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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was out in the garage today doing some housekeeping, and went through an area where I have some scrap lumber leaning up against the outer wall of my attached garage. I haven't cleaned this area out in at least 4 years or more, and was surprised to find what seem to be two mud tubes a couple of feet apart originating where the floor meets the wall and going up about 10". Both tunnels stop dead at a 4" diameter piece of PVC I had set up on a ledge. I did not see any live insect activity or any dead termites, but there were what looked like some segments of dead carpenter ants in the same vicinity as well as alot of dirt/debris. I will also mention that I have an active leak in the garage roof. The garage walls were 'finished' using plasterboard so I cannot determine whether there is any damage, aside from a few spots where water leaked through.

Is this indeed signs of termite infiltration? I'm not sure how long the mud tubes have been there, or how to determine how fresh they are. Should I have this looked at by an exterminator? I was thinking of having Terminex do a free inspection. They were here last year, and did not find anything active although that area of the garage was inaccessible at the time.

Any input will be appreciated.
 

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Zombtac Operator
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Can be an old mud tunnel. Scrape it and see it there's activity inside. If there are no dead or active it's probably old, not uncommon in LI houses. Doesn't look that bad. And btw there are termites everywhere on LI, most houses, even well kept ones have some signs in due time. A monitoring system is the way to go.

Terminex had some bad reviews and even lost a dow contract. I would recommend a Sentricon System (dow) for any house. I have one contracted through Suburban Exterminators and am satisfied with that.

Also pm member whitefoot. I believe he's a pro.

Here's a thread on termite issues that might help as well.

http://www.longislan...e__hl__termites
 

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I'd bet $$ that's termites. They like wet lumber and you hid them from the sun (they hate sun) with the trash stacked against the wall, so they took your invitation.

Look inside, poke an awl in the studs on the inside of the wall in the photo. Look for trails, soft spots in the wood etc.

You can easily replace exposed garage studs with pressure treated for little money. Or use Termit Pruf.
 

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Powderfinger
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Definitely termite shelter tubes. As mentioned by Destro, scrape them down to see if there is any activity and also wait 24 hours to see if the tubes are rebuilt. If not odds are they are inactive. This is one of the most common areas for termites to be noted . They pour the slab after the footing and always leave a slight crack along the interior perimeter. Treatment is not necessary if you are not finishing the walls and just seal off the cracks . PM me if you need further advice.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks
Definitely termite shelter tubes. As mentioned by Destro, scrape them down to see if there is any activity and also wait 24 hours to see if the tubes are rebuilt. If not odds are they are inactive. This is one of the most common areas for termites to be noted . They pour the slab after the footing and always leave a slight crack along the interior perimeter. Treatment is not necessary if you are not finishing the walls and just seal off the cracks . PM me if you need further advice.
Thanks for the tip. I just scraped both tubes down, and did not see any live termite activity. I'll check it again tomorrow evening, to see if the tubes have been rebuilt. I'll head to Home Depot tomorrow to see what they offer as far as concrete patching options.

Question: Would termites present always use the tubes, or once established are they able to remain and nest inside the house/garage structure they are inhabiting without leaving via the tubes?
 

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Thanks

Thanks for the tip. I just scraped both tubes down, and did not see any live termite activity. I'll check it again tomorrow evening, to see if the tubes have been rebuilt. I'll head to Home Depot tomorrow to see what they offer as far as concrete patching options.

Question: Would termites present always use the tubes, or once established are they able to remain and nest inside the house/garage structure they are inhabiting without leaving via the tubes?
If it's an old tube they're likely gone in that particular area but could be anywhere. Could have been an exploratory tube. I've found ones in homes from years ago still intact. They swarm every year, they can come into your home any year through foundation cracks, penetrations etc. I mean they're constantly around your house.. Which is why a monitoring system is key. They are all over LI. I've seen termite mating swarms in my back yard before. It's like a cloud of bugs. The birds go crazy eating them. This time of year citronella ants swarm and sometimes people freak out and think they're termites. They also will bring in sand trails into a basement through cracks. You basically have to shore up cracks in your home and constantly monitor it. In newer homes they sometimes sheath the foundation in rolled aluminum which is a nice option I wish I had.

Home Depot has epoxy foundation crack filler that comes in a tube.
 

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win support for firearms - train a new shooter
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Thanks

Question: Would termites present always use the tubes, or once established are they able to remain and nest inside the house/garage structure they are inhabiting without leaving via the tubes?
they need the tubes to travel / explore from one tasty area to another. Look like you have concrete there they cant eat thru
 

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Powderfinger
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Thanks

Thanks for the tip. I just scraped both tubes down, and did not see any live termite activity. I'll check it again tomorrow evening, to see if the tubes have been rebuilt. I'll head to Home Depot tomorrow to see what they offer as far as concrete patching options.

Question: Would termites present always use the tubes, or once established are they able to remain and nest inside the house/garage structure they are inhabiting without leaving via the tubes?
Yes they will always use the " Shelter Tubes " They become easy pickings for ants and other insects. They must return to the soil Thru the tubes if present. No they will not remain in structure permanently They must return to the soil. These are subterranean termites. They are not drywood termites.

One note to add , most termite swarms occur in the spring here on LI. Termite swarmers will always drop or lose their wings, ants won't .
 

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Those appear to be mud tunnels from termites...whether there active or not is another story. You mentioned "dead carpenter ant segments and debris"...Carpenter ants burrow into wood to nest rather then digest it like termites do. Carpenter ants do prefer wet wood (you mentioned a leak) and will leave behind remnants of the wood as they burrow in to create they're nest. Get an Exterminator in to check it out...
BTW that area as well as the adjoining wall to the house are notorious spots for termites to come in as they will come up between the slab and the foundation wall of the garage, and many times go undetected as we all like to store stuff / shelving against those walls.
Edit...also anther sign of an active colony is swarming in the spring...and this can be very easily missed in the garage...
 

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Fed up with FUDDS
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Thanks

Thanks for the tip. I just scraped both tubes down, and did not see any live termite activity. I'll check it again tomorrow evening, to see if the tubes have been rebuilt. I'll head to Home Depot tomorrow to see what they offer as far as concrete patching options.

Question: Would termites present always use the tubes, or once established are they able to remain and nest inside the house/garage structure they are inhabiting without leaving via the tubes?
Ironically termite control for years was really only putting a barrier (insecticide Chlordane etc) between the colony and your home...it is only in recent years that they have employed bait stations (Sentricon) where the worker termites will ingest the baited wood and carry it back to the main nest and kill the entire colony...which BTW can be 20' down and has a queen.
 

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Sifting Through the Ruins
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Scrape the tube off and check back every few days to see if it gets rebuilt. If not rebuilt they probably went elsewhere to find wood.
Hopefully to your neighbors house and not yours.

If you decide to call a professional, find a local company that has been around for a few years. Stay away from the large national companies. The smaller local companies usually have a higher level of expertise than the mega corps. Termite control is more art than science. Years of knowledge about local conditions and construction are more important than big advertising budgets.
 
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