Life in a century-old, wooden structure comes at a price. Namely, drywood termites. Drywoods are one of the three kinds of termites we have in Florida. Whatever their species, they're bad news.
There are termite species that live all over but they seem to particularly common in the sun belt. I never remember them when I lived in the Northeast. In Florida however, they are part of the scenery. Just like palmetto bugs, having termites isn't a reflection on someone's housekeeping. Even so, having them makes me feel dirty somehow.
When I first moved here, the only cure for them was to have the house tented and treated with Vikane. Vikane is sulfuryl flouride, a relatively inert gas. These days we spot treat with a product called Termidor and it promises to kill every termite in the area but at the same time be inert to me because I'm a mammal and have a spine, Termidor doesn't affect me. At least according the research Dow's done.
Back to Vikane for a sec however. Sulfuryl flouide is a greenhouse gas and its widespread use is a bad idea. In its place, spot treatments with Termidor are becoming the default mode for termites.
Part of me longs for a day when I could just eliminate everything but it makes sense to spot treat and not damage the atmosphere instead of the scorch and burn method I'd prefer.
The exterminator Steve told me that I shouldn't keep things so neat because he couldn't tell where the termites were. Pardon my hygiene. I'll start allowing dust buffaloes to form under my bed to make life easier for exterminators. Hah!
Does anybody out there have any experience with Termidor? Am I alone in living in an old structure and dealing with termites? I remember seeing termite nests in the trees in Costa Rica and Panama and being awed by them. However, seeing them in my kitchen is whole other matter. If they're in my kitchen, what are they doing to my floorboards and rafters? I need to quit thinking.
Out, out damned termites!