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We pay the yearly fee of around $270 (probably based on square footage but I’m not sure) to have a Terminix contract. We inherited the contract from the previous owner of the house. Terminix inspects yearly (crawls under our pier and beam house looking for tunnels) but that doesn’t always catch everything…things can happen in- between inspections. Recently, we found subterranean termite activity in our bathroom wall (thankfully caught it very very early). We called in a report on Sunday, and the very next day Terminix came out and treated the area with a chemical called Termidor, which is supposed to be pretty powerful stuff and should end our problem. I’m impressed with the two Terminix guys that work this area; Scotty and James. They are both very competant and nice to deal with and skinny enough to get through our tiny openings and under our house! They said that they have seen a LOT of termite activity recently, including having several calls in and around the Garden District neighborhood. One thing we learned from the Terminix guys; they can only treat the area with chemicals if they find and SEE live termite activity. Thankfully when my husband pulled back the paint at the spot where we suspected activity, he saw a couple of the critters scurrying around, and he was able to capture them alive in a jar. We were able to show them to the Terminix guy STILL ALIVE…which proved to them that we had “active” termites. Do that if you can; it will make your life much simpler. Apparently they can only treat the area if they can find LIVE termites due to recent EPA regulations. Another thing we learned is that termites love to use the outside of plumbing pipes as a conduit to get up a wall in your house. So most termite activity happens in and around bathrooms. For us, we noticed a little piece of sheetwall had bumped up on the wall above the toilet; when we pulled it back it was obvious we had a problem. I’ll just say this; I was very glad we had a Terminix contract already in place when we had a termite problem. They won’t always be able to prevent you from getting termites, but they will eradicate the termites very quickly, before any structural or serious damage happens. And this time all we lost was a little sheetrock; we can sand, prime, and paint the area easily. But if something bad had happened, Terminix would have paid for the repair. By the way, we have lived in this house for nearly 13 years now, and this is the FIRST AND ONLY time we have EVER found active termites here. Perhaps they are particularly rampant this year. Keep your eyes open! (March 2007)

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