guessing it would cost twice as much) and do it myself I’d prefer to go that route.
Anyone with suggestions?

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

4 replies so far

View Kelly's profile (online now)


3154 posts in 3827 days

#1 posted 09-23-2020 05:01 PM

They hate borax. Tests were done by exposing borax treated wood to termites. They’d make their tunnels up to the treated wood, thinking they found a food source, then go elsewhere.

The key is, dissovling the borax in water, so it can be, generously, sprayed on. Of course, it’s going to soak in a little bit, which is a good thing.

The down side is, it cannot be used where the borax is exposed to water, which will wash it away. However, if that’s a problem under your house or in a room, you have bigger problems [that invited the termites and carpenter ants in anyway].

Once dissolved, the mix can be applied via a common pump up garden sprayer.

There are many web sites that explain tips on deterring carpenter ants and termites, such as, as mentioned, making sure the area under the house is not damp. That may mean putting down heavy mill plastic and, in some cases, installing French drains.


View CaptainKlutz's profile


3722 posts in 2377 days

#2 posted 09-24-2020 01:18 AM

IMHO – Need to get 2-3 professional inspections and quotes; before deciding a treatment plan, including DIY.

If you live in area subject to drywood termites, and you have active infestation; you will need professional treatment to remove them. Drywood termite removal is not DIY.

There are several types of termites and active infestation needs bait stations to eradicate all the area nests near your house. The professionals will best educate on what types has been roaming the local area during the inspections. Then you will know what chemicals to buy for DIY effort.

In old days, used to dig 6” deep a trench around the house foundation, and pour in hundred gallons of DDT mixture, then fill in trench. Nothing survives crossing that barrier for long, not even humans. That is why DDT is banned today. :-)

Current times, pros use Termidor to similar effect. DIY treatment is possible, buying it from a DIY store. Not cheap, expect to pay hundred’s for several gallons of pesticide required for the hundred or more gallons required to trench a large house. Patents have expired on Termidor and can now buy a generic, but it’s still expensive.

When you find old wood damage, but see no wet tracks from subterranean types; it is good idea to install bait stations around the home. Inspect the bait stations weekly at first, monthly as time passes. I don’t like leaving bait stations permanently as they will eventually attract area termites and bring them to your home for dinner. If not active in ~2 months, remove them and resort to a regular preventative treatment plan.

IME – Use of repellent barrier chemicals rarely work. The darn bugs are smart enough to find the one hole in the fence, and come for snack regardless. If you are going to spend money on preventative treatment, use a non-repellent pesticide.

+1 Water is key to infestations. Keep several foot area around you house dry, and the underground varmints stay away.

Best Luck.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View Doug's profile


1162 posts in 3644 days

#3 posted 09-24-2020 02:03 PM

Sir, I wish you well on treating for termites. We had a section of our house that was damaged by them. Unfortunately we moved before anything could be done about. When I initially discovered that we had the problem my thinking was to tear out that section, treat everything as best I could, and then replace it all with new lumber. It would have been quite daunting because it was an exterior wall that would have needed to be replaced. I pray that it goes well for you. Take care.

-- Doug

View 987Ron's profile


104 posts in 199 days

#4 posted 09-24-2020 03:02 PM

ditto on CaptainKlutz!
Unsure of your location but here in the south termites are not taken lightly. Professionals tend to have the equipment and chemicals a DIYer has limited or no access to. Estimates as to cost and the extent of the infestation would be my choice. Then decide.
Good luck on the problem

-- It's not a mistake it's a design opportunity

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