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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 11, 2007
    Location
    Central VA
    Posts
    1,406

    Default Treating barn for termites?

    Sigh... I think there are termites in my barn. I found a spot this weekend that looks like termite damage on a window sill in my tackroom. Barn is about 6 years old and was built with salt treated lumber along the ground, but apparently they got through that. I have tongue in groove paneling in my tack room and really don't want them eating it!

    I need to call the pest control company, but is it safe for them to spray the pesticide in my barn? Horses don't have access to the outside but are in stalls for half the day. I'm sure it'd be fine to spray around the outside perimeter but am worried about spraying inside. It's a pole barn with a center aisle and it has vinyl siding.

    I don't necessarily trust the pest control peeps to be knowledgeable as far as chemical risks to horses, so figured I'd seek advice here before I call.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2000
    Location
    SW PA
    Posts
    2,242

    Default

    We just treated around our house for termites last summer. I found "swarm" wings and bodies on the hardwood floor and in the basement.
    The type of wood makes no difference to them according to my pest control company.
    The pesticides used are put into the ground in a series of holes around the perimeter to bait the colony. They pump so many gallons into the ground according to some sort of chart. The holes are then sealed over. If they find the tunnels used by the workers or other termite highways, they will spray that indoor area too. I stopped at spraying the entire basement because I have birds in the house that I did not want harmed in any way. While they did spray a bit in the basement where the breeding swarm was found, they did not do anything else indoors.

    Your pest control company will be able to tell you what type of insect is damaging your barn. My first farm had powder post beetles in the basement beams.

    I also recommend continuing the checks and possible treatments for 2 to 3 years after your initial investment (which topped 1k for us). We tore an old barn down and then another colony of workers ended up in my flower box this summer. They ate perfect little straw holes in some of my plants out there. You could shake it and out they all would fall. Gross. Orkin came back out and sprayed the box. I think they came from the old building to set up shop near the house again! (that is a raised box with rubber mulch in it--they were eating the dead flower stalks and the landscaping timbers).
    Proud to have two Gold Prince POAs!
    Takaupas Top Gold
    Gifts Black Gold Knight



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    41,612

    Default

    Many years ago, termites ate our old wooden barn, clear to the rafters.
    We eventually bulldozed it and hauled it away.

    The Orkin people told us that it is not cost effective to protect barns with stalls, because it is not protecting enough structure, like in a house, with all the framing and small spaces you have in there, even more important the more levels you have, so you are protecting even more per square foot of ground.
    With stalls, you have lots of feet to treat that are not protecting anything above them, so not cost effective, he said.

    Guess that a very fancy barn would be worth it, but not regular wood barns.

    You may want to think about that when you ask them.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2000
    Location
    SW PA
    Posts
    2,242

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    Many years ago, termites ate our old wooden barn, clear to the rafters.
    We eventually bulldozed it and hauled it away.

    The Orkin people told us that it is not cost effective to protect barns with stalls, because it is not protecting enough structure, like in a house, with all the framing and small spaces you have in there, even more important the more levels you have, so you are protecting even more per square foot of ground.
    With stalls, you have lots of feet to treat that are not protecting anything above them, so not cost effective, he said.

    Guess that a very fancy barn would be worth it, but not regular wood barns.

    You may want to think about that when you ask them.
    Yikes, I did not even think of the structural difference. My Orkin man was hesitant to spray the flower box (which is at least 16x12 and banked). I asked him to please take care of it because the plants were filled (and I mean filled) with workers and I did not want them migrating to the house to challenge the barrier pesticide put in the ground the previous year. I had just planted the box last summer, so I know they were not in there last year.
    Maybe her bug guy can just spray like ours did for the flower box???
    Proud to have two Gold Prince POAs!
    Takaupas Top Gold
    Gifts Black Gold Knight



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 11, 2007
    Location
    Central VA
    Posts
    1,406

    Default

    Hmmm...Well, I'm just going to call the pest control co. and see what they say when they come out, I guess.

    It's not like there's a huge expanse of open space, it's only a 4 stall 36'x36' barn, my tack room and the storage room opposite both have concrete floors. The four 12'x12' stalls are matted over gravel dust and clay and the aisle is gravel dust, so it wouldn't be difficult for them to put stuff in the ground there. I'm more concerned with the issue of putting poison where my horses eat, but if they can bore it under the mats it should be fine.

    We'll see what they say, I have to do something because I can't just let them eat my barn!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2009
    Location
    south eastern US
    Posts
    2,521

    Default

    I was a pest control professional in another life long ago here is what I remember: The type of treatment needed depends on the type of termite present. There are 2 main types of termites in the US. Subterranian Termites and Dry Wood Termites. As their name implies subterranian termites live underground. They eat wood that is either in contact with with ground or close enough that they can build a mud tube to travel through as they cannot survive without the moisture found underground. They are treated by creating a chemical barrier around your structure's footings and foundation. If they are dry wood termites they actually live in the wood they are eating. They have to be treated where they live by drilling into the actual wood and spraying into their colony there or by fumigating the entire structure by covering it with a tent and spraying poison into the the tent (can be very expensive and has no residual value as termites can re-infest tomorrow). As you described your structure it should be fairly easy to treat. You'll want to make sure you don't have any earth to wood contact or at least minimize it. It is important to use lumber treated for earth to wood contact if earth contact can't be helped ie: poles for pole barns ect.

    The chemicals used in termite treatment has changed some over the past 20 years, your pest professional can answer any questions you have about residual effects and animal safety.
    "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2008
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,354

    Default

    We did a pretreat when we built our barn and they come out each year for an inspection. We have mostly concrete floors in all the rooms with rubber mats over stone dust in the aisle and stalls.

    Word of warning, we used Orkin for the house and still got termites - can tell you there "guarantee" isn't worth paper its written on. Went with another company for the barn and they have been great to deal with.



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