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Question DetailsAsked on 10/13/2017

I tented my home for termites but how do I know it worked? How do I know if the termites are dead?

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If properly tented, odds are real good all the in-house termites were killed - though if they were subterranean termites (coming in through the ground rather than entered the house as a new colony established by flyers) then you also have to treat the ground (both outside and any exposed dirt in crawlspace/basement) to kill the ones in the ground and prevent further underground infiltration. Also, there are always cases where some very well-protected eggs survive and hatch out to create a new infestation, though with proper dosing and duration kill rate on the eggs runs over 95%. I would specify in the contract that killing of both live and larval and egg stage insects are to be targeted - this usually results in about a 25% increase in gas concentration and a day longer exposure.

Generally, a tenting will include a warranty against reinfestation for a short period of time - so within that time frame you should have a reinspection - generally best done by a different contractor because the one who tented obviously has a strong incentive to not notice any live termites during the warranty period. For the inspection you have to make clear that they are looking for signs of live termites, not just signs of prior infestation, and document (and preferably provide live samples) any active termite activity to show to the original company to demand a retenting and retreatment - or a refund so you can have someone else retreat the house.

Which brings up another factor - generally, if spraying or dusting or tenting was required, the scope of work should include vacuuming up all accessible signs of termites and sawdust, and color treating any termites-eaten wood that is left in place. And of course all significantly damaged wood should generally be replaced. And documenting this on the invoice, so that can be shown to potential buyers whose inspector notes signs of termite infestation - otherwise you could lose prospective buyers or end up paying for another tenting based on old, inactive infestation evidence.

I prefer the copper treatments for cut ends on ground-contact timber (like Copper-Green or Cuprinol) because it also effectively prevents reinfestation in that location if new termites come into the house, as previously eaten tunnel areas are a preferred starting point for new infestations. Also provides a clear green or brown (I prefer the green because it clearly shows it is rot and insect preventative) - can be brushed or sprayed on, but should soak well into the wood, not just be a light coat.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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