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Using Sand for Termite Control

Here's Warren's question about using sand for Termite Control

John, I have certainly enjoyed reading your site.  I wish you were in Topanga (adjacent to Los Angeles).  I am selling one of my 16 year old houses that I built and the Tenant/Buyer(who wants to avoid all chemicals) just had an inspection by a guy who uses Dri-Out.  I call it fine sand.  A couple of days after the inspector claimed to find subterranean termites I crawled under the house and could only find a couple of small pieces of old wood that were lying flat on the ground with some "etching" on the face.  I removed them along with more pieces that looked like they were cut yesterday.  No mud tubes, no cracks, no wings, etc., etc. Luckily the buyer is getting another inspection. Wish you were here. Also, if you do your own writing you have got to be the most literate pest control guy I ever heard of.

Best Regards,

Warren R.

And I wrote back with....

Hello, Warren:

You're right - it is fine sand.  The theory is that the sand particles are not able to be handled by the termites.  As far as efficacy is concerned, usually the problem is that they find some way around it.  They do this with all of the other methods too, but the "sand treatments" are just as susceptible - more so, in my opinion.  If a house were designed, from the ground up, with this type of treatment in mind, it might be a whole lot more effective.  Except for "test" houses, I don't know of any of these. I think it might be cheaper to use standard soil poisonings (nowadays) and much more effective, for a longer time.  Pretty powerful arguments, in my mind.

If I find a termite problem inside a house, I always show the occupant where the problem is, (if he's there) and if all I find is what you describe, I may also have prescribed some sort of treatment.  If your house has been treated before, I would also point you back to the other exterminator, because if anyone is going to give you a break, it will be him.  If it were me, and I were called back, felt the house was okay, I would certify it with no treatment.  If treatment were required I would probably take that previous treatment into consideration when figuring treatment and price.

My thanks for your compliment.  I'm afraid I must take the full blame for this website.

Nice to hear from you.  Hope this helps.


Warren then replied with this....

Dear John,

I have tagged this on to our previous e-mails so you can recall our conversation.  This termite inspection has taken on the aspects of a small mini-series.  After the first guy bid $5,000 to pour his sand in and on my house, the buyer and I had a good laugh.  The second inspector only looked under the house and found no subterranean termites and a few drywoods and rot under a small deck which I was going to tear out and repair anyway. But...he lost the report.  The third guy found the same and hopefully is sending out a report.  We'll see.  I tell you, you could make a fortune here in California, especially if you could find some way to integrate holistic medicine, feng shui, astrology and aromatherapy into your rap.

Best to You,

Warren R.

So I had to reply....


Five thousand, eh?  I guess you must've forgotten and left the Mercedes in the drive? But, I suppose he figures he only has to get a few suckers to make it all worthwhile.....  And they are always out there.  I would laugh too.  Laugh him right off the property.  Capitalism in it's worst form.

Your talent list has probably already been tried, I'm sure, and I guess that means another redundant redundant government agency, stocked with young college grads with useful degrees, like maybe anthropology, ardently enforcing rules and regulations made up by senators and congressmen in collusion with Jeremy Rifkin and Pat Buchannon.  (This last sentence would be much too long for my dear, departed English teacher, but it gets the point across.)

Keep me posted on what happens, assure your buyer that YOU, personally, will make sure he gets the right deal.  Keep the lawyers out of any conflict, they just make it worse and they're the only ones that win.


Warren's Final Report....

Well John, it has come to a happy end.  The third time was indeed the charm. His bid for fixing the right stuff was about the same as a good mattress, as you say.  As I am a stickler for detail I will rip out the bad stuff, mostly rot, and replace it with new and better material.  Not too many bugs were found;  no subs and a few drys which are now in the dumpster.

Thanks for your advice and your web site.

Best Regards,

Warren R.

(I thanked Warren for his update.)

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