Friday, May 29, 2009

Zappin' 'em termites

Middle of last year, we had the electrical cables inside the ceiling of our house replaced because they were rather old and exposed, meaning they’ve been there since the mid-1980s when the house was built (we bought the house in 1997), and they weren’t placed inside electrical PVC pipes, which is for added protection. When the electrician (who was also a carpenter) went to work on the cables, he found a few cables that were already inside PVC pipes.

But he wanted to replace those old PVC pipes, too. And that’s when he found the termites that had been living comfortably inside the pipes. Inspection on the surrounding wood of our ceiling revealed some more termites feasting on the wood.Before the electrician could replace those pipes and the damaged wood, I had to look for a pest control person. A friend referred someone to me. After evaluating the damage, the pest control guy installed in our ceiling Sentricon, which was a termite-zapping chemical placed in a box, almost 3 x 6 inches in size. I was used to seeing liquid termite chemical being used, mainly because we had a lot of termites in our former wooden house in Manila (our house now is mostly concrete). So I was quite amazed that such a small box could be so powerful as to wipe out a termite colony in a short time, with no mess and strong smell typical of termite chemicals, and especially zeroing in on the “queen” of the colony.

I can’t remember now exactly how long Sentricon was able to exterminate the termites in our house, but it wasn’t very long. And the extermination process was monitored by the pest control guy by the amount of chemical that was still in the box. If the chemical was no longer being reduced in size/amount for a few days, that meant that the termites weren’t feeding anymore on the chemical. The colony would have been wiped out by then. And so, soon enough, the electrician was back to work in our ceiling. Well, it’s been a year this May 2009 that Sentricon was applied to our house. And if I remember correctly what the pest control guy said to me, the chemical needs to be applied again after a year. But there doesn’t seem to be termites infesting our home right now. I sure hope there would be no need for me to purchase Sentricon again right now because of the expense. But, of course, "cheap" isn't always another word for good--and necessary--home maintenance.

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