Learning About Termites the Hard Way

We had a termite infestation swarm today. Looks like termites have snuck into the walls of our house and created a little home for themselves. Now we have to fumigate.

The girls were the ones to discover the swarm. They were playing on the floor when they started screaming, “Mom! There’s a bug on the wall. No, there’s LOTS of bugs on the wall. And they have big wings!”

I have never in my life seen a termite. I knew that they eat houses and that when I see a house covered in a tent, it’s for the purpose of getting rid of them. But when I saw them, I thought they were flying ants.

So I called Terminix. They came out and verified that we indeed have termites. And they informed us that the de-termitification will cost a LOT of money.

Maybe there are benefits to learning things from books instead of from real life experience.

The up side? The Terminix guy gave us a bug-wheel, which the kids are now using to identify the various kinds of bugs we have seen in our house and backyard. It is an incredibly expensive bug classification project.
We can’t get the bug service until Saturday, so it looks like we’re on termite clean-up and maintenance duty until they get here. Any advice on how to manage the termites until the Terminix guys come to kill them all?

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11 Responses to “Learning About Termites the Hard Way”

  1. Tana Says:

    Call another company? Get some more quotes and possibly alternate treatment solutions or timetables?

    We had to treat our house when we sold it. They didn’t find live termites, but they supposedly found damage. The company that “found” the damage also had the lowest bid of anyone in town, but I refused to use them because I thought they “found” termites so they could “treat” and make money. Of course, you have real termites, but it still pays to call around.

    My other advice would be to get quotes from local independently owned companies rather than national companies. You get more individual treatment rather than “This is what we do with people who have termites.” I don’t know how we’ll I’m explaining that. The company that “found” our termites was a local company, but so was the company we ultimate hired to treat our house. Go with your gut – don’t just accept everything they tell you.

    Good luck!

  2. Kris Bordessa Says:

    Tammy,

    In this moist climate there are big problems with termites, and it’s very common to see tented houses. There’s a company here that’s doing natural termite control (I’m a little leery of all those chemicals being pressed into a house!) that doesn’t require tenting or moving out. I searched online and found this info. Might be worth looking at. Good luck.

  3. suburbancorrespondent Says:

    Good luck! I hate bugs intensely. I hate them so much, I can’t even read a book about them with my kids. All those magnified photos give me nightmares.

  4. Sandra Foyt Says:

    I’m so sorry. It’s one thing to see those incredible termite nests in nature, and another in your own home.

    As a kid, I used to love to poke in the brittle wood on a on the termite termite tracks. They tunneled trails in the wood molding, but the mostly concrete home was ok. I’m sure my parents did not appreciate that.

    I suggest using a vacuum with a nozzle to keep the termites out of sight until Saturday. If they’re swarming, spray the heck out of them with Raid or any store-bought insecticide, and then vacuum the remains. Oh, and keep the lights on. I think they prefer a dark environment.

    Or, maybe it’s just me, afraid of the dark.

  5. momlovesbeingathome Says:

    Bummer!!! I have no experience with termites so I can’t offer any advice. I hope you’re able to find a good, cost-effective way to get rid of them though!!

  6. tobeme Says:

    Termites are no fun! Best of luck to you. Love how you were able to turn this into a lesson for the children.

  7. Tammy Says:

    Well, we had the service today. I did some research, and this kind of service is just plain expensive, no matter how you look at it. A termite landed on my computer a few minutes ago, so they aren’t gone. It will take a while for them all to die. *sigh* It’s so gross.

    Tana – we had some evidence of old termites in our garage too. Terminix said that they’ll keep an eye on it, but won’t treat it until they see live ones. We DO have live “bad” termites in a side fence though. Gives me the heebee jeebees

    Kris – Thanks for the link. I don’t know if Terminix uses something similar, but we didn’t have to leave when the did the service. Phew! Apparently, there’s a huge termite breakout right now. Lots of people have them. Grrr…

    suburban – I’m with you. I was the only adult around when we found the bugs, and I was freaked out. I just wanted to leave.

    Sandra – thanks for the advice. That’s what we did. And I found out that when they swarm, they only live for about and hour. So, I had a vacuum full of dead termites. Eeeew. Thank goodness hubby takes care of the gross stuff.

    momloves – thanks 🙂

    tobeme – ha ha! I didn’t turn it into a lesson!!! They did! I just wanted the bugs out of my house. The kids were the curious ones, and wouldn’t let the termite guy get away without asking a million questions.

  8. Sheri Says:

    Oh yuck Tammy…bugs as a general rule don’t bother me too much but winged critters just freak me right out.

    Something about them having the advantage of flight just makes my skin crawl.

    Hope it all gets cleared up asap.

  9. Michelle Says:

    we just got told the weird flying bugs everywhere are TERMITES! I FREAKED. I HATE bugs, ALL BUGS, I can’t sleep, eat, study, nothing. I just wanted out. I hate the feeling of my apartment crawling. ew. I cleaned them all up that I could last night, and was exhausted after the fact. GOD Its such a horrible experience. Apparently they find the colonies and it takes about 3 days to resolve, but they put a honey consistency killer in the wall and it kills them and if they go into it they take it back to other colonies and it kills them. I WANNA MOVE!

  10. Lisa Says:

    can you tell me how much Terminex charged to fumigate? I have found evidence of infestation but I am scared to call because I don’t want to face the cost lol! Is about 700-1000 the going rate?


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