Treating Termites

When you are looking for a termite infestation, you will see tunnel shapes over the surfaces of the foundation walls. When termites feed the make “galleries” that run with the grain of the wood. You probably won’t be able to see these galleries on the surface, however, if you remove a piece of trim you can see where the infestation is. Or you can probe an ice pick or a knife into the place thought to be infested.

Two ways to control the termite population are, to block the passageways they use or by poisoning the soil around the wood. Using both of these methods at the same time works best. Though these are the two more highly recommended preventative measures, every case is different and the poisoning can hold up to five years before changing treatment.

With every different case there is a different treatment. If you are treating and interior wall or else a wall around a supporting pier of a building without a basement, you will want to dig a trench about one foot wide and approximately eight inches deep right along the wall or pier. However if you are treating an exterior wall the trench should be about fifteen inches deep.

The treatment changes again in a building that has a full basement. Along the exterior walls you are still digging a trench fifteen inches deep, but within the trench, holes will need to be drilled one inch apart from each other. Each of these holes is also fifteen inches deep. If the termites “tubes” extend further than the trench, dig the trench deeper to make sure the poison reaches down as far as needed.

Any cracks or openings found in the basement foundation needs to be filled with concrete , coal-tar pitch, or plastic cement. It’s important to not use asphalt, because the termites will be able to go through it.

Talk to your local professional when choosing which poison is most effective. Some say that a mixture of Chlordane and kerosene (or oil) is very effective.

To properly apply the chemicals to the exterior walls, pour or sprinkle the mixture at the bottom of the trench. Cover the bottom of the trench and chemicals with a 6 inch layer of soil. Add more of the chemical and mix with the soil. Repeat this until the trench is filled. The interior walls can be treated the same way you did the exterior walls or the trenches can be left open instead.

It is important not apply chemicals to either water-soaked or frozen soil.

Remember to use safety precautions when treating for termites. The chemicals used can be poisonous to animals and humans as well as termites. Always wear protective gloves when handling chemicals. If at any time the chemical or the treated soil comes in contact with your skin immediately scrub with soapy water. If you are preparing the chemical indoors, make sure to have ventilation such as an open window or door.

If there is any possibility the chemicals could reach drinking water don’t treat the soil there.

Some of the treatments could also be poisonous to plants so if you wish to protect your bushes you will want to line the side of the trench next to the roots of the plants with a heavy roofing material.

Also some of the chemicals that can be used are flammable, so it’s best to mix them outside and keep all animals and children away at all times.

If you have a termite problem it’s best to check with a professional before trying to do anything about them on your own.

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