8:20 PM 05/09/2012
In January we discovered that we had well-established termite activity in our brick townhouse —several basement joists were damaged, as well as the floor on the garden level of our house. After seeking estimates and treatment options from several providers, we decided to sign up with Terminix for a garden baiting system which was installed in mid-February, at which time the joists in the basement were also treated with Timbor.
We saw termites swarming on two occasions in mid-March, on the garden floor and the parlor floor—both locations on the opposite side of the house from where we had seen the original damage and most extensive activity. I called Terminix and a technician came and did another Tim-Bor treatment on the joists in the basement; he also recommended that we have a chemical treatment in the ground. A technician came in late March and did not do the chemical treatment, as I was expecting him to—he said that was not on his work ticket—but instead injected foam into two locations where I had seen swarming.
Last week a technician came for the first (3 month) check of the bait traps, which had not been touched by any termites. I did not have him look in the basement—I wasn't expecting his visit, and was caught off guard—but just this evening I went into the basement to see if I could find any termite activity myself, and I found new mud tubes on one joist (formerly treated with Tim-Bor) which, when I broke them open, revealed live insects inside.
I will call Terminix again tomorrow, of course, and have them come out to assess. But I would appreciate hearing of any experiences from other homeowners who have defeated termites, or at least are managing to hold them at bay. What worked for you? And how long did it take? And a related question—at what point did you start actively to do repairs to the damage? We are going to have to sister several joists in the basement and redo at least some of the flooring on the garden level, but I am reluctant to start work while I can still see insects crawling around there.
To fill in the picture further: our house is attached on both sides—I know that a neighbor on one side (the side nearest the worst activity we are currently seeing, though not the side where the swarming happened) has termite damage in their basement, because I have seen it, but I do not know if they currently have live activity. Obviously it being a row house makes it harder to treat, but since brownstone Brooklyn is largely made up of row houses, I can't think our situation is unique.
Thanks for any words of wisdom.
I have heard unfortunate things about the larger chains such as Terminex. I would call a local pest control company that specializes in termites, roaches, etc. I have had a good experience with Ed of Empire Pest Control in Park Slope. As it happens, we sistered joists and treated before calling him in, but the proper procedure is to call in the pest control, treat, then rebuild the structure -- using techniques the pest control expert will recommend. Obviously you want to deal with someone with deep experience in these matters, not a low-level guy just doing the physical work for a chain.
12:17 PM 05/10/2012 | 0 Votes
Thanks, mopar—I did get Ed in to look around—he was the first guy (of about five) that I had come in. He recommended not treating the joists at all, but replacing them entirely with treated wood. (A contractor whose name he gave me had some very odd ideas about putting new joists in in segments, rather than as complete beams—which seemed less than optimal from a structural perspective.) Ed didn't notice two very large mud structures that the termites had built on joists—it took a representative from another company to do that. Hence my choice of Terminix (with whom I am so far pretty unimpressed). But since you've dealt with termites, perhaps you can tell me what your problem was and how you solved it? And how long it took until the problem was solved? Thanks again.
3:35 PM 05/10/2012 | 0 Votes
i had a swarm and infestation in my wood frame house in WT a couple of years ago. There was lots of old historic damage also. I called Jeff at Ecology Exterminating. I had him do chemical ground injections around the perimeter to do a fast kill and then he installed a set of Advance Termite bait stations. These sound like what you got terminex to set up around your brownstone. These are a very slow kill process and need regular monitoring. they are good for long term managment and monitoring. i dont have Jeff checking the traps, i do that myself. there is an inert cartiridge that they love to eat and when you observe them in there you drop in the death cartridge and that destroys the nest. Do a bit of entimological study online and you will know as much about termites as many of the pros. i would suggest you do everything you can, they can do a lot of damage once a large colony starts feeding on your house.
4:17 PM 05/12/2012 | 0 Votes
Hey, Cleospad, do you have any updates on your battle with the bugs? I am in a similiar situation... termites in main beam in basement. Less than confident in Ed's assesment so getting additional estimates. We are joined on 2 sides so one firm suggest drilling the entire perimiter of cellar.
10:17 PM 05/29/2012 | 0 Votes