How a Termite Shield Works
When installed properly, a termite shield makes it difficult for termites to enter your home undetected. Basically, the termites have to build a mud tube around and over the shield to access any wood above the shield. Active colonies may create mud tubes on the shield, which can be more easily noticed by your termite expert. In this case, the shield has helped you discover the termites and is therefore beneficial.
You and your termite expert should regularly inspect for mud tubes under termite shields. These tubes may extend a long way under the shield as termites forage for food. If you are monitoring for mud tubes, you may discover termite activity before a colony has damaged your home.
The efficacy of termite shields in increasing the visibility of infestations depends on the availability of alternative food and moisture sources in your home. If other sources are more readily available, termites will not attack the termite shields. Instead, they may focus on other locations first, which may or may not be as visible as the shields.
Where Should a Termite Shield Be Installed?
When a home is under construction, a metal termite shield may be installed around common subterranean termite entry points near the foundation, utility access points and wall joints. Termite shields are designed as a tool to help make termite infestations more visible, not prevent infestations from taking place.
In order to be effective, termite shields must be installed properly – typically bent down at a 45-degree angle and sealed at all joints. Since they are flush with your home’s construction, termite shields force termites to attack the shield to try to gain entry into the home.
Do Termite Shields Have Chemicals?
A termite shield is a physical barrier. There are no chemicals in a termite shield that can kill or repel termites. The shield simply makes it more difficult for termites to access your home.
Termite shields are not effective in deterring termites from attacking underground areas, such as finished basements, and do not work with slab-on-ground construction. You must employ other methods of prevention for homes with these construction types.
Other “Termite Shields”
There are no pesticides in termite shields when the term refers to metal, physical barriers. However, usage of the term “termite shield” varies within the pest control industry. Some professionals may use the term to describe liquid termiticide (pesticide) barriers applied to soil or wood.