Termiticides and bait systems are the two most common methods for preventing and controlling subterranean termite infestations. Over the years, treatment techniques have evolved to allow very targeted application of materials in the lowest possible concentration necessary to provide effective control.
Termiticide soil treatments use products containing ingredients such as fipronil, chlorfenapyr, imidacloprid, permethrin, cypermethrin, fenvalerate or bifenthrin. Fipronil, chlorfenapyr and imidacloprid are all non-repellents with slow-acting materials that allow foragers to carry the product back to the nest and effectively control the entire colony. Permethrin, cypermethrin, fenvalerate and bifenthrin are repellents called pyrethroids that redirect termites away from your home. Repellents do not necessarily kill termites but they can help prevent or reduce damage by sending termites away from your home.
How to Treat Soil from Subterranean Termites There are several different soil treatment methods for subterranean termites. The most effective method to prevent and control termite activity depends on your objectives, identified or potential infestations, and the construction of your home. Some liquid treatments are applied to the soil’s surface and foundation around the perimeter of a home by trenching and rodding the foundation soil. Other liquid treatments need to be sent deeper into the soil, foundation or walls. Trenching is a process through which soil around a home is removed. As it is replaced, it is mixed with termiticide to reach active colonies deeper in the ground. Application of liquid termiticide in the soil around the perimeter of a building requires specific tools in the hands of an experienced professional. The end result must be a continuous band of treated soil adjacent to the foundation wall. The requirement for an unbroken band is linked to the foraging behavior of subterranean termites. Worker termites moving in the soil close to a house or office building can safely pass through a two-inch gap of untreated soil. Interestingly enough, termites forage for suitable food randomly in the soil, and do not actually search for these gaps in the soil. In fact, they are more likely to come into contact with the treated soil. Control of subterranean termites is dependent on this random foraging behavior, the efficacy of modern termiticides and professionals’ ability to apply materials in the soil. If termiticide needs to be applied in the crawlspace or under the foundation or slab of a home, your pest control expert may use special tools and rods to apply termiticide.
Bait stations can be installed underground or aboveground to control foraging termites. Some pest control experts recommend using early detection devices (monitoring devices) first, before installing bait stations, if there are not any signs of activity.
While there are a few termiticides for sale in home improvement and hardware stores, experts do not recommend that homeowners apply soil treatment. If the termiticide is not applied to all potential access points or areas of infestation, it may not be effective. Licensed pest control professionals have the knowledge and tools necessary to apply liquid soil treatment – or install bait devices – in the right amount and in the right locations to provide effective control.