Subterranean termites can live in the soil or nests called cartons built between a home’s walls (only Formosan termites build cartons). To infest a home, subterranean termites look for easy access points from the soil to cracks and crevices in the foundation, or wood touching the soil. Termites then build small tunnels called mud tubes that provide moisture and shelter from the elements and direct access from the soil to the house.
Repellents vs Non Repellents
Termiticide soil treatments can be applied as both a prevention and control measure. Modern termiticides fall into two categories – repellents and non-repellents. Repellent termiticides force forager termites to change direction away from a home; these termiticides have a low termite mortality rate.
Non-repellent termiticides use slow-acting ingredients to kill foraging termites and nestmates these termites feed and groom. Since repellents do not offer a transfer effect, they must be applied to form a complete perimeter around the home – non-repellent application can be more targeted to termite entry points and areas of known or potential infestation.
How to Treat Soil for Termites
There are a number of termiticide products that can be used in the soil with little impact on landscaping. In fact, the active ingredients in many termiticide products also are used in insecticides applied to greenhouse flowers and agricultural crops, including food crops.
When treating the soil for termites in an area where you grow edible fruits and vegetables, pest control experts select a termiticide that is approved for use around food crops. These specialists know the types of insecticides and the concentrations that can be used around gardens. Per label instructions, termiticides must be applied outside of the drip line of plants. Termiticides cannot be applied directly to plants or in areas where they can come into contact with plants.
Liquid and foam formulations are the most common termiticide soil treatments. Liquids and foams should be applied with a tank and pump system to ensure the correct concentration to help protect a home from termites. When required, pump systems and special rods may be used to force liquid termiticides into the ground or between walls.
A licensed termite control expert will have the tools and correct product concentrations necessary for treatment to help prevent and control termite activity around a home.