Handyman & Limited Home Repair
- Termite Service & drywall patching
- Wood rot treatment & limited repair
- Door/Window limited repair
- Fascia repair
- Wood sub-floor treatment
- Drywall hole repairs
- Crown molding repair
- Baseboard and trim repair
- Trash removal & clean-up
- Fence and gate repair
- Exterior & Interior touch-up painting
- Tile floor/wall repairs
- Thermal imaging (detect heat loss)
|Serving: Albuquerque, West Side,
Rio Rancho, East Mountains
New Bathroom window
in Southern California
One of our projects
New exterior stairs
Before installation of new
4-panel sliding doors in
Seal Beach California
of 4-panel doors
A new patio cover we built
in Orange County, California
Replaced damaged starter
board and damaged rafter
Drilling slab to treat for
Patio we built in Orange County
Stairs after primer and paint
Southern California Work
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|SUBTERRANEAN TERMITES IN UNDERGROUND AIR DUCT SYSTEM IN ALBUQUERQUE, NM
Picture on left: Termites consumed cardboard ductwork, allowing dirt to fall into the duct system (blocking air flow).
Picture in middle: Slab cut out and cardboard removed making way for metal ductwork to be installed.
Picture on right: Different angle showing slab cut away to remove all of cardboard sonoduct system.
This home (like many older homes in Albuquerque and the Los Alamos Whiterock area) had an undergound heat register system
constructed with cardboard ducting material (also referred to as Sonoduct). Sonoduct is often surrounded (encased) with cement.
There are times when the concrete will only encompass the top half (or even just the top 3/4 of the ductwork), leaving the bottom portion
exposed to the soil. When the ductwork is only partially covered with cement, cracking can develop and weakened sonoduct can give
way to collapse. Portions of this particular sonoduct were destroyed by termites. The homeowner initially reported seeing pieces of foil,
then live termites, flying out of her floor heat registers. Our duct camera revealed subterranean termites eating the ductwork; along with
a partially collapsed duct channel. Remedies include: coating/lining, removing/replacing with metal, installing new over-head system.
Subterranean termite shelter tubing
being build up a garage stem wall
Moisture sources for termites in your home- Subterranean termites require moisture to survive. Infestations are often found when
remodeling a bathroom or kitchen area. In bathrooms, termites gain entrance into the structure from the tub-trap cut-out in the slab, up
copper water lines (drawn by the slightest of condensation), shower pans, or cracks in the concrete slab. Other entry points for
subterranean termites are seams in floating or supported concrete slabs, behind exterior siding or stucco that is in contact with soil, up
settling cracks, plumbing protrusion lines or expansion cracks in garages. If the structure is over a crawlspace, termites can be found
building free-standing tubing from the ground to the floor joists, constructing tubing up foundation walls, or behind the rim joists and
beneath mud sills (entering from behind stucco that is in direct contact with soil). Tubing can also be found building up pier post supports.
Ground contact a must for this termite- Subterranean termites must maintain contact with the soil for replenishing purposes unless
the structure that they are feeding upon has a plumbing leak or some other source of moisture (above ground). A species of
subterranean termite in New Orleans can survive above ground by constructing a "termite carton". An odd fact: the very soil that
subterranean termites need (in order to move, survive and hide from predators), also contains bacteria that, if not removed, will kill the
termite. As a result, subterranean termite workers must constantly groom themselves and the other members of the colony.
Termite mud-tubing- Unlike Drywood termites, Subterranean termites will construct mud-like shelter tubing made up of fecal material
and a glue-like substance that binds the tubing together through which they can accomplish all of their activities. The mud-like tubing that
subterranean termites build are divided up into three types; exploratory tubing, drop tubing and working tubing. Exploratory tubing is also
known as migratory tubing and can often be found in the crawlspace beneath a home on the surface of the ground.
Flying termites- Subterranean termite swarmer's (reproductives) are dark brown to black with grayish colored wings and are much
smaller than Drywood termites. The winged termites are approximately 1/4 inch in length. Note: one of the many differences between
"flying termites" and "flying ants" is the length of the wings. Termite wings will be much longer than the body whereas ant wings are almost
at equal length with the body. The antennae of termites are straight and the antennae of ants is bent (or L-shaped).
Treatment for Subterranean termites is entirely different than that of Drywood termites. Treatment for subterranean termites can
involve either establishing repellent or non-repellent barriers around the structure, in the soil, or installing a subterranean termite
bait/monitor system in the ground around the structure. The barrier method is known as a conventional treatment. We use a product
called Termidor HE (high efficiency). Unlike a true repellent barrier, Termidor is undetectable to termites. The difference in repellents and
non-repellents is the following: when a repellent pesticide is applied to the soil beneath the structure, the applicator has no way of
knowing if the pesticide is spreading to the intended areas and any imperfections in application (beneath the structure) can allow for
termite entry as the termites will simply go around the repellent pesticide and find an area that was not treated. With a non-repellent
treated area, you can have the same application imperfections but have entirely different results. Termites pass right through the treated
area (unaware that they have passed through it) become carriers and spread Termidor to other colony members. Keep in mind that no
termite treatment is perfect and re-occurrence of termites is still possible; with any application. A termite re-treatment guarantee is vital in
any program you purchase.
Most termite bait systems are designed to draw termites into the bait stations by placing a piece of wood (usually pine) into the station
and allowing the termites to feed upon the wood (thus gaining their confidence). After a period of time, the piece of wood is replaced with
the actual bait; in the hope the termites will continue to feed upon the bait, pass it on to other colony members and suppress the colony.
Localized treatments (with a pesticide solution) will also need to be applied to areas of current infestation, in conjunction with the bait
system. Bait systems alone (in our opinion) will not solve the termite problem. Termite workers and soldiers are blind and cannot see the
bait/monitor stations. Termites (through random foraging) will encounter the bait/monitor stations. In order to ensure termites contact the
bait system, several are placed (somewhere between 15 - 40 bait/monitor stations for the average 1500 square foot home) around the
perimeter of the home at approximately 5-10 foot intervals. Interesting occurrence: Several years ago, we inspected a home in Los
Alamos New Mexico. The homeowner previously hired a different company to install a bait system around the perimeter of his home to
control subterranean termites. When it came time to sell his home, the buyers agent (wanting a second impartial inspection) hired our
company to perform the termite inspection. Upon inspection, we discovered live termites and termite damaged walls in the basement.
The live termites (and damage) were found approximately 3 feet from a wall-mounted bait station that was installed in addition to the
exterior ground stations. Outraged that he still had live termites and new termite damage (after paying a few thousand dollars for the
termite bait system), the homeowner and Realtor asked if the other company had done anything wrong? Our answer was No, and that the
other company had performed everything correctly. The reason the homeowner still had live termites and damage was due to the very
nature of subterranean termites and their random foraging behavior. For this reason, we recommend localized treatments be applied to
areas of infestation in conjunction with the bait system installation. Accompanying the baiting program should be a periodic visual
inspection of the property and bait stations.
Termite tube on a cast-iron tub
Drywood termite damage to a patio post
Drywood termites in a bamboo wood floor
Joe (Termite Crew)
Taking a break at a job
site. He took lots of
breaks on this job.
(Click to enlarge photos)
Southern California Work
R.I.P. Sweet Holly
Photos of our repair work
(California repair work)
|Visit our main Pest website:
Southern California beam repair
(before and after pictures)
Subterranean termite damage to a wood vigas
Brown Rot to protruding decorative vigas
Subterranean termite damage to underground sonoduct
Attic inspection challenges (can't see joists/trusses)
Moisture meter testing
Wood to soil contact in a crawlspace
(should always be corrected; if possible)
We are not general contractors and the work we perform in New
Mexico differs from that which we performed in California. Please
contact our office for specifics. Our handyman certificate can be
viewed at the bottom of our main Pest website page.