Frequently Asked Questions About Termites
Some common questions about Termites and Our Termite Products.
How do I know I have termites?
A great indication that you have termites is if you see their droppings (frass). Frass are small round pellets about the size of a grain of sand and tan to dark brown in color, depending on the wood they have been eating. Evidence of frass is the best indication we have in determining if there is a termite infestation. Clean up any existing frass and keep an eye on that area daily. If new frass appears within one to two weeks, then you most likely have live termites chewing away. Also tap the wood and listen for hollow spots. Termites will eat the wood and leave a thin skin on the surface of the wood. If that is your case, then break open that thin skin and look for live termites inside. You will want to clean out any old frass inside that area and look for the crawling bugs. Even if you don't find termites inside, it is a good idea to treat those areas. Termites are pheromone driven insects and without treatment others will be attracted to that old damaged wood in the future.
Are the droppings scattered or piled up against the wall?
Termites make small holes in the wood they infest and kick out their droppings (frass). If the kick out holes are close to the floor, you will see a pile of frass. However, if termites have infested up high along a wall or a ceiling beam, then you will see a scattering of frass on the floor.
Does termite infested wood sound hollow?
Termites can chew away wood until only a thin skin is left on the surface of the wood. If you crack the skin open, you will see the channels they have eaten away along the length of the wood. But this is not always the case, sometimes the wood feels solid and not hollow yet it’s infested with termites.
How does Cedar Bug-Free™ Termiticide kill the termites?
When termites and other wood pests are exposed to Cedar Bug-Free™ Termiticide the aroma of the cedar oil overwhelms their breathing system and triggers a suicide response—the spiracles (breathing pores) close and cannot re-open. The cedar oil dissolves the insect eggs and larvae, eliminating the next generation, while the aroma of cedar disrupts pheromone signals and creates a barrier of entry to newly arriving pests.
What is the main difference between tenting with Vikane gas and using Cedar Bug-Free™ Termiticide?
The main difference is that Vikane gas is toxic, deadly to people and animals, and is a powerful greenhouse gas, while Cedar Bug-Free™ Termiticide is natural, non-toxic, safe for people and animals and safe for the environment. Another big difference is that Vikane gas has no long lasting preventative aspect, while Cedar Bug-Free™ Termiticide permanently lowers the level of moisture in wood to a point that termites can no longer survive in it. A third difference has to do with convenience. When you treat with Cedar Bug-Free™ Termiticide there is no need to bag personal items or to move the family out overnight.
Is it as effective as tenting?
If most of your house is infested with termites, then you should consult a tenting professional for advice. Tenting has no lasting residual effect so you need to keep a close watch on any re-infestations and treat those with Cedar Bug-Free™ Termiticide.
How big of an area do I treat?
Always treat a larger area. Termites kick out their droppings through small holes in the wood they have infested so you can expect them to be working on any part of that wood. Once they infest a piece of wood, they will most likely remain on that same type of wood for a long time. If you see droppings coming out of a door molding, you should treat the entire molding, not just the spot where you see the frass. Treat all the same type of wood in that area. If you see frass coming out of a spot on your wood siding, treat the whole wall, otherwise you could be missing some areas where they are working and you can prolong the elimination of your problem.
How do I apply it?
Applying Cedar Bug-Free™ Termiticide is easy. You can paint it on with a brush or roller or you can spray it on using a spray bottle or garden sprayer. You can get more detailed instructions here.
Will Cedar Bug-Free™ Termiticide penetrate painted or stained surfaces?
Cedar Bug-Free™ Termiticide is a very "thin" product and much lighter than water (weighs a little over 6 pounds per gallon; water weighs 8.3 pounds per gallon). This allows it to penetrate wood without the need to drill into the wood in order to inject it. If you stand a piece of unfinished wood upright in a container with a small amount of Cedar Bug-Free Termiticide, you will see how quickly the wood absorbs the product - you can see the product being wicked up the wood in a matter of one or two minutes. Cedar Bug-Free™ Termiticide also penetrates wood that has been painted or stained - even pressure treated lumber. When treating painted or stained wood, apply a light coat and wait for the product to penetrate the wood; it may take up to one hour, depending on the type and thickness of the paint. Then apply another light coat.
How do I treat the areas that are hollow?
Break open the hollow areas with care so as not to disturb and spread any live termites and spray Cedar Bug-Free™ Termiticide directly into the voids. This will kill any live termites and protect the infested wood.
How much Cedar Bug-Free™ Termiticide do I use?
Cedar Bug-Free™ Termiticide will easily penetrate bare untreated wood. Consequently, you can use more product to protect deeper into the wood. Painted wood takes longer to absorb the product because it has to penetrate the paint coating before reaching the wood and thus you tend to use less product. The amount of Cedar Bug-Free™ Termiticide you will use depends on how deep into the wood you want to penetrate.
How many coats do I apply?
On bare untreated wood, 2 thick coats is all you need. On painted wood you will need to apply more and thinner coats. How many more depends on how easily the painted wood absorbs the product.
How long do I wait between applications?
As soon as the wood has absorbed the product you can apply the next coat. The length of time depends on how fast that particular piece of wood absorbs Cedar Bug-Free™ Termiticide.
How much product will I need to buy?
As a guideline, plan on one gallon per 100 square feet of bare wood or one gallon per 200 square feet of painted wood.
Do I need protective gear?
Some people can react to Cedar Bug-Free™ Termiticide on their skin so we recommend chemical gloves and a long sleeve shirt for those that have sensitive skin. Goggles are important in order to protect your eyes and a dust mask or respirator if the smell of cedar. oil bothers you (especially indoors).
Do I need to cover the furniture?
Cedar Bug-Free™ Termiticide will not hurt your furniture or plastics but it’s always a good idea to throw a sheet or blanket or drop cloth over your furniture
Note: Cedar Bug-Free™ Termiticide can loosen some weak glues if you apply it directly to those areas.
Will it hurt my plants?
If you get enough Cedar Bug-Free™ Termiticide on your plants, the cedar oil can damage their leaves. It’s called a phytotoxic burn. Be sure to cover plants if there is a chance you might get product on them.
Do we need to bag our food?
You don’t need to bag your food. The ingredients in Cedar Bug-Free™ Termiticide are not poisonous, but it is a good idea to cover exposed food such as fruits and vegetables.
Do we need to evacuate?
No need to evacuate unless the smell of cedar oil bothers you, and then only until the strong smell clears out. If you are treating large indoor areas, the cedar smell can be strong.
Can our pets be there?
Use your judgment. See the answer above.
How is this product better than the various borate based ones?
Cedar Bug-Free™ Termiticide kills termites and other wood destroying insects on contact.
Borate products depend on the termites eating the borate treated wood. In theory, this will affect their ability to digest the wood and consequently starve to death.
Cedar Bug-Free™ Termiticide is a very "thin" product and much lighter than water (weighs a little over 6 pounds per gallon; water weighs 8.3 pounds per gallon). This allows it to penetrate wood without the need to drill into the wood in order to inject it. If you stand a piece of unfinished wood upright in a container with a small amount of Cedar Bug-Free Termiticide, you will see how quickly the wood absorbs the product - you can see the product being wicked up the wood in a matter of one or two minutes. Our Termiticide also penetrates wood that has been painted or stained - even pressure treated lumber.
Borate products are molecularly larger and thus cannot penetrate wood as easily. After all, borate is a powder that gets mixed with water and both (the powder and the water) have larger molecules than Cedar Bug-Free Termiticide (there's no water in our product). I'm sure that borate products can penetrate bare wood to some extent but they cannot penetrate finished wood.
Borate products are mainly used as a wood treatment in an effort to prevent termite infestations by treating the lumber before or during the construction process.
Cedar Bug-Free™ Termiticide can be used as a wood treatment to prevent termite infestations but it is also a powerful killing agent used to treat infested wood. The Cedar Oil in our Termiticide kills the termites on contact and the Silica displaces the humidity in the wood and thus reduces the moisture content of wood. This makes the wood unattractive to termites and other wood destroying insects.
I do not see any mud tunnels anywhere; maybe the damage is not from the underground variety of termites.
If you know you have termites and don't see the mud tunnels then you probably have Drywood Termites. Different parts of the country have greater propensity for one type over the other. Most termite infestations we see here in Hawaii are caused by Drywood Termites.
Does Cedar Bug-Free™ Termiticide have any other effects on wood?
Yes. Cedar Bug-Free™ Termiticide also helps stabilize wood against splitting or warping, and it protects against rot, mold and mildew. All in one fine product.