Termites Eating Night Box

Ranman

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I built a night box in Jan of 2018 like @Tom designed. I used kilz primer and stain with a sealer on the outside. I went to put my tortoise in it for the first time this year since it was going to be a very cold night. When i opened the box for inspection i noticed termites were eating it up and traveling down into the chamber where the foam insulation is. Does anyone have any ideals of how i can get rid of these without being harmful to the tortoise?
 

Turtulas-Len

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The first thing I would do is get it off the ground.Then put some kind of barrier between the ground and the box that the termites cant get thru.like tar paper, metal, vinyl treated wood etc.just make sure it has a over hang so they cant build tunnels from the ground to the wood. If they cant reach the soil they will die or leave.As for a quick kill of the ones already in the box I'm not sure, but they need to be able to get their moisture from the ground to thrive. They don't like dry wood. I know it's heavy, when I raise my sulcatas house I use a floor jack and then use bricks or treated 4x4s to support it and work one end at a time until the whole house is up.Good Luck.
 

Ranman

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Thanks for your response. I understand get it off the ground. But if i put a barrier on the ground and have the box sitting on top the barrier, Can't they still make tunnels on top of the barrier and work their way to the box. I have a pergula on concrete slab that is built out of wood and i always find tunnels ontop of the concrete coming form the ground to get to the wood and just spray them with termite killer and destroy the tunnel. But i can't spray in the tortoise pen i wouldn't think.
 

Turtulas-Len

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I'm sorry I have a hard time explaining with typed words. You don't leave the box setting on the ground you rest it, for example on treated 4x4s and put the barrier on top of the 4x4s which extend out at least an inch on both top edges for the whole length (plus an over hang) of them and then set the box back down on the 4x4s.You can run the 4x4s on the 4 foot width so you only have to raise one end and put the supports in and set that end down and then do the same thing on the other end. Space the supports equally. I don't know what thickness and type wood you used for the bottom but you may only need 3 supports to keep it from sagging over time.The over hang is the most important thing when treated wood is not used to help keep termites out.
 

Ranman

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Thanks. So you put the barrier on top of the treated 4x4. Then set the box back down on the barrier which is laying on the 4x4. I will try that. The crazy thing is. I used treated 2x4 s to raise it 4 inches off the ground so it is sitting on the treated wood not the untreated box. They must have made tunnels up the treated to get to the untreated to have a smorgasbord.
 

Turtulas-Len

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The 2x4s will work if you can get them off and place something on top of as a barrier between them and the bottom of the box and replace them. Something as simple as shower pan liner should work for what you are doing. Just cut it about an inch to an inch and a half bigger on each side and let hang down a little and the termites wont be able to get past it.
 

Ranman

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Thanks for your replies. I will try get some type of barrier under it. I didn’t think the termites would be a problem for the tortoise. But they sure can eat it up quick. I know it want last forever but I would like it to last as long as possible before needing to be replaced.
 

Dovey

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White vinegar repells ants and termites. Stinky, but effective and nontoxic. We mix in spray bottle 3 pts. Vinegar to one part water. Ratio can be adjusted as needed.
 

Ranman

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Thanks so much. I will definitely spray that to get a start on getting them out of there while I work on getting a barrier underneath.
White vinegar repells ants and termites. Stinky, but effective and nontoxic. We mix in spray bottle 3 pts. Vinegar to one part water. Ratio can be adjusted as needed.[/QUOTE
 

Ranman

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I'd be most concerned about those termites migrating over to my house.
That entire enclosure needs to be burned and a new one needs to be built.
Yea that’s certainly a concern. But this is how we live here in New Orleans and the termites are everywhere. Just have to make sure the house has a barrier around it and keep your termite company paid to take care of the house. Burning the night box will do nothing for the termites here in our state.
 
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