4 Termite Control Methods Explained
Termite control is an important step in home ownership. These insects are capable of eating through wood of all kinds if the wood is not properly treated. This activity causes the wood to become weak and cause the walls, floors and some foundations to crumble. There are several ways that a homeowner can control an infestation of termites.
Liquid Termite Control: Termiticide
Using a liquid to kill termites is one of the oldest ways to control them. It is also one of the fastest. These liquid control methods create a barrier in the home using chemicals which prevent termites from entering and then colonizing the home. A pest control professional should be called to apply this method. The company will spray in key areas of the home as well as outside the home. The problem with chemical treatment is that the chemicals will remain in the ground around your home for a long time to come. In this termite control solution there are two kinds of pesticides: repellent and non-repellent. A repellent will create a barrier so termites won't enter but a non-repellent kills them. The liquid option is cheaper and more immediate than other termite control methods.
Termite Bait Traps
Bait traps offer a less environmentally damaging solution than liquid termite control. They are created to kill termites in a much different way. Liquid termite control waits for a termite to get in contact with it and then kill that termite. A bait trap relies on a termite to go to the bait and then redistribute to other termites in order to kill the rest of the termite colony. The bait system can either be a liquid of food type of bait. You place the bait trap in the ground (usually a plastic stake) in several locations on your property. Some of the traps, if done by a professional termite control company, will not include chemicals. These bait traps are a monitoring system to let them know if termites have been in contact with the bait trap. If the answer is yes then the wood will be replaced with the poison.
Wood Treatment: Borate
Borate is a common chemical that is used to kill termites but is really only effective if it is applied directly to the wood as your home is being built. Unfortunately, if you spot termite damage in your home after it is built then these treatment is not nearly as effective. Borate is not a complete waste as you can apply to other areas in your home where wood is exposed. You cannot use the Borate treatment to wipe out an entire colony all on its own. This chemical is effective because termites do not digest the wood that they consume. Protozoa in their digestive system breaks the wood down to nutrients for the termite and borate kills the protozoa.
This termite control method is only effective against one specific species: drywood termites. The drywood termite is found in the southernmost parts of the United States.