February 13, 2007

Meeting the Termite Exterminator

The termite exterminator from next door arrived as promised and I allowed him to view the common fence in question from my side of the fence. When I opened my garden gate and allowed him into my small side yard he looked surprised and commented about how new the fence was. Evidently, he had not seen this fence when he had inspected the property before. He also said that my side yard was the perfect place for a garden. The fence next to my pepper patch had no termites in it at all. I'm not surprised because it is only four years old and I had sealed the wood after we put it up. It should last at least a good ten years without problems. Just beyond the garden, where the old ten year old wooden fence was, he pointed out the two places that had termite damage. One location was next to my tomato bed.

I explained that I had read about Termidor on the BASF website and that it said to not plant near vegetables. That the product would be toxic. The termite exterminator told me that there had been a change in plans with the neighbor, that he was only going to inject the wood where the termites were and not pump chemicals into the soil at all. This chemical that goes into the wood is a foam and it would not spread into my organic garden, even though the post is inches away from my cinderblocks.

I'm not thrilled about the chemicals being there in the post, but I will accept this as long as there is no injecting of the soil. I don't believe that Termidor soil injection is a good solution for tiny yards such as mine. A two foot "perimeter" is a great deal of space when your entire yard is only six feet deep!

I'm not sure if this is going to be the last dance with the termite problem. Not only was the house next door tented for termites, according to the exterminator, they had also spread deeply into most of the fencing around the property too. The two locations in my fence were the least of the infestations. With so many termites next door, it could be that they have migrated to my home. I might have to do an independent termite inspection of my property as well.

February 09, 2007

Update about Termidor

I had a long chat with the termite exterminator this afternoon. It seems he went to a seminar about his product this morning and was advised there to NOT use the underground toxic chemical near any edible plantings, such as my organic herb and pepper garden! Imagine that. If the chemical was injected, the poison would spread to cover at least half of my side yard....and would poison my entire garden patch. The poison does break down, but it would be probably a year or two before I could safely plant near that fence again.

He asked to come and see my garden area so that he could figure out an alternative way to kill the termites without injecting the soil with the chemical. He would probably drill holes into the wood posts and put the chemicals in there. That does sound better to me, but I still think that I'm going to dig up all my pepper plants and transport them to the opposite side of the yard during the spraying.

I definitely am going to fight this if the neighbor insists on injecting poisons into my yard.

February 08, 2007


I've been informed today that the neighbors are going to spray our common fence for termites. This common fence is inches away from my organic vegetable garden. I've been reading up on the chemical Termidor to see what I'm dealing with. Evidently it is considered one of the leading poisons to kill termites, so the fact that this company is using it is not anything out of the ordinary. It is not that I don't want the termites gone, after all if they are in the fence they can spread to my house, but dealing with all that poison is an issue. When I read more about the product at the manufactor's website, it stated that the chemical should not be injected into the ground where edible plants were growing.


My chiles have been successfully overwintering in my side yard. They survived the brief bout we had with frost conditions and seem quite happy. A few even have pods on them, although there are no new flowers to be seen. I don't want them sprayed with poisons or growing where poison has been injected into the ground inches away, so I'm considering digging them up and placing them into pots as I continue to deal with the termite situation.

Will I even have a garden after all this? I simply don't have enough information to judge this yet.