There are three types of termite treatments that use termiticide, the term for insecticides that target termites. The first is a soil treatment, which involves treating the soil under and around a house with materials that can repel or kill termites. Soil treatment comes in liquid and foam formulations. The second form – wood treatment – involves injecting the termiticide directly into infested wood.
Termite Treatment Materials
The terms “termite barrier chemicals” or “termite barrier pesticides” may be used in reference to the former practice of applying termiticides completely around a home’s foundation to help provide protection. Modern applications do not use chemicals to form a barrier.
Common termite pesticides include fipronil, chlorfenapyr and imidacloprid. These termiticides affect a termite’s nervous system and can cause death within 24 hours or up to about 11 days. These pesticides are all non-repellent termiticides, which means they contain slow-acting materials that the foraging termites will share with their nestmates. Through transfer, these chemicals can help control the entire termite colony trying to enter a home.
Similar materials are used in both soil treatments and wood treatments. Targeted application of termiticide to infested wood – or wood likely to be infested – can help control active infestations and prevent future infestations.
Plastic sheets that serve as both moisture barriers and termite control are treated with pyrethroids. Like non-repellents, these repellent chemicals also affect a termite’s nervous system. However, repellents control only the termites that come into direct contact with the material. In essence, repellents force termites to change direction and forage elsewhere. Pyrethroids typically cause little mortality among affected termites.
Are Termiticide Treatments Effective
If subterranean termites have infested your home, applying pesticides directly to the wood and soil around your home is the quickest method to stop the damage.
Many new homes – especially those built in areas where subterranean termites are very active – include some form of subterranean termite prevention. Properly applied soil and wood treatments and/or plastic barriers with termiticide can be successful and cost-effective means of preventing termite entry into a home. However, annual inspections by a trained expert are still important to regularly monitor for signs of activity and determine if additional prevention or control methods are required.
Your termite expert can help you choose products specifically formulated and applied to provide termite control for your home’s construction type, signs of termite activity and climate.