The most common subterranean termite bait systems are underground bait systems. However, above ground termite baiting systems can be effective when installed by termite experts in areas with known subterranean termite activity.
Above ground bait systems are placed directly in the path of termites – in the middle of active mud tubes or in wood, drywall or other materials directly above active galleries. If the exact location of the subterranean termite colony is difficult to detect, your expert may use moisture meters or other inspection tools to locate the source.
How Do Above Ground Termite Baiting Systems Work?
Above ground bait systems work just like underground bait systems. Termites consume the bait, which is a cellulose material combined with a non-repellent material that is toxic to termites. Baits contain slow-acting chemicals so they do not kill termites until after they have recruited nestmates to eat from the bait system. Termites also may share the bait with the rest of the colony when they feed larvae, soldier and reproductive termites, or groom them.
An above ground termite baiting system typically works more quickly than a below-ground system since it is placed right in the middle of the termite colony (instead of in a location near where termites forage underground). However, bait systems in general do not control colonies as quickly as liquid termiticides. Many homeowners prefer to use fast-acting liquid termiticides when termites are already causing damage.
As with all termite control solutions, there is no one right answer. Above ground baits work in some situations better than others, and they may be used in conjunction with other methods for termite control. A trained pest management professional can explain which termite treatment method or methods are likely to be most effective for your home.