(Topic ID: 135258)

Pain in the Frass (Termites)


By SkyKing2301

4 years ago



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  • Latest reply 9 months ago by Darcy
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There are 100 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 4 years ago

Decided I wanted to pick up a third pin, so I was keeping an eye on (relatively) local listings. A 1975 Bally Hokus Pokus popped up. Seller was asking $600 but was motivated to move it, so I talked the seller down to $375. He said everything was working but it'd need new rubbers.

It was about 1.5 hrs away, so I had a friend nearby go check it out. Granted, he's no pinball expert (hell, neither am I for that matter), but I had him look everything over, cycle all the switches, etc. It had a few minor issues and damages, but overall he said it looked good and played well.

The owner met me halfway this morning to make the exchange. I glanced it over during the change, but admittedly not very thoroughly. After getting it home, going to unload, we saw all these little wood pellet things coming out of the cabinet in various locations.

Some quick research pointed directly to the frass of drywood termites. Dammit.

I called the seller back to see if he knew; he claims he only had it two weeks, and that he bought it to resell. I got the number of the guy who sold it to him, but he hasn't returned my call. I was hoping to ask if perhaps he knew and had it fumigated.

Lesson learned on not buying a machine without seeing it with my own eyes first, that's for sure. Based on pics and my friend's opinion, thought it would be good enough.

I've looked it over in much better detail, and I haven't seen a single living thing. Is it possible the termites are long gone? Or are they probably all so far in the wood that I wouldn't see any?

Also what are your recommendations? Should I go put it in my shed and bug bomb it? Will that hurt the machine?

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#2 4 years ago

From what I've heard the only way to get rid of them effectively is to take it to the pros. Home remedies rarely work. Most shops will have a storage unit or something they use for gassing furniture. $75 or something. Sucks, but if you really want to take care of it then that's the way. They're just in there too deep.

#3 4 years ago

Any game from Florida should be suspect for termites. I learned that after buying a very nice (or so it seemed) game from Florida on eBay many years ago. I had someone down there pick it up for me, and he gave me the bad news a few days later. He had it fumigated, and I got it from him a few months later with very little ill effects, but it's something you really need to keep in mind when getting a game from Florida.

#4 4 years ago

If there are living termites in that pin, I doubt you wouldn't notice it. As someone who has dealt with a termite infestation, no way would I bring that pin anywhere near my house. Fixing a termite infestation cost a hell of a lot more than $375. I don't think you can get it properly fumigated for less than $100.

#5 4 years ago

I think at the time my friend had my game fumigated for like $75. I didn't keep the game long, since it was a SS game (not really my thing), but it seemed like such a good deal on eBay, I bit.

#6 4 years ago
Quoted from mcluvin:

If there are living termites in that pin, I doubt you wouldn't notice it. As someone who has dealt with a termite infestation, no way would I bring that pin anywhere near my house.

On your first statement -- let me be sure I understand: you're saying if they're ARE living termites, I WOULD notice? If so, how? I haven't seen or heard a living thing.

On your second statement, yeah that's my next concern I need to address immediately. So how I can tell if they're in there and if I need to get this thing the hell outta here?

#7 4 years ago
Quoted from SkyKing2301:

need to get this thing the hell outta here?

Yes. And hopefully not too late.

LTG : )™

#8 4 years ago

Push against the areas near where you see holes. You will probably find some soft spots and termites if still active.

It is just not worth the risk to bring it in the house. If you don't see anything, it probably isn't actively infested. I let my termite coverage lapse 1 year and this was a full brick home, but wood frame. My daughter noticed them when she removed a poster from her wall. They were eating through the caulk at the baseboard and about 6 feet up. We had people look at it and say yeah just patch it up, they didn't do any structural damage. Ha! I had the drywall removed. They ate everything. About 3 feet wide and up to about 6 feet the wood was just nuked by the termites. My current home is block with steel frame (still wood frame roof though). I've owned it for ~15 years. I never had termite coverage before. I sure as hell have it now.

#9 4 years ago
Quoted from mcluvin:

Push against the areas near where you see holes. You will probably find some soft spots and termites if still active. It is just not worth the risk to bring it in the house. If you don't see anything, it probably isn't actively infested.

Ok thanks for this input. I had already been pushing and prodding and tapping and whatnot and haven't found anything.

Still, you all are making me very nervous, lol. As circumstances would have it, later in the day a situation (outside of pinball) arose that is going to demand some time and finances. This machine still needs some other minor work & troubleshooting (though I already put new rubbers on the flippers, doh), so I'm not going to have time for it anyway. (My BOPP still needs some other rework too, and I'm keeping that one for now.) So perhaps I'd better just turn this thing around and re-sell it. <sigh>

#10 4 years ago

Look for a local pest control company that has a fumigation vault for furniture and ask if you can bring it in on a slow week. A gas will be the only effective way to treat this without damaging the playfield like a liquid termiticide would. It should not cost more than $150 to do it right.

#11 4 years ago

Some great advice in this thread particularly not bringing it anywhere near your house until resolved otherwise the real cost is potentially far more than $375. I trust it all works out ok for you.

#12 4 years ago

about 20 yrs ago i bought a 1963 GTB SweatHearts (with repainted CAB)
that had evidence of termite damage,
but never saw any live "bugs".
but the bad thing was "something" was still in there
pushing out fresh "pellets" every so often
so I eventually wrapped and covered the game in
a plastic pallet cover and set off one of those RAID fumigaters /foggers
< http://www.homedepot.com/p/Raid-Fumigating-Foggers-3-Pack-61528/100034648 >
inside the machine, hoping that would do the trick.

And that seemed to slow down the pellet output for a while, but after a few weeks
those buggers started sh*tting pellets again
it finally took a regime of 3 straight treatments about 2 weeks apart to get
them and their egg/offspring dead.
In all that time i only saw one actual bug come out of the game.
{side note : I later found that the fumigator smoke,
after repeated treatments, in a confined small place is somewhat corrosive,
as some of the metal parts seemed to tarnish somewhat;
it did not damage or affect the paint on PF or BG)
2nd note: these fumigators are more of a smoke pot type thing as opposed to
a (liquid) spray emitter/fogger}
I eventually crated that game and sent it to africa,
where i was working in the oil field at the time.
One to have a game to play on my time off,
but mostly to get the infested pin
away from my house and the rest of my collection,
so as to not possibly do more damage.
Never saw evidence of the "termites" migrating
to other pins or the other parts of my house/storage.

#13 4 years ago

I would pick up a Slip-on Bale Bonnet and toss in a few cans of bug foggers. I may have mentioned this before, but my dad aquired a massive pile of lumber that was infested with termites. He bagged them, fogged it. And used it as panels for a room. Was really neat wood. Also,... no bugs.

*I say this, cuz you cant tell if you killed all the bugs inside the wood via normal cleaning.

bag.jpg

#14 4 years ago

1975 Bally Hokus is not worth all the risk. I say part it out and burn the cab you should recoup some of your $$ from parting it out

#15 4 years ago
Quoted from pinwiztom:

about 20 yrs ago i bought a 1963 GTB SweatHearts (with repainted CAB)
that had evidence of termite damage,
but never saw any live "bugs".
but the bad thing was "something"

A great story pinwiztom

#16 4 years ago

*OR
kill.gif
fire.gif

#17 4 years ago
Quoted from Jean-Luc-Picard:

I would pick up a Slip-on Bale Bonnet and toss in a few cans of bug foggers. I may have mentioned this before, but my dad aquired a massive pile of lumber that was infested with termites. He bagged them, fogged it. And used it as panels for a room. Was really neat wood. Also,... no bugs.
*I say this, cuz you cant tell if you killed all the bugs inside the wood via normal cleaning.
bag.jpg

Unless you have access to Methel Bromide or Vikane gas Fumigate from a professional pest control company over the counter bug foggers will at best kill only insects that are directly exposed to it. The professional gas fumigate will penetrate the wood and kill termites in the core.

#18 4 years ago

20 years in pest control here.
Get the game inspected/treated now.

If the colony is mature they can swarm into your home.

Call me when that happens. It's big money and an easy sale for me.

#19 4 years ago
Quoted from mrgone:

It's big money and an easy sale for me.

When I had my infestation I got multiple quotes for treatment and the variation in price was pretty amazing. In Florida, Florida Pest Control was by far the best price.

#20 4 years ago

you can also drill into the wood, inject a termiticide foam into the galleries and kill the termites.

this could be an option for you.

#21 4 years ago
Quoted from boilerman:

1975 Bally Hokus is not worth all the risk. I say part it out and burn the cab you should recoup some of your $$ from parting it out

Agreed!!

#22 4 years ago
Quoted from mrgone:

20 years in pest control here.
Get the game inspected/treated now.
If the colony is mature they can swarm into your home.

Is there a way to ascertain if the colony still exists? I vacuumed it out as best I could so I could monitor it for new frass. Drill into a few random spots?

#23 4 years ago

I just moved into a termite infested house where the wood frame garage were thoroughly infested. I never saw a single bug, but I heard them eating away in the studs. I used some spectracide foam that killed a few (it got quiet). I did some intense research on this to protect my machines and there's nothing but vikane gas that kills them properly.

Overseas moving companies fumigate shipping containers, I think you should be able to slip your machine into one of those.

-2
#24 4 years ago

Termites live in the ground. They feed above ground. The game has been stored near a colony before. The way to get rid of termites is to block there path to the food source. Put the game on a cement pad with no cracks and let it set for a while. If there would happen to be termites in it they will die. They must have water to live. They can not walk in the light because they will dry out and die. They build mud tubes to travel to there food source.

#25 4 years ago
Quoted from SkyKing2301:

Is there a way to ascertain if the colony still exists? I vacuumed it out as best I could so I could monitor it for new frass. Drill into a few random spots?

You will want to drill a small hole in the areas where you see the exit holes. This is where the gallery is. Pm me for greater details.
I can walk you through this.

#26 4 years ago
Quoted from frb:

Termites live in the ground.

Some termites like Drywood and Wetwood termites don't live with any connection to the ground.

You see them eating up the attic of a home with no tubes back to the earth.

#27 4 years ago
Quoted from frb:

Termites live in the ground. They feed above ground. The game has been stored near a colony before. The way to get rid of termites is to block there path to the food source. Put the game on a cement pad with no cracks and let it set for a while. If there would happen to be termites in it they will die. They must have water to live. They can not walk in the light because they will dry out and die. They build mud tubes to travel to there food source.

you are 1/3 correct. subterranean termites live in the soil and build mud tubes and attach to wood. dry wood termites do not need earth to wood contact and are often found in attics and window sills. damp wood termites are rarely found in homes but are mostly found in wood near bodies of water like swamps.
putting wood on a concrete slab is not a guarantee that subterranean termites will not infest. I have seen/treated many concrete slab structures that have had subterranean termites come up through cracks in the slab as well as expansion joints. plumbing lines, electrical conduits etc. again, 20 years in the pest control business, a degree in entomology. there are also Formosan termites. they are a type of subterranean termite but where a standard sub colony will number in the 100,000+ range the Formosan colony will number in the 1,000,000"S. the damage they can do in just months is insane.
it should also be noted that termites do more damage to homes and businesses in the us every year than all the fires and natural disasters combined. an estimated 2 billion + a year.

#28 4 years ago

Some pics of receint termite work.

image.jpg

image_1.jpg

#29 4 years ago

The 1st pic is under the floor of an apt. Building. Notice the tubes going from the dirt all the way up the concrete pier block. Up the pier post. To the flooring and into the floor joist.
The second pic is of a window sill at an industrial park. This building is on a concrete slab. The many bodies are of sub termite swarmers. They are reproductive members. The swarm, fly a short distance. Land, their wings fall off. They burrow into soil and start forming new colonies.

#30 4 years ago

Too bad be can't genetically engineer those giant Palmetto bugs to eat termites.

Palmento_Burger.jpg

#31 4 years ago

Man, thanks for sharing this. Because of your post, I realized I have drywood termites in a playfield I bought from Florida...

I never got around to installing it, but did see those pellets initially and had no idea what they were. Today, when I inspected closer, I realized some of the outer ply layer on the bottom was loose so I peeled it back and found a live bug... I'm so grossed out and disturbed by this.

I happen to be on day 46 since I ordered it, so I don't know how much help eBay is going to be here. I'm hoping I can still dispute it and get my money back. Here's hoping I didn't infest my house.

#32 4 years ago

I would put that thing in a garbage bag and run it out the door to the dumpster.

#33 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Too bad be can't genetically engineer those giant Palmetto bugs to eat termites.

Palmento_Burger.jpg

Also known as the American cockroach. Ants have been known to attack termite colonies and eat the termites. This is why termite colonies have 3 casts.
Workers, solders,and reproductive's.

The solder cast is responsible for defending the colony from attack by other pests.

#34 4 years ago
Quoted from winteriscoming:

Man, thanks for sharing this. Because of your post, I realized I have drywood termites in a playfield I bought from Florida...

While I'm glad I helped ... I'm really not glad for either of us, since it seems we both may have gotten screwed here.

Quoted from mrgone:

You will want to drill a small hole in the areas where you see the exit holes. This is where the gallery is. Pm me for greater details. I can walk you through this.

PM sent; I'll be getting my drill ready. Just need to know recommended drill bit size! lol First sign of a live bug and this thing is getting stripped for parts. As if that weren't aggravating enough, with my medical issue that just came up, now I won't have the funds to replace it with something else. I was really liking the look of all three machines together:

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#35 4 years ago
Quoted from Pinplayer1967:

Unless you have access to Methel Bromide or Vikane gas Fumigate from a professional pest control company over the counter bug foggers will at best kill only insects that are directly exposed to it. The professional gas fumigate will penetrate the wood and kill termites in the core.

Yeah, I have no idea what he used. But whatever it was, it killed all the termites.

#36 4 years ago

My buddy's a pest control guy in FL and he says that if you have a big chest freezer, you can freeze the game for 2 weeks and 100% of the termites will be dead.

He says that is the way some expensive musical instruments are done.

If you do this, do not put the backglass in the freezer!

#37 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

My buddy's a pest control guy in FL and he says that if you have a big chest freezer, you can freeze the game for 2 weeks and 100% of the termites will be dead.
He says that is the way some expensive musical instruments are done.
If you do this, do not put the backglass in the freezer!

That will work. I did not suggest it only because not everyone has access to a freezer that big.

Some years ago, I had a case where the home owner had traveled to Thailand. He had picked up several wood carved statues and placed them on the mantle of his home. After a couple of months he noticed frass and small holes in his mantle.
I inspected the site and the statues and found them to contain wood boring beetles.
He had a freezer in his garage so he put them in the freezer for 30 days to kill the beetles.
I drilled into the mantle and injected a foam into the galleries to kill any beetles. Filled to holes, sanded,painted,and boom! Good as new.

#38 4 years ago
Quoted from SkyKing2301:

As if that weren't aggravating enough, with my medical issue that just came up, now I won't have the funds to replace it with something else.

Personally if the game works, you like it, and you want to keep it I would opt for finding a fumigator to drop it off to and spend the $100.00 to save the game.

Just my 2 cents.

Ken

#39 4 years ago
Quoted from frb:

Termites live in the ground. They feed above ground. The game has been stored near a colony before. The way to get rid of termites is to block there path to the food source. Put the game on a cement pad with no cracks and let it set for a while. If there would happen to be termites in it they will die. They must have water to live. They can not walk in the light because they will dry out and die. They build mud tubes to travel to there food source.

As a owner of a pest control company with over 30 years experience, this is some terrible advice to give people.

#40 4 years ago

Ok I've spoken with an expert and showed him some detailed photographs. Based on the evidence, he believes this unit has already been fumigated. Thank goodness.

I still intend to resell it anyway though, due to my medical issue that just arose. I won't have time/resources to put into this machine.

2 weeks later
#41 4 years ago
Quoted from SkyKing2301:

While I'm glad I helped ... I'm really not glad for either of us, since it seems we both may have gotten screwed here.

Well... PayPal was completely useless at helping me. They had the case open for a while and never once asked me any follow up questions or for proof. Then they closed it stating that it's a matter of buyer's remorse! You always hear about how they default to helping the buyer, so I thought I had this in the bag. I even appealed the case, and sent some pictures with proof and it was still dismissed in the seller's favor. Now I've escalated it to my credit card company. In that case, it will be PP and the seller vs me and my CC company, with my CC company making the ultimate decision on whether or not I get a refund. Here's hoping something works out in my favor...

My biggest issue I think is that I was ignorant when I first got the pf. I didn't know what frass was. It came pouring out of the shipping box and I thought it was just some sand or something and the buyer was messy when packaging it... I saw the damage in the corners, but foolishly thought it just got banged up in storage at some point in its life and wasn't something I was going to complain about. I didn't know it was termite damage. If I had known, I could have immediately disputed through eBay and would probably have won.

Here's a couple pics I had sent to PayPal during the appeal:
Seller picture compared to buyer picture.pngPeeled back wood - termite damage.pngAccumulated frass 2 and closeup of voids.png

#42 4 years ago

So, who's the eBayer who sold you this timebomb?

#43 4 years ago
Quoted from winteriscoming:

Well... PayPal was completely useless at helping me. They had the case open for a while and never once asked me any follow up questions or for proof.

Paypal just flips a coin.

They do not investigate or even look at any evidence.

#44 4 years ago
Quoted from jrpinball:

So, who's the eBayer who sold you this timebomb?

syonta55

He's located out of Stuart, Florida. In the listing he claims to have taken in a bunch of arcade related items that he'll be selling. Buyer beware.

Here's the listing for reference: ebay.com link

He hid the damage by cropping it out of the photos.

What really sucks is based on my ignorance and upon my initial inspection of the artwork on the topside being in great shape, I gave the seller positive feedback...

Quoted from vid1900:

Paypal just flips a coin.
They do not investigate or even look at any evidence.

Hopefully my credit card company looks into it or at least defaults to a decision in my favor... They like to make you feel good up front by giving you a provisional credit for the disputed amount, but I know they'll take it right back if they don't settle in my favor.

I really thought stuff bought from eBay with PayPal and a CC had layers of protection, but I'm on my last layer now.

I want pinball karmic forces to come together and for me to get all my money back, burn the pf, and the seller gets screwed out of the money and has nothing to show for this piece of garbage he sold me. I'd settle for just getting my money back, though.

#45 4 years ago
Quoted from winteriscoming:

He's located out of Stuart, Florida.

Maybe checkout the Village. Probably somebody there who knows who he is.

#46 4 years ago
Quoted from mcluvin:

Maybe checkout the Village. Probably somebody there who knows who he is.

And what? Have them beat him up for me?

#47 4 years ago
Quoted from winteriscoming:

He's located out of Stuart, Florida. In the listing he claims to have taken in a bunch of arcade related items that he'll be selling. Buyer beware.

To his credit, he did state:

You will not find many of these in this shape

I've got to agree with him there.

Although it is illegal to ship termite infested wood over state lines......

#48 4 years ago
Quoted from winteriscoming:

And what? Have them beat him up for me?

Maybe more info than an ebay username would be helpful. I think I've heard of a couple unscrupulous sellers down that way.

Good luck!

#49 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Although it is illegal to ship termite infested wood over state lines......

I'm sure that's not easily enforceable. However, I'll keep that in mind if I'm asked to ship it back, I guess.

#50 4 years ago

Wow, that's pretty rough, winteriscoming. Good luck, I hope it works out in your favor!

Although I was resting comfortably (after talking to the expert) about the lack of any living termites in my machine, I ended up reselling it anyway (since the rest needed more work than I had time/resources for) ... so that's one less thing to worry about.

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