About 8 months ago I saw what I believed to be evidence of new termite infestation. It was a sawdust covered tunnel on one part subfloor (the landing between staircases) near the front of my house, where the cement porch abutts the foundation. This is in the same area as an infestation treated in 1998. I have a split level house and can get under the inside stairs and look directly at the foundation block, sill plate and band board to see this area.

Someone from the company with whom I have a maintenance contract came out, also thought it was termites and sprayed the area with termidor. (Which I've since been told is not a treatment for wood.) BTW, this is the company that did the original 1998 treatment.

This person returned to the main office and the gentlemen who has always visited my house determined (without coming out) that what we had seen was old damage and not new infestation, and refused to do a new treatment (also didn't come out to look at it himself). So I'm not exactly pleased with this company.

Since then, I mistakenly allowed a "handy" friend to start removing part of the sill plate to replace a portion damaged from the 1998 problem. He didn't finish, but it was educational to see how much of the wood was eaten away and yet the board seemed sound from the outside (ie, I couldn't stick a screwdriver thru it.). I've also noticed that there is a vertical 2x4 running up the far left side of the cement block that has areas that are like paper, easily speared with a screwdriver.

I'm interviewing companies in search of someone to finish the sill plate repair, and also a new company with whom to get an annual contract.

1. How do you know when a board needs replacing? A
company that came out yesterday does both termite
treatment and has a division that does repair. He
can't determine whether I have a current infestation
based on what is visible, but says he will know once
they pull out part of the current sill plate to replace it.
Is that worth doing, or should I wait until I see more
tunnels or other external evidence?

2. They want $1250 to jack the house and replace about
6 feet of sill plate. I haven't yet seen the contract and
don't remember if that also includes replacing the band
board in that same area. Does anyone know if that is a
reasonable price for the Baltimore, MD area?

3. How will I know if the band board or any other structure
needs replacing? Should anything with tunnels be either
replaced or get a sister board, or do only the paper-thin
boards need that kind of work?

BTW, the company is 1-800-INSECTS. Anyone have experience or knowledge of their reputation?

Thanks for any help you can offer.