1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

February 22, 2008

:053 Non-Toxic Termite Control 2

termite11.jpg

Suggested Review – :051

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:053 Tip: Dry wood termites build their nests inside the wood in buildings. They have traditionally been killed by tenting the building and fumigating with pesticides. Non-toxic methods of dry wood termite control include electrocution, freezing, baking and microwaving. All of these techniques require special equipment. 

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Additional Information

To find non-toxic termite control methods in your area look for companies that use one of these alternatives.

The “electro-gun” is used to electrocute termites in their tunnels. Etex Limited, PO. Box 33160, Las Vegas, NV 89133 (702) 332-3966. Will direct consumers to the nearest KO using their Electro-Gun for controlling drywood termites and wood boring beetles.

“Isothermics” is a system of killing termites by raising the temperature of the building to a level higher than the insect can tolerate. Isothermics, PO Box 6981, Orange, CA 92613 (714)974-0951. Licenses and distributes heat tents.

Tallon pest control companies kill termites by freezing them with liquid nitrogen.

Tallon (800) 300-2653.

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February 21, 2008

:052 Non-toxic Termite Control

figure_2.jpg

credit: Ohio State University Termite Tube on foundation

Suggested Review – :048, :049

Today & Tomorrow’s 1:5:10:365 Tips for becoming a better steward for our home and planet deals with non-toxic termite control.

1:5:10:052 Tip: Subterranean termites live in the soil and travel through tubes that create pathways to the wood they eat. Traditional pest control involves poisoning the soil under a building to prevent termite colonies from forming. Some of the pesticides used for this purpose have persisted for years. There are a number of safer treatments now available for termite control. Bait stations can be set which confine the poisons so they are carried back to the termite nest, but I prefer the non-toxic approach.  figure6.jpg

credit: virginia cooporative extension subterranean termite damage

Keeping the soil free of cellulose debris can go a long way to preventing termite colonies from forming, Physical barriers can stop them from forming their tubes, and nematodes provide a biological control.

Tomorrow I will talk about non-toxic dry wood termite control.

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Additional Information

beneficial-nematodes.jpg 

credit: ARBICO beneficial nematodes

“Nematodes are microscopic, non-segmented roundworms that occur naturally in soil throughout the world. Inside the nematode’s gut is the real weapon — symbiotic bacteria that when released inside an insect kill it within 24 to 48 hours.” http://www.arbico-organics.com/organic-pest-control-beneficial-nematodes-info.html

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February 20, 2008

:051 Sump Pumps

Filed under: :051 Sump Pumps — Tags: , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:01 am
rh1400-install-150px.jpg credit: RadonSeal

Suggested Review – :047, :048, :049, :050

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:051 Tip: It is always best for crawlspaces to drain to daylight. When this isn’t possible a sump pump may be necessary.

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Additional Information

The RadonSeal company has a sump pump with battery back-up that sits above the water. If the power fails the pump operates on the battery back-up to help keep the substructure dry. Check them out at:

http://www.radonseal.com/pumps/battery-sump-pumps.htm

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February 19, 2008

:050 Soil Mats

insulated_crawl_space_1_2.gif www.eere.energy.gov 

Suggested Review – :040, :041, :047, :048, :049

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:050 Tip: Placing a layer of polyethelene plastic on the surface of the soil can reduce crawlspace moisture levels ten fold. The barrier only helps with water vapor.

If you ever have standing water in your crawlspace you need tomorrows 1:5:10:365 tip.

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Additional Information

Adding a soil membrane can go a long way toward keeping moisture from damaging a home. The following video of an installation is from Matt Leech at www.crawlspaceinfo.com

Crawlspaces can be dangerous places. During my career I have inspected over 1000 crawlspaces. Many had conditions that were extremely dangerous. Keeping your crawlspace clean and dry with the soil isolated from the building can go a long way towards making crawlspaces safer.

Here’s a photo from Matt of a completed installation.

If you don’t know how to safely enter and inspect a crawlspace, you should leave it to professionals.

Tomorrow’s post will discuss sump pumps – a necessity if your crawlspace is taking on water.

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February 18, 2008

:049 Wet Crawlspaces

Suggested Review – :040, :041, :047, :048

1:5:10:049 Tip: Wet crawlspaces are more likely to have pest and fungal infestations. The water may also undermine the foundation causing it to slip. All of these can lead to costly repairs under your home. It is best to catch these types of problems early.

Tomorrow I will have information on correcting damp crawlspaces.

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Additional Information

Crawlspaces can be dangerous places. During my career I have inspected over 1000 crawlspaces. Many had conditions that were extremely dangerous.

If you don’t know how to safely enter and inspect a crawlspace, you should leave it to professionals.

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February 17, 2008

:048 Crawlspace Check

Filed under: :048 Crawlspace Check — Tags: , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:01 am

New York State Dept of Env Conservation

Suggested Review – :040, :041, :047

1:5:10:048 Tip: It is important that crawlspaces remain clean. Wood and other types of cellulose debris promote termites and other types of insect and fungal infestation that can degrade your home. Many of the treatments for these pests are quite toxic. It is far better to avoid infestations in the first place by keeping all debris out of the crawlspace. 

Tomorrow I will have more information on wet crawlspaces.

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Additional Information

Crawlspaces can be dangerous places. During my career I have inspected over 1000 crawlspaces. Many had conditions that were extremely dangerous.

If you don’t know how to safely enter and inspect a crawlspace, you should leave it to professionals.

 

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February 16, 2008

:047 Isolate the Crawlspace

foamed_holes_t.jpg

Suggested Review – :040, :041

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:047 Tip: If you have a crawlspace under your home, there is a good chance that there are pathways for air to infiltrate. Sealing those pathways can help improve indoor air quality and energy efficiency. Some of the typical pathways include places where electrical and plumbing wires penetrate the structure. Expanding foam insulation is available to fill these openings. Large openings may need to be bridged with screen to give the foam a place to anchor.

Tomorrow I will have more information on checking crawlspaces.

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Additional Information

Crawlspaces can be dangerous places. During my career I have inspected over 1000 crawlspaces. Many had conditions that were extremely dangerous.

If you don’t know how to safely enter and inspect a crawlspace, you should leave it to professionals.

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