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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently had my interior painted and saw a strange sawdust like power on my wall? Does anyone know what the heck they are? We built this house in 2007 and are worried. I did find some ants with wings a few months ago comming into the living room through the Corner of the window near the all where the sheetrock eating bug is. Could it be carpenter ants?

Any tips would be appreciated?
 

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God bless the USA!
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Either Carpenter Ants or termites. CA's tend to leave more of a sawdust residue than termites. Termites often leave little mud daubs on the wall. If they accidentally eat through the sheetrock, they will die - they can't be exposed to light or air - so they fill the hole with a mud mixture so they can keep working. The winged "ants" could have been CA swarmers or sub termite swarmers either one. Both have been rather active. Did you save any of the flying ones? If they have a pinched waist and long wings that will be an ant of some type. If they are black, cigar shaped - no pinched waist - with wings about twice as long as their bodies you're looking at termite swarmers. (At least this time of year ... later, in the summer drywood termites swarm and they are reddish brown instead of black.)
 

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I found out about termites when I stored some boxes for my SIL at my first house. About this time of year, they swarmed. Getting your house tented isn't any fun, trust me.
 

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They are termites 99%.

They eat the paper on the sheetrock between the gypsum and the paint. You'll see little trails of tiny pinholes where they bust through the interior paint.

If you look outside near where you are noticing them in the house there will be a little mud tube going from the ground up the foundation to a weep hole or other crack in the facade of the house.

I know this because we were selling a house once and it failed the termite inspection. We didn't have any idea that the house had termites.
It wasn't required to tent the house but they did bore holes and inject pesticide every 5 or 10 feet around the entire perimeter of the house. They drilled through the driveway, pool decking and yard, it didn't matter what surface it was, it got drilled and filled with poison.

That service came with a 5 year guarantee against future infestation that was in the buyers name. I think it cost around 300 or 400 bucks. That was 20 years ago though. It'll be expensive, but not holy cow expensive if they can control the problem with the method of not having to tent the house.
 

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Like others have said they are termites. Another sign are little brown snakes in your home about the size of earthworms. They feed on termites. Make sure wooden fences, decks and stored firewood doesn't touch your house or foundation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I called Terminex and they happen to be in the area so I booked an appt. I found a stump that was left over from Ike, I kicked it and it split open and I saw white termites in there. Man I bet thats where they are comming from. From what I have read, I'll have to get a few bids and pray for the best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Like others have said they are termites. Another sign are little brown snakes in your home about the size of earthworms. They feed on termites. Make sure wooden fences, decks and stored firewood doesn't touch your house or foundation.
Thanks, I don't have a fence and its open woods next to me and behind me. Terminex would not comment on pricing but said it can get into the thousands, yikes.... How fun, just when the everything is going great, new baby, wife on non paid maternity leave.....

When I built the house in 2007 i used a homer depot termite spray all around the house and mulch bed. They seem to be comming in through the siding in my back wall. MY house is 90% brick and have 7 inches of clearance from the soil all around except for the siding area.
 

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Look for little mud tunnels going up the foundation from the ground up..If you see any knock them down but mark where they were so you can tell the bug guy...
 

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I personally would go with an independent if you are price sensitive.

Orkin or Terminex will be on the upper end of cost and will over kill the heck out of the treatment.

The pest guy we use is very trust worthy, nice and has always honored his word.

"A Christian Pest Control". 281.469.8002
 

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just found termites in my house. Sounds like you have the same issue. Call an exterminator and have them come out. The treatment at my house cost me just under $900. I used McGrath Pest Control. They are active this time of year especially with all of the rain we got in the early spring. McGrath is very busy with termites right now as are all exterminators I am sure.
 

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Take a deep breath....my experience....

Since Chlordane was banned there are only three kinds of homes. A. Those with active termites. B Those that will get termites and C. Those which have had termites in the past.

And, you dont tear down your house because you find them. They may only be in a stud or two. You may not want to tear into a wall if it seems sturdy.

Have an inspection, foundation, attic, etc., or inspect it yourself

Have a treatment...it will kill them....but it won't last years like Chlordane did. I treat with Home Depot stuff about once a year.

Personally I am skeptical of Orkin, Terminix et al and their expensive programs.

And here is the most important thing I have learned. Termites thrive where they are invited. They need water. Go ahead and put in sprinklers and flower beds with mulch banked up too high on your slab. Go ahead and leave stumps and dead wood around. Don't worry about that dripping outdoor faucet, or that outside AC unit dripping water in the same place 24/7. All these things are an engraved invitation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Thanks all, Terminex came out and they want to trench around the house, bait pods and drill in the patio where they are comming in. They gave an estimate about $2,000 plus a preventive plan ..... I'll check local companies as recomended.

I used the home depot stuff, Ortho Home defense Max with bifenthrin 2.4% 2 years ago and never though to spray the siding area in my patio.
 
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