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Ugh! found severe termite/carpenter ant damage....

3 replies [Last post]
Joined: Mar 20 2003

More of a groan than a question:

I was upgrading a junction box for a sconce in my living room today.

I pulled out the old one and it had a mounting bracket that was nailed into the studs on either side of the j-box. i tug on this bracket and the whole thing falls out and down the wall. I pull out the flashlight and look at one of the studs it was attatched to and its pretty much non existent. It looks like the wood has just rotted and there is a little bit of sawdust lying around... I pushed on it with my flashlight and the whole 2x4 gives way and the flash light slides rite through....

The good news is it looks like old damage as i did not see any bugs.

Time to call the pest guys..

I seem to remember that the main differce between termites and carp. ants is that one lives in the wood while the other eats it. Anyone remeber which one does waht?

Joined: Apr 2 2003

I feel your pain...

I ran into termites last Christmas, bad scene. But I can tell you the nightmare doesn't last forever.

First things, carpenter ants live in the wood. Termites, and carpenter bees, eat it. Next, do not assume that because you didn't see any animals that they aren't there (or nearby). Get a reputable termite inspection company in to take a look--then get a second opinion. If the opinions differ, get a third. Note that there are commonly 2 kinds of termites--drywood and subterrranean and they require very different treatment. (Yes, I was told the first time it wasn't an active investation, then had a company recommended that was on a 3 year probation with SPCB for fraud, then had a company's report misidentify the termites as dry wood... Heed my advice.)

Be aware that termite inspection/treatment reports are public information, all termite companies are required to file them with the California Structural Pest Control Board. Anyone, for no particular reason, can ask for a free copy of any termite report prepared on any property in the last two years. So make sure whatever reports you get are accurate.

Start with a couple of recommended/referred companies then look up their license/record at:

If you're happy with what you see, call and ask them lots of questions-- including how many Eichlers they have worked on, guarantees, etc. Note that no termite company guarantee I saw covered you for damages caused by surviving/returning termites--only said would retreat for free.


P.S. If I can find your email address I will email you the company I ended up with that treated my subterranean termites. If you don't hear from me, feel free to prompt at eichowner at rawbw dot com Good luck.

P.P.S. Barry Briscoe (the House Doctor) did a piece on this topic--a fine job as always. See it at:

eichfan at rawbw dot com

Joined: Apr 2 2003

Oops, a little slow off the mark having returned from an extended trip.

I notice now that you are in Texas so obviously the California regulations won't apply (nor my offer to provide a reference). Howeve, it's probably worth searching the Internet to see if Texas has something similar.

Good luck.


eichfan at rawbw dot com

Joined: Mar 20 2003

Yeah we tend to use alot of the organic style bait stations in these parts.. it can still run you an awful lot of money.

I have definetly seen carpenter ants when I was rebuilding my detatched workshop/shed but this looks like termite damage.

The annoying thing is that because of the ay m,y house was built and added onto the wall that has the problem actually stradels a 1"" wide gap between 2 slabs in mmy house that goes straigt down to the gground.

It seems that my house has a slab (only one I cna find in the neighborhood even though the same people built them all)

Anyway they closed in an open area that was essentially like the atriums in an Eichler and a patio area. It was almost seamlesly done only a real knowledgeable person can tell the work was done. Anyway they put a new slab abbutting the old one but over the years they have separated from each other directly under this wall hence the large opening. In the meantime it also did a bunch of damage to soem terrazzo steps I have. Damn our Clay soil! So anyway back to the money pit.

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