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North Carolina Termites


Douglas Hansen
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I've always been of the opinion that a chemical barrier works better than bait stations, at least for residential applications. This isn't based on anything that I've read, just 3 years as a termite inspector and 8 as a home inspector.

It might be region and/or species dependent though.

Marc

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A friend in North Carolina has a house in the woods in the smokies
Does the water come from a well? How close to where these chemicals are to be injected into the ground is the well? There are some instances where bait stations may be a more sensible approach. Better yet, eliminate the condition(s) that are inviting the termites into the home.
...and is finding what he thinks are subterranean termites in his garage (and in the firewood stacked outside it).
The buildings least likely to have termites are in the woods. I have a house in a forest, have lots of wood in contact with the ground at and near the house, and termites have never replied to the invitation. They have no need to establish colonies away from their abundant, perpetual food sources. It might not be termites in your friend's garage. No need to pump chemicals into the earth if it's not necessary (unless your a technician salesman with certain pest control firms).
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Good point on the well location; don't wanna be fouling the water supply.

I don't know about that part of "houses in the woods are least susceptible". I've owned a few houses in the woods, and termites don't seem to differentiate between houses in woods or houses elsewhere near as I can tell. I had a running battle with the things for a few decades.

They'll get into whatever they can get into.

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A friend in North Carolina has a house in the woods in the smokies, and is finding what he thinks are subterranean termites in his garage (and in the firewood stacked outside it). I'm not familiar with bug issues in that part of the world. Are bait stations a good idea?

I was involved in some research with bait stations. If you have the time, they can be very effective. They're certainly the choice when you wish to release the least amount of chemical possible into the environment.

Termidor is also an excellent product and, if applied properly, very safe.

You can also turn the tables on them and recognize, as Africans have for millennia, that termites are a tasty and nutritious food. If I had a ready supply, I'd eat them up.

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The best approach is a combination of soil injection (where there are no problems with well water) and bait stations. I personally use Premise, but Termidor is also good. (I hold a supervisors license in CT). Most of the bait installations I saw while inspecting were worthless because they were never followed up on. Sentricon was/is used heavily and while the concept works the stations need to be monitored.

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Sentricon works great, but it's slow.....sometimes a year or more before the nest dies out.

Because of products like Termidor (fast), Sentricon is losing market share, and is not building vendor base, so it's hard to get competent folks for monitoring.

It's a great idea, but soil poison is what people go with because they see results.

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Does the water come from a well? How close to where these chemicals are to be injected into the ground is the well? There are some instances where bait stations may be a more sensible approach. Better yet, eliminate the condition(s) that are inviting the termites into the home.

Every home in my subdivision has a water well in the backyard. Just to be sure, I found this from a Termidor label:

TREATMENT OF STRUCTURES WITH WELLS OR CISTERNS

Do not contaminate wells or cisterns. Do not apply TERMIDOR® SC Termiticide/Insecticide within 5 feet of any well or cistern by rodding and/or trenching or by the backfill method. Treat soil between 5 and 10 feet from the well or cistern by the backfill method only. Treatment of soil adjacent to water pipes within 3 feet of grade should only be done by the backfill method

Marc

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