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Does sawdust attract termites?

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Forum topic by Jason posted 05-09-2016 02:35 AM 1073 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jason

3 posts in 208 days


05-09-2016 02:35 AM

Topic tags/keywords: termite pests sawdust

Thinking of moving my woodworking from the garage to the basement, but I’m concerned about termites. I live on a hill, so my “basement” is underground on one side but not the other, and the floor is just wooden slats across joists with gaps between them and earth below. If I don’t put in some proper flooring and do some additional framing, sawdust was surely get down onto the dirt beneath the house. Think that could bring on a violent uprising of termites?


9 replies so far

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OnhillWW

59 posts in 692 days


#1 posted 05-09-2016 10:46 AM

The wood framing that is at or near the soil in your basement is the risk not saw dust. I would have a professional pest control service come in and advise you on how to protect your structure. Sawdust will, depending on the humidity levels, promote the growth of molds and a home for rodents so you have that as well.

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2526 days


#2 posted 05-09-2016 01:01 PM

I don’t think they care about the sawdust, as they like the real thing. To be safe treatment is advised. If they have a good supply of wood (your structure) and moisture (earth) and an easy way to get back n forth, thats trouble.

Also check with your ext agent in your area to see how prone you are geographically to the little boogers.

Where I live they require pretreatement before you even build a house (if you need financing)

Good luck.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

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Jason

3 posts in 208 days


#3 posted 05-09-2016 05:58 PM

Thanks, guys. We’re definitely in a danger zone here in east LA. Three houses on my street have been tented in the past week. It looks like the damn circus is in town.

View Billy E's profile

Billy E

162 posts in 1539 days


#4 posted 05-09-2016 06:00 PM

I have always heard that saw dust and firewood both can attract termites but I don’t know how much more they attract vs the wooden structure itself.

-- Billy, Florence SC

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splatman

557 posts in 858 days


#5 posted 05-09-2016 07:59 PM

Moisture from the exposed ground makes for a humid environment under the house. Dropped sawdust would leas to mold problems. I’ve seen (and smelled) it myself.

Regardless whether you treat for bugs, do cover the ground with a vapor barrier. 6-mil polyethylene is the go-to material, though there may be others. Clean up the rocks first; they’ll poke holes the V-barrier.

And it would be best to cover the floor with something that will keep dust (and small tools/bits) from slipping through the cracks. ½” plywood will do it. Anything thinner will be too “bendy” underfoot, unless you glue it down (brush and vacuum the subfloor first, so the glue will stick to it).

View Jason's profile

Jason

3 posts in 208 days


#6 posted 05-09-2016 08:13 PM

I was figuring on 3/4” plywood. You think 1/2” will do it?

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splatman

557 posts in 858 days


#7 posted 05-09-2016 08:35 PM

The idea is, you already have what looks like 3/4” ship lap on your floor joists, so that would be strong enough as a floor. The biggest issue with ship lap (in my experience) is unequal thickness from one plank to the next, which makes high and low spots. That’s why no less than ½” thick. I just did not know if you would be willing to splurge on ¾” plywood. ¾” would beat ½” hands down. For a workshop, ¾” would be the way to go.

View jesinfla's profile

jesinfla

274 posts in 597 days


#8 posted 05-09-2016 11:18 PM


Thanks, guys. We re definitely in a danger zone here in east LA. Three houses on my street have been tented in the past week. It looks like the damn circus is in town.

- Jason


Is this East Los Angeles and not Louisiana ?

If so, you have swarming/flying termites hence the tents – in Ca., all home sales require a termite inspection and consequently every house will get tented. However, if you check with a local pest control company you will find that your sub floor is probably safe from termites – but NOT other infestations.

In LA (Louisiana) and FL however, we have subterranean termites which is why I asked. They burrow from the ground up which is why houses built here can not have wood touching the ground – anywhere. The wood must be a certain height above ground level.

We also tend to not have basements – I’m actually surprised if you live in Ca that you have a house with a basement – I wanted one for years and couldn’t find one :(

-- They said I could be anything... So I became Sarcastic! They also said making drawers is easy... I think they lied :(

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2322 posts in 1756 days


#9 posted 09-15-2016 12:18 PM

I know ‘it never rains in california’ but you may want to throw down a vapor barrier now so your tools don’t rust later. It also looks like you could run a duct to the outside wall somehow for fresh air or for exhaust purposes.

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