The most common liquid termite control products – known as termiticides – include pyrethroid, fipronil, chlorfenapyr and imidacloprid products. Liquid and foam termiticides are used for direct wood treatments to prevent and control drywood and subterranean termites, as well as soil treatments for subterranean termites. Each of these products is applied in a targeted, measured manner to provide effective control. Products are not “sprayed” to cover more area than is necessary for control.
Pyrethroids are synthetic chemicals that work like the naturally-occurring pyrethrum extract from the pyrethrum daisy. Common pyrethroids include cypermethrin, permethrin, bifenthrin and fenvalerate. Pyrethroids are repellent termiticides, which means they work by chemically repelling termites from a specific area. Repellents force termites to change direction in their foraging; they have little impact on termites’ mortality.
Fipronil, chlorfenapyr and imidacloprid are common non-repellent termiticides, which means they contain slow-acting materials that affect termite’ nervous systems and lead to their death. Since non-repellents are slow-acting, they can control termites that come into contact with the materials directly and termite nestmates who receive the materials indirectly through feeding and grooming.
Alternative Termite Control Products
Over the years, pest control experts have experimented with more natural termite treatment materials. Orange oil contains d-limonene, an extract from an orange peel. The high citric acid content in this orange termite spray damages a termite’s exoskeleton and causes it to dry out. Orange oil controls termites that come into contact with the product or eat wood recently treated with the product.
Orange oil products have been shown to control drywood termites. However, termites must come into contact with or eat the products – and it can be difficult for an expert to locate the exact boundaries of an infestation and apply orange oil there to control active termites. In addition, orange oil products do not leave a residue. Any termites that are not controlled by the initial application of orange oil will survive and continue to cause damage.
Due to these limitations for application and effectiveness, orange oil is not a recommended treatment technique by most professional pest control companies.
Choosing a Termite Control Product
To select the proper methods and products to control a termite infestation, your pest control expert needs to identify the termite species and determine the extent of the infestation. Then, based on these facts and your home’s construction and climate, he or she can help you choose the best termite spray (liquid or foam formulation) or other products to control and prevent termite infestations.