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We’re having our house tented for fumigation to kill off some drywood termites. It’s kind of a pain, because we have to relocate three cats, a rabbit, and a fish, not to mention a baby girl and our own damn selves and our food.

We became aware of the drywood infestation when we inspected. The seller had some spot treatments done, but fumigation is the only sure method. I’d have preferred to fumigate when the house was vacant, of course, but there’s only one or two firms in town who do this work, and the waiting list can be lengthy. They couldn’t get to us before the move date.

So we’re displaced again. Oh well, at least it’s only for a couple nights.

There are three kinds of termites we worry about round here: subterraneans, Formosans, and drywoods. Of the three, drywoods eat the slowest and take the longest time to do serious damage. Formosans, on the other hand, can eat an entire house overnight. So if you have to have a termite infestation, drywoods are preferred.

I’ve been assured that all toxins will be dissipated before we move back in. They test to make sure. So you don’t have to worry about inhaling poison gas when you come to our Houseblessing and Glöggfest. (Yes, you’re invited! Follow the link for details and to RSVP.)

In the meantime, despite these challenges, you should still be able to listen to my new radio station. I guess I’ll have to tune in myself if I want to feel at home.

Published inNew OrleansOur House


  1. Chris Chris

    I’m no termite expert but I can tell you that borax is good at termite prevention and kills ants too. borax is safe to use around the home and is inexpensive.

  2. Here’s my 2+ cents about drywood termites and contracts. I had them for years, evidenced by the occasional appearance of frass (poop) that would show up on some surface. I had a termite contract but the inspectors never said anything about there being activity and when I asked, I was told that my contract only covered subterraneans. Eventually I contacted a different company about the drywoods and did the whole tenting thing. Here’s what I learned:
    1) If any of your neighbors have them, they’ll just find their way back into your house with the next swarm, so if you think tenting is the only solution, be prepared to tent often.
    2)Tenting is the only solution if you’re a new customer paying the full price for it, but not if you’re already under a contract.

    If you call the company with whom you have the drywood contract, the company whose contract states that they’ll come out and remediate if there is further activity, there’s a very good chance that they will attribute it to everything *but* an active infestation in order to avoid having to bear the expense of another tenting. They’ll dismiss it as old evidence. That’s what happened to me and several other people I’ve spoken to.

    In my case, everything I pointed out to them they claimed was just from the original problem. If I saw frass anywhere, they said it had just been shaken loose from the house settling. They ignored me when I explained that I found frass in piles, which is a clear sign of the insects pushing it out of the burrow. I went as far as to tell the company rep that it was clear that, no matter what, it seemed they would never acknowledge new activity, and they were just mum. So, I canceled my contract. I have heard similar stories from lots of different people with different companies. My subterranean company didn’t have a provision for repairs and all their inspector did was come out once a year and spray malathion or dursban around the peripheral piers. The last guy didn’t actually inspect anything and when I pointed that out, he said it wasn’t necessary. So I cancelled the contract. I can spray around the piers myself and I’ll inspect better than they will. If I find a problem, I’ll take all the money I saved on annual contracts and pay to remedy it.

    By the way, my house was treated with chlordane before it was banned. Chlordane sticks around and works for years and years, plus I have metal shields on my piers, so I really don’t worry too much about the subs.

  3. […] fumigation we’d originally planned for early December has finally been accomplished, and I must say despite the hassle that it’s better to complete […]

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