You're in Houston, aren't you?
Living in Texas, bugs are a part of life. We used to live in a rent house which we discovered was half eaten by termites. They are awful and can destroy a house quicker than anything, causing thousands upon thousands of dollars in damage, not to mention ruining the home's retail value. It's great that your husband identified the termite damage, but, like most people, the automatic response is to call in the Terminex folks. In our old house, I was concerned for my seven babies, our pets, and us. They, too, drilled the holes and put in the cannisters and later came in and dug trenches around the foundation, messed up some plants and told us it "should" be safe after the first good rain. I was told it would be best for the children to wear shoes when they played out there in the yard. Our other option was for us to leave the house for a week while they wrapped it in plastic and "bombed" it. This was more toxic and I wouldn't hear of it.
When we moved to our current home, we had to have a termite inspection as a part of the sales contract. There HAD been some damage, but it had been treated and there were no signs of current activity. We got a "bug man" to come out once a month for the tree roaches and ants (there's just too many of them to control organically where I live, and besides, when the neighbors spray, the bugs just move next door), and my Guy looks for termite signs while he's here. I specifically asked for a less toxic program, so one of the things he does is puts bait way out in the yard away from the house and the play areas. The bugs like it and carry it to their queens or their nests.
You also might want to contact Howard Garrett, the famous Dirt Doctor that has a wonderful organic gardening radio show on Sunday mornings on KSKY in Austin and I *think* WBAP in Dallas. I know he talks about cayenne pepper spray for the bugs that you apply directly to the plants in your garden, and he talks about putting Maltomeal on your ant beds. But I don't recall what he says about termites.
Anyway, yeah, if they've already done the dirty deed, wear flip flops outside for a while and call their office to find out when it's safe to go barefoot again. :-)
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