Bait vs Liquid Termite Treatments
There are several types of termite treatment options available. The two most commonly used are liquid treatments and baiting systems. Each of them can be very effective, and they both have their pros and cons. Want to find out more about them?
Termite bait comes with its pros and cons. Baiting can be a slower, more prolonged treatment process but it is also very effective at eliminating termite colonies. Bait stations are placed in the ground around the home, to intercept the termites as they are foraging, usually before they make it to the home. As mentioned in an earlier post, the bait station consists of plastic, a type of wood that termites really like to eat, and once termites are found a bait is added that will work slowly to destroy the colony. The reason it is important to use a slow acting bait is that faster acting non repellent liquids and stomach baits will eventually repel the termites from that specific area. They may not detect the substance that is eliminating them, but they do know there are a bunch of dead termites and so they avoid that area. This doesn’t mean the termites have left, or that the colony was eliminated, and often you will see them try to find a new approach to get at the home or other structure to continue feeding. With the slower acting Chitin Synthesis Inhibitors used in most termite baits it takes months to work, allowing the product to “infect” much more of the colony, or hopefully the entire colony. Because of this greater percentage of colony elimination, and because it has the potential to “catch” termites before they ever target your home, termite baits are often a favorite choice of more proactive home owners.
Liquid treatments for termites also come with pros and cons. Liquid treatments vary widely depending on the specific termiticide being used, but they should always be done in accordance with the particular label. This usually includes digging a small trench around the structure, filling the trench with termiticide, and then back filling the trench and treating the dirt as it is placed in the trench again. Depending on the type of home, and the type of product, it is also common to drill holes through brick or hollow block to treat back inside the void. Often crawl spaces also must be treated if present. The purpose in treating with a liquid is to create a treated zone throughout the potential entry points termites could use to infest the structure, thus stopping their ability to feed on it and do damage.
The advantage with a liquid treatment is that it usually works much faster. Depending on the product used, feeding can be stopped as soon as the same day as the service, or as slow as two to three months from when service was completed. As with the baits, usually the slower acting treatments are most effective.
When using a faster product, the termites die within a few minutes of exposure. Due to the nature of these products, and the sensitivity of termites, they will know almost immediately that the treatment has been done, and exactly where the product is. The downside of this is that if there are any deficiencies in the treatment, anywhere the soil didn’t allow penetration as in other places, or any abnormalities in the construction then the termites can avoid the treatment and continue to feed on the home. Another down side to the faster products is that as it wears down over time, termites will know when it has dissipated enough for them to safely return to the structure. Depending on the product used, this can be as fast as just a few short years.
When using non repellent termiticides to treat a structure the termites don’t know where it is, and often this allows a much higher portion of the colony to be exposed and eliminated. Many of these non repellent treatments allow for a transfer effect, passing the treatment from a termite that has been exposed, on to others that haven’t entered the treated areas. This increases the effectiveness of the treatment greatly!
While using non repellent termiticides is a more effective approach to treating termites, it also has its limitations. Even with non-repellents, the termites die much faster than they would using a growth inhibitor like what is used in baiting. Because of this, eventually even the best non repellent treatments will begin to repel due to the dead termites found in their tunnels. As the dead termites increase, the colony may very well abandon feeding at that location before the product has eliminated the colony and the queen. While that is a small downside, the upside is that if they return, or attempt to get at the home from a different location, they will still be exposed to the treatment without detecting it and it will continue to work. Many modern non repellent termiticides have a lifespan from five to twelve years, and potentially more! Non repellents are an effective option to treat termites, and can keep your home safe for years.
Should I use both?
We offer various options when it comes to treating for termites. Most of our customers choose to use the termite baiting system. It saves them money, and it fits well with our quarterly pest control plan. When are called out to begin treatment on a home that has an active infestation, we often combine treatments by spot treating with liquids at entry points, as well as the installation of the termite system. With this we can stop feeding on the structure much faster, and we can provide the termites with an alternate food source that will eventually destroy the colony. This also allows for the ability to more proactively intercept future termites before they infest the home.
I think I know what I want to do.
If you already know what you want to do, or even if you don’t, give us a call. We specialize in termite treatments, termite infestations, as well as taking care of general pest control. Don’t hesitate, give us a call today!