Do It Yourself Termite Control
Pros & Cons of DIY Termite Removal Treatments
With the evolution of DIY (Do It Yourself) products for virtually all home projects, termite control technologies and products have evolved as well. DIY for termite control is something that homeowners typically are interested in because professional termite control is more expensive than general pest control. Homeowners usually find that there is a reason for the price differential; termite control requires expertise.
There are two types of termites which attack homes. These are subterranean termites and drywood termites. Subterranean termites require moisture and can live in the soil or in moist parts of a home. Workers feed on the wood of a structure or wood in ground and can cause extensive damage. Control of subterranean termites usually means going to the source and treating the soil and/or structure by trenching and treating along the foundation, inside and outside of the structure. Baiting is another method to control termites by placing stations and monitoring activity. Wood treatment can also be done using a variety of products. Each of these methods requires specialized equipment.
For drywood control, the source must be found after thorough inspection and the wood members of the structure are treated. This also requires some specialized tools.
Many homeowners are fearless when it comes to trying to perform home improvements. They will tackle plumbing, framing, landscaping, insulation, and other home maintenance necessities. Products for homeowner use for termite control have limited value in that they can provide a knock down of termites that are visible but these product labels usually suggest contacting a professional for a complete job. Required equipment might include hammer drills, augers, large capacity tanks, pumping units, and personal protection equipment are materials only typically possessed by the professional. Also, the professional has the training that a homeowner does not have. In addition, termite control work is time consuming and most people prefer to put their trust in a professional pest control company.
Effective and long-lasting termite control requires 1) training and experience, 2) insecticides (termiticides) formulated specifically for termite control, and 3) the tools (pumps, hoses, soil rods and nozzles) to treat the soil. These components are linked. To buy and use termiticides you must be trained and then certified as capable to use them by a state and federal agency.
You must apply termiticides according to specific directions given by the manufacturer, and with the tools listed in the product directions. Each house is different and that makes each application slightly different, and that is where experience becomes important. A professional knows what to do and how to handle the subtle differences in each house.
Termite control is not simply treating the soil around the house. Yearly inspections are a part of the treatment, and this second step requires the same level of training and experience. Subterranean termites can make their way through a two-inch gap of untreated soil, and they may find such a gap any time after the house is treated. Termiticide applications are evaluated every year by inspecting the house (foundation) for signs of termite activity. Inspections must be done carefully or the house is not protected.