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Termite pesticide question


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Has anyone heard of an old termite treatment that at one time was considered to be permanent? Apparently it was used prior to and during the Vietnam era.

The substance was found to be extremely toxic. My first thought was maybe an Agent Orange type chem?

I was asked if there was a test for the chemical, I assume a person would have to take a core sample?

Am I crazy or is this a valid issue?

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Yes. As Dom said, Chlordane (aka "the good stuff") was used from just after WWII until it was banned in '88. It was very effective because it latched onto soil particles and didn't wash away or tend to contaminate ground water.

When I began inspecting, it was a big deal. Every class I took warned me to completely cover all skin when entering a crawlspace and to be wary of a petroleum smells and chlorine smells, mostly to protect against chlordane. It's readily absorbed through the skin and it affects the nervous system.

Any environmental lab ought to be able to test for it (well, maybe not those that've cropped up to specialize in mold).

The chlordane would either have been rodded or trenched into the soil around the perimeter of the foundation. A simple core would do it.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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I had a bad experience with clordane. Bought a 1946 all wood cape cod home and re furbished it.

All the rough hewn timber foundation sill plates were coated with a cresote petrolem black product and I was told this would repel all termites. I had the house treated with clordane any way even though there was no termite tunnels present. Bad mistake I was ill for six months and for years after could not stand smell of any toxic material such as gasoline, pesticides, etc. I was so ill I swore I would never have that house treated again, as far as I was concerned the termites could have the house. That was 30 years past and no treatment and no termite problems of any kind. The poor guy treating the basement and crawlspace came out every 10 minutes gasping for air and he surely must be dead or crippled long ago.

Some people say they wish they could get some of the good old stuff (clordane). I would not use it if it was given to me with a promise to pay all my burial expenses.

Paul B.

Been there done that and ain't gonna do it again.

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The bad experience from chlordane may have involved a bad application. A few bad applications were instrumental in having it removed from use.

Chlordane was most always associated with a "lifetime guarantee" at least in our local area.

It would be nice to have it again and when I find an old bottle in a house I offer to dispose of it for the owner.

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Originally posted by Les

I dusted my entire body with clordane everyday for months. That is my excuse. It will kill stuff!

We had a small container of it issued when ever we needed it. I would sell mine to the locals

Seven dust is good for same. Good flea treatment for cats and dogs and garden vegetable plants used sparingly.

The clordane put in my house was liquid and it must still be active after 30 years because there are no termites and no treatment since it was installed.

Paul B.

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Paul,

We also had lindane powder, but it caused a rash on most people. My Uncle Harry Sinclair made a fortune buying clordane and DDT by the tank car and re-packaging it into consumer friendly bottles for the retail trade. I have several of those bottles from the fifties and early sixties. My pest control company has an extensive collection of machinery and chemicals from the past.

I am not being "flip" about these chemicals, however there is another side to every chemical story. Over-use is almost always involved. It is going on today with modern chemicals despite our full knowledge of the past. I recently worked a file where the exterminator used 260gals of solution( .5 permethrin) to flood the perimeter of a house - no rodding, just trenching! House was 108' of running foundation.

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The Company that treated my house with chlordane also talked me into a yearly contract for re treatment if needed I guess. I do not see how it could be needed after what I went through. Any way after I recovered from my poisoned stupor I called them, cancelled the contract and told them to never come near my house again. I figure the lifetime warranty is no good if an improper installation kills me and it almost did.

Paul B.

Originally posted by davidlord

If we were still using Chloradane we wouldn't be able to charge those renewal fees and retreat every five years.

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Originally posted by paul burrell

The Company that treated my house with chlordane also talked me into a yearly contract for re treatment if needed I guess. I do not see how it could be needed after what I went through. Any way after I recovered from my poisoned stupor I called them, cancelled the contract and told them to never come near my house again. I figure the lifetime warranty is no good if an improper installation kills me and it almost did.

Paul B.

Originally posted by davidlord

If we were still using Chloradane we wouldn't be able to charge those renewal fees and retreat every five years.

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  • 1 year later...

well i'm trying to figure out whether to keep my lifetime termite repair and retreatment contract. the house was treated with chlordane in 1980 and some folks say the treatment is still good. of course no one is offering the "lifetime REPAIR and retreatment" policies anymore so people say to hold on to it. the company of course is saying I have to retreat and of course the retreatment will only last 10 years. any thoughts?

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  • 2 weeks later...

We just bought a home that was built in 1986 and had a pest control guy come out to give us a price for a termite bond. He found no existing problems and had mentioned to me that he found it unusual for a 22 year old home in Georgia to not be under a bond, never have been treated for termites and yet shows no sign of any termite activity. The crawl space is also rather clean...no spiders or cobwebs, etc.

He mentioned chloradane and suggested that perhaps it could have been used on our home given the lack of infestation after so long with no treatments. After doing some searching, I'm a little concerned about this chemical and the potential harm it could cause my wife and 7 month old son. I guess the question is, should I be worried? Is there any way to have the property tested? We've only been in the home for a few days now and so far, no illness or odd symptoms.

If anyone has info or can point to some good resources for information, it would be a big help!

Thanks!

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  • 1 year later...

Before an extermination service company can effectively treat an infestation, the insect, rodent or pest at blame must be definitively identified.

Let's answer a few questions in order to make the service request easier for you.

* Have you identified the pest causing the nuisance?

* Have you inspected the infested area as best as possible?

* Can you estimate or determine how extensive the problem is?

* Is the infested area moisture ridden, is the affected area currently wet?

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  • 1 month later...

Chlordane is widely considered "long-lasting" and was used from the 1950's till its ban in the late 80's.

Dom.

As an owner of a pest company since the late 70's, Chloridane (Chlorinated hydrocarbons) was only one type of these materials. This chemical family had what was termed a 25 year half life. Aldrin was probably one of the most long lasting of the bunch. Most of these products bonded to the soil and did not travel. A soil test would confirm it and what's present. That's pretty pricey.
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  • 5 months later...

chlordane was a repelant (could not achieve colony elimination). so any breach do to shrub roots or simple half life break down in any one section would force termites into small negligible gaps. homes w/chlordane do require retreats at some point.. 25-30 years is a good point to consider. or as needed (for a breach)

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  • 5 months later...

I agree with everyone that what they are talking about is Chloradane and it was oulawed in the late 80's and for years companies used Dursban which wasn't nearly as good. It als was outlawed in the late 90's and then companies used Permethrin which wasn't really good at all. Now most companies use Termidor or Phantam which is really effective and so far hasn't proven to be as toxic as some of the older chemicals.

Preston Sandlin

http://www.askthecharlotteinspector.com

http://www.homeinspectioncarolina.com

http://www.Charlottenchomeinspector.com

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