|This is the kind of thing I am seeking to avoid. (Picture: termitecontrolproblems.com )|
I am not joking. I truly consider the readership of this blog and some of my cyberspace friends to be some of the brightest people I know. Often, their strategies for dealing with challenges are superior to those provided by people who supposedly do such a thing for a living.
I have a question for all of you which I know must impact other readers worldwide. I will update this post periodically with input from those who either post responses here, or contact me in private or by e-mail. This way we will all learn something about this important issue.
I live in Virginia in an area where termites are particularly fierce. Most people here have a Contract with Terminix or similar company to inspect their home annually and treat if necessary. In our first farm we had a mailbox for a time, mostly for fedex deliveries. We placed a salt treated post in the ground with a mailbox on top, and within a year the salt treated post, which must have been treated in a marbelized fashion, had the telltale small tunnels that termites bring. We eventually simply took the mailbox down. One of the neighboring farms replaced his with a brick mailbox holder. Suffice it to say, termites and healthy and well established here.
|This is late termite damage in a post in a pole barn. (www.hansenpolebuildings.com )|
I am not overly worried about my house here. A large portion of my house was constructed using superior walls, and so there is no wood on the first floor anywhere near the ground. Much of the house is brick and there is some vinyl siding on the second floor. We do have a second story deck and we watch it very carefully. I am concerned about our outbuildings though. We have four fairly large outbuildings of wood with steel roof, each built on concrete slabs. These are primarily animal, kennel, alpaca, horse, and garage buildings. Originally when these were built the builder used a chemical around the perimeter of each building to "sterilize" the area from termites. This was not a problem because there were no animals residing in any buildings at the time. We housed them in temporary buildings which existed in another part of the farm at that time. We did not move animals over to the buildings for quite a time and my then, the chemicals used were inert.
This year, I need first to ensure that there is no termite activity anywhere. My husband the engineer has inspected each building and they all seem fine, but I would like to treat to prevent termites. All of these buildings are either occupied by animals now, or frequented by people... farriers, sons rebuilding a car or two, kennels, or storage.
Goes anyone have some wise words or strategies relating to a high risk termite area, appropriate chemicals that will not injure people or animals ? I will contact an exterminator and get input also, but so many of them are suburban exterminators and may not know much about farm issues or animals. I will also post the response of whichever farm or equine vet wishes to weight in on this big question.
Are termites an issue where you are ? Do you worry about stacks of wood, downed trees, or shredded pine as used for horses as an attractant to termites ? Thank you all in advance for your input.