Case Studies

Pests We Treat Case Studies: Termite control and removal in Tinton Falls, NJ

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017 by Bill Cowley

Challenge

A Tinton Falls community that uses Cowleys for its pest control servicing found itself with a termite swarm one of its townhouses. A termite swarm, which usually occurs in early spring when temperatures start to warm, is when winged reproductives leave the nest in order to mate and establish new colonies. It is the most visible and disturbing sign of a termite infestation. Even though the termite nest is underground in the soil, the winged termites are able to find their way through cracks and crevices in a concrete slab foundation and sometimes wind up, to the dismay of the homeowner, smack dab inside the home! Because of their sheer numbers, a termite swarm can be frightening to experience inside a home, especially if you have never seen one before. Some homeowners have described in-home termite swarms like starring in your own horror movie!

In this particular case, the termite swarm occurred in the townhouse’s bathroom. The winged reproductives had came up out of the floor from underneath the bathtub.

Solution

To treat a termite infestation, the termite specialist needs to access the soil that is housing the nest. But sometimes doing so is easier said than done. The most direct way of reaching the soil to inject the termiticide would have been to drill through the concrete slab foundation of the bathroom. But there was a problem: There was ceramic tile around the tub. If I were to apply a concrete drill to that type of tile, it could have easily started to crack like an eggshell. Whenever I am on a termite job and need to do some drilling into a foundation, I am always concerned about minimizing any possible damage to the home. I want to leave the job with a small footprint, and I want the home to look like I was never there. I was not about to risk damaging this tile if there were an alternative method to access the soil so that I could apply the product.

During my inspection of the home, I saw that there was a laundry room directly behind the bathroom. The wall between the two rooms was an interior non-load bearing wall or partition. These walls, unlike structural or load-bearing walls, do not carry the weight of the house from the foundation to the roof. Since this wall was a cosmetic partition, I knew that the same concrete slab was under both rooms. From the laundry-room side, I drilled angled holes through the slab so that I was able to apply the treatment into the soil under the bathtub where the termite nest was located. This job is an example of employing a termite treatment method that considers the floor coverings and minimizes possible damage, even if it complicates the job. I’d rather spend more of my time than leaving a homeowner with damage that could have been avoided. Termite jobs often requires some creativity and “outside the box” thinking on the part of the pest control technician, and every job has its own obstacles and complications to deal with.