Termite bait traps, also called termite bait systems, are used to control subterranean termite colonies. These systems contain a bait cartridge, which is a food source combined with small amounts of materials capable of directly controlling termites. Since the control product is limited in amount and wholly contained within the bait cartridge, traps are considered relatively eco-friendly.
How Do Termite Bait Traps Work?
A termite bait trap consists of a plastic, childproof material with a bait cartridge inside. Cartridges are made of a termite food (e.g. wood or cardboard) mixed with a termiticide. Baits contain slow-acting termiticides that may take up to two weeks to kill a termite. Slower-acting materials are used to allow the transfer of materials to the rest of the termite colony through feeding and grooming.
Termite bait stations are placed around the perimeter of a home to intercept termites that may be foraging in a few different locations. Stations are typically spaced 10 to 20 feet apart, with stations placed closer together in areas with confirmed activity. A pest control expert will monitor the bait traps regularly for activity, and replace cartridges as needed to control the colony.
Bait traps may take several months to achieve colony control. Depending on the severity of an infestation, bait systems can be used alone or in combination with other methods of termite control, including termiticide soil treatments.
The term “termite traps” can refer to sticky traps used to capture swarming termites (alates). These sticky traps are placed under lights and used to catch termite species that swarm at night, including Formosan termites.
Termite sticky traps do not control termites. Rather, they help monitor termites’ swarming activity and track the geographic spread of some termite populations.