When homeowners find out that termites are present on their property, the initial reaction is one of pure dread. Apart from destroying nearly everything in sight, termites are one of the pests most likely considered to come back if strong preventative measures aren’t put in place.
In order to get rid of termites and keep them away, a combination of effective killing techniques and consistent prevention are necessary. See how you can get started below:
1. Identify the Type of Termites Infesting Your Home
Before getting started on any termite extermination plan, you’ll need to make sure which type of termites has infested your home.
There are two types of termites found in the U.S. The first is the subterranean termite, which is the most prevalent kind. These build mud tubes underground and usually attack homes from within. This helps them remain in an environment with as much moisture as possible.
The second type is the drywood termite, which entails only about 10% of residential termite infestations. Drywood termites build colonies by attacking cracks and crevices from outside the structure. Although they are not as widespread as subterranean termites, they can destroy homes in coastal areas, the South, and Southwest.
2. Try Do-It-Yourself Extermination
Once the termites have been identified, the next step is to kill the colony. This can be done independently with standard termiticides.
Premise is one product that has been frequently used for its low level of toxicity. Developed by Bayer Laboratories, the product will kill termites and carpenter ants, which also destroy wood. It is effective because it actually kills the termites instead of simply repelling them from homes.
Another product is Termidor. As with Premise, Termidor also has a low level of toxicity, but provides more long-term residual effects. This is important since termites are usually not eliminated in one go. Termidor works by spreading through a colony by infecting a termite with its poison. Termites are social and will often feed and groom each other in the colony. The infected termite will quickly pass the poison along to others within the colony, resulting in a widespread distribution of the insecticide.
3. Set Up Bait Stations
Once the colony has been treated and eliminated, all that remains is to make sure that the property stays termite-free. The best way to do this is through termite baiting.
Termite baiting consists of a setting out products designed to kill the worker termites. In the colony, queens and soldiers die when the workers are not around to feed them.
Bait stations need to be perceived by the termites as a natural part of their surroundings. This means that once they have been set up, it can take weeks for termites to accept them as a natural part of their environment before using them for feeding purposes.
Set up multiple feeding stations around the property with cellulose and wood materials. Once the termites have established a regular feeding cycle from the stations, replace the wood with a poisonous material, such as wood covered in boric acid or termiticide. The workers take in the poison, return to the colony, and die. Once the workers have been destroyed, the colony is unable to sustain itself and it shuts down.
4. Evaluate Your Progress
The best way to determine if termite elimination has been successful is to continue monitoring the bait stations. If there is no sign of activity after a few days, the treatment can be considered a success.
Termite elimination can be a lengthy process to do on your own. With careful implementation of the various products and keeping a close eye on the progression of the treatment, total termite elimination is possible.
However, the majority of termite cases are often too large and widespread to be handled quickly through at-home methods. In these instances, calling a professional termite exterminator may be the quickest way to get rid of the destructive pests from your home.