Termite Inspection Orange County Termite Terry Pest Control

Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, South Orange County, Long Beach Area

The Case Of The Chronic Termites

It was a cold winter’s day in Orange County and Termite Terry was working on a home when his pager started beeping (You still remember those old pagers, don’t you?). The call was from a property manager.


In those days, cell phones weren’t common, so Termite Terry had to get in his truck and drive to a pay phone.
When he called her, she said that she had a condo in one of the associations she managed that had a chronic problem with subterranean termites. She went on to say that the people who lived in this condo were really angry because this particular home had been treated every year for like five years in a row, but no one could ever get rid of their termites. Terry called the owner of this condo and set an appointment.

Termite Terry arrived at their home later that day, introduced himself and asked if they would show him what they were seeing.
The owners took him into the kitchen to look at the area near the sink. Sure enough, there were subterranean termite swarmers lying all over the sink area. He started looking around the area for evidence of where the termites were coming from and there was nothing obvious. He checked further under the sink, around the cabinets, the appliances and everywhere else he could look. Still, no sings of evidence could be found.

Termite Terry asked the owners for permission to inspect the entire home. He started by checking every room inside the home. Next, he checked the attic, the garage and the exterior. Last, he put on his coveralls and checked the subarea under the home. There were no signs of termites anywhere else in this home.
Terry was really feeling a lot of pressure at this point and started to wonder if he was going to be able to solve this case. Rather than walk away from the problem, he cleaned himself off after crawling out from under the house and went back inside to the kitchen where he started.
The owners were not impressed when he told them that he couldn’t find the source of the termites. But, he assured them that he hadn’t given up and that he was going to keep looking.

Standing in front of the sink, Terry just stared at the termites on the counter. Over and over again, he asked himself, “Where did these guys come from?”

When stumped by a case like this, Terry knew that he had to go back and remember what he had learned in his studies of termite biology. He reminded himself that subterranean termites live underground and that if they had managed to work their way up from the soil under the house, they had to be getting up to the sink somehow.

After staring at the sink area for the longest time, he became more convinced that the termites must have worked their way up the wall by following the plumbing drain. He took some measurements of where the plumbing drain was located in the wall. Next, he put on his coveralls and went back under the house.

While under the house, he got out his tape and measured the location of where the plumbing drain should be located. He marked the area with a pencil and started looking even closer for a clue of where the termites were coming from.

Termite Terry as “Columbo”

This home had sheets of plywood covering the wood framing in the substructure, so there was no way that he could see what was going on behind these panels. The plumbing drain was also hidden behind this plywood paneling. After looking and looking for any signs of termites, he decided that it was time to go and talk to the owners.

Termite Terry told the owners that he still hadn’t found any signs of termites but that he really believed the area in that wall was the source. He explained that there was no way anyone could ever know without cutting a hole in the wall. He also told them that there was no way that he could guarantee that his theory was correct – this was just a chance that they were going to have to take. After discussing this with the owners, they reluctantly agreed to let him cut a hole in the wall. Fortunately, the hole would be under the house where almost no one would ever notice it.

After taking a few more measurements and marking off the target area, Terry fired up his power saw and started cutting a hole.
While cutting the hole, he said to himself, “I had better be right or these people are going to kill me for doing this to their house!”
Terry made his last cut and carefully pulled out the scrap piece of wood. That is when things started to erupt and hundreds of angry termites flew out of the hole.

After a short celebration and thanking God, Terry continued his investigation. Upon further inspection, he could see where the drain pipe was coming up through the home’s concrete foundation. There was a small gap around this pipe and this was how the termites had managed to squeeze their way into the house.

After removing his coveralls and cleaning himself off, he went back inside to tell the owners what he had found.

Termite Terry was wearing an ear-to-ear grin when he told his story to the owners. Normally, one shouldn’t be so happy when they have to tell an owner that they have termites. But, this case was different and the owners were equally excited to hear the news. The owners called his office and scheduled a date for the treatment.

A few days later, Terry’s crew arrived to do the treatment. This was not going to be an easy termite problem to solve so Terry met with the crew to give them instructions.

The first thing they did was to remove all of the termite’s mud tunnels and clean out that small gap around the pipe. Next, they used a small needle and started injecting the termiticide into this tiny space. They filled it up with termiticide, let it soak in, and then refilled it. They also treated the inside and outside of the foundation wall to ensure that the termites would never come back to that area.

Termite Terry said, “That was a tough case but in the end, everyone was happy. I wound up working with that property manager for another ten years and we never did have to go back and retreat that house.”

Do you have a termite problem that you need help with? Call Termite Terry at (949) 631-7348 and we’ll schedule an appointment at your convenience.