An email I received recently
Thanks for the “Termite Baiting System” kit received last week.
I would be grateful if you could help me with what to do next. As it is hard for me to explain I will illustrate my problem in point form.
1. I discovered this dirt type thing on the wall of a converted garage about two weeks ago.
2. I contacted a local pest control expert, who never really helped me much, just confused me more. The inspection report contains more “outs” for him than it does in explaining what problems I have.
3. He identified the termite type found in the outbuilding as Coptotermes spp. The report also goes to lengths to explain that he does not test or inspect for dry wood termites etc.
4. There do not appear to be any termite activity around what I think is probably the nest in the attached photo. I have not put any insecticide or anything else anywhere near the infected area.
5. so my question is, what do I do now. There is no point baiting if there are no termites.
6. Is it safe to clean up the dirt nest and other mess in the building?
Thank you if you can help.Bill
I’m not convinced the termites are Coptotermes from the appearance of the ‘mud’ packing.
I suggest you have on hand, a reel of sticky tape and your camera, then use a small screwdriver or pointed vegetable knife and open up the end of one of the mudded ‘arms’ that go along the grooves between the boards. Take off no more than 5-10 mm
If termites are in residence, you will likely see soldiers (with darker brown heads) come to guard the opening while the workers get repair materials to reseal it.
If a soldier ventures outside the opening, please dab the sticky tape on it, fold it over and post it to me
If they are there at the opening but stay inside for a couple of minutes, break off another 15mm (half an inch) and catch the mud and termites once they hit the floor (or a sheet of paper held edgewise against the wall)
Once you have a soldier or several, you may like to photograph them and send them to my phone or email to us. If I can identify them from the photo, I will let you know immediately and you won’t have to post them.
Now to Your Other Points:
You were right not to disturb things or use any insecticide; even if they are active, they won’t do any significant damage over the few days it will take to sort this out.
And, these are not dry wood termites.
Once I’m sure about what termite it is, I can give you baiting instruction or an alternative.
So Bill if you have any questions you can phone me direct otherwise I’ll wait for the specimens in a photo or by post.
Hoping this is reassuring