Each year, termites destroy property worth billions of dollars and injure trees. They chew up wood, papers, books, and insulation liners, amongst other materials. A termite infestation in your home is also an emotionally trying experience. Damage can progress or go undetected for many years behind floor coverings, walls, insulation, and other structures.
A typical treatment involves the application of a chemical treatment, known as a termiticide, below a concrete slab, along the foundation walls, or in the ground. Let’s take a closer look at what termiticides are, the different types of termiticides and their application, and ways to control termites.
What Are Termiticides?
Termiticides are chemicals that are used to eradicate or control termites. They are formulated into foam, granule, liquid, and dust products. For many years, they have been the cornerstone of termite management programs. Their toxicity and application varies depending on their ingredients. If you have an infestation, it’s best to consult a pest control company first to find out the extent of the problem before you exterminate the termites.
Types of Termiticides
Let’s look at four common types of termiticides available on the pest control market.
Barrier treatment: Applied to the soil, barrier treatments are pyrethroid-based termiticides that are widely used to repel or ward off termites. What they do is force termites to change direction and seek untreated soil or gaps. They bind to the soil but tend to degrade quickly when they get exposed to the elements.
Repellents usually require a rigorous application to all possible entry points to create a continuous chemical barrier beneath and around your structure. However, they’re not potent against termites that have already invaded a house. While barrier chemicals are cost-effective, care needs to be taken during application so they don’t contaminate the soil and nearby drinking water.
Liquid termiticides: This type is effective in controlling termites that are trying to tunnel into a building and infest it. Liquid chemicals are non-repellent and have delayed action. In addition, their toxicity is transmissible from the poisoned termites to other members of their colony that haven’t been exposed to the treated soil. When used properly, liquid termiticides can decimate a termite colony.
Termite baits: In recent years, pest control companies have been using cellulose baits containing slow-acting toxicants to eradicate termites. Bait toxicants are usually non-repellent and slow-acting, disrupting termite growth and activity. Similar to non-repellent termiticides, bait toxicants take advantage of the termite’s social interactions to amplify the control efficiency of local treatment. Baiting systems use mere grams of active ingredients to ward off termites. This makes them more budget-friendly than liquid treatments, which are applied in gallons to the soil.
Wood treatments: Here we have borates, a less-toxic safeguard against wood-damaging termites. The chemical is available in different formulations, such as powder, granule, gel, and poultice. Borate for wood protection is widely used in a spray-on application during new home construction. They’re particularly effective in eradicating subterranean termites. The borates go right into their mud tubes as they’re usually moist. Termites swallow them along with cellulose. When ingested, borates act as a poison in the termite’s stomach, interfering with their digestion and resulting in the termite’s death within three days.
Termite Management and Control
Applying termiticides to the soil around your house is an effective way to halt damage. It’s advisable to treat your home during construction. Annual inspections are also essential, especially when contemplating whether you need more control or further prevention. Your local pest control company can guide you in choosing the right termiticide for your construction, depending on the level and type of termite activity.
When insulating your crawl space, consider using ExTremeBloc™, an effective material with an expanded polystyrene core and a built-in barrier surface. This material contains termiticide, which eliminates termites that try to nibble through your insulation.
If you have a serious termite infestation, contact your local pest control company to discuss your options for eradicating these insects. Tar Heel Basement Systems can also help you repair termite-damaged insulation with ExTremeBloc™. To get started, schedule a free crawl space repair inspection today.