Hoping for some advise. We had a termite swarm two days ago and, not knowing what they were, sprayed them with bug spray and moved on. The building is 1800 sq. feet and made of all metal beams and concrete. Once we realized they were termites we figured they would just move on having found nothing to eat. However, it looks like we found their entry point inside the building and we were told they are eating the dry wall. Could that be true? We had small piles of sand at the base of a toilet with the same insects last summer but they went away after being cleaned once or twice. Please advise!
At this point I advise you to get a treatment done ASAP! Clearly you have active termites and if the structure hasn’t been treated yet, it needs a full residual applied to keep these guys out. For starters, I suggest you read through our TERMITE CONTROL ARTICLE. In the article you’ll learn the various treatment options and from the reading you should be able to decide if you will attempt to do the job yourself or hire a service company to do the work.
First and foremost, it’s important to understand the termite swarmers you are seeing is indicative of a live and very active infestation. As our article explains, the swarmers will only leave from where workers have been before. You didn’t mention where the swarm was seen but in all liklihood it’s one of the entry points into the structure. Whether this is on the outside of the building or the inside: it’s a live and very active problem that needs to be treated.
As for the dry wall; they aren’t actually eating the chalk inside the dry wall but rather the paper outer shell. It’s cellulose (wood by product) and they most definitely will eat paper and cardboard. Usually what you’ll find will be the paper missing and the paint will begin to peel or chip off the wall. There will also be some dirt or sand in tiny grooves where the paper used to be which is what worker termites bring in when tunneling and eating. This is most likely what you saw at the base of the toilet last year too which just confirms a live infestation.
Lastly, though you don’t mention the kind of structure where this is happening, it sounds like it could be a slab home. If so, you’ll need a good application with something like the TERMIDOR over everything else we have listed in our article. If applied where they’re active you could solve the problem once and for all but at this point it’s important you refrain from random spraying anything else. Spooking the termites away will effectively only push them to other parts of the home which in the end will make solving the problem that much more difficult. This is what will happen with most sprays like the “bug spray” you mentioned above. As you’ll learn, Termidor doesn’t act this way and because of the way it does work it’s really the only spray you should consider if the home is a slab. If you still have questions regarding this problem, give us a call Mon-Sat at 1-800-877-7290 as I’m sure one of our techs can further assist.
Here are direct links to the information and products mentioned above: