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Re: E-M:/ Termite control

Enviro-Mich message from Gary Stock <gstock@net-link.net>


OK, as no one else has responded, I'll fill the gap!

I'm not an expert on these matters, but I have used two different
methods that were very effective, and non-toxic.  Perhaps now someone
will offer horror stories about the utter foolishness of these
approaches -- but I saw them work beautifully, at low cost, and
virtually zero health risk.

First, consider nematodes specific to termites.  There are thousands of
references on line about the pros and cons, but they're widely available:


Several _suppliers_ are listed there in Michigan.  I don't know whether
any exterminators are using nematodes here.  At the time I used them
(~15 years ago) I could buy and apply them myself.  I knew exactly what
area needed treatment, both soil and occupied wood, so nematodes were an
excellent solution.  I did re-treat a few years later, since without
live termites to infest, the nematodes tend to die off.

There are certain limitations on effectiveness, some of which may be
dramatic.  For example, you must plan and apply carefully so as not to
merely disrupt existing chambers -- the termites may just wall off your
disturbance and continue causing trouble a few inches away.

But, you can practically brush your teeth with this stuff!  A few drops
here and there into new chambers, and termites begin to die.  As they
die, other termites scoop them up for disposal, and the nematodes pass
along to new hosts.  Nice Star Trek episode...

The other approach -- Sodium Borate / Disodium Octaborate Tetrahydrate
-- works better to keep termites from moving into new material,
especially if you can treat most of the cut surfaces.  It accomplishes
much of what treated lumber does, without the arsenic or other deadly
compounds.  Technically, this goop is safer to eat than table salt or
baking soda!  

Again, I bought my own, treated the areas that required it, and have had
no further problems.  It's also available in many places, such as:


That web page actually links to a point of purchase.

Note that, like millions of other people, I grew up in a house where
chlordane had been injected below the slab and throughout the footings
and walls... now I'm just waiting for the lymphoma, along with the rest
of you!

Thus, I may be more willing to work with alternatives than some folks...



> Bonnie Shupe wrote:
> I just had an interesting phone call from one of our Township
> residents.  She has a termite problem and has called a couple of
> companies for information about treatment.  One proposes to put
> something in the soil around her house that is a slow release chemical
> and the other will put down something that kills them immediately.
> Her concern is putting chemicals in the soil that could have a
> detrimental effect on the watershed.  She asked if I knew of a safer
> way to kill termites.  Does anyone have any advice?
> Bonnie Shupe Blackledge
> Cannon Township Clerk
> 6878 Belding Road NE
> Rockford, MI 49341
> Phone: 616-874-6966
> Cell phone: 616-204-0085
> Fax: 616-874-8940
> Email: bonnies@cannontwp.org
> Web site: www.cannontwp.org

Gary Stock                                        gstock@unblinking.com
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     The best proof for a claim that terrorists are crazy or evil
     would be to acknowledge that the White House is full of them

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