What Kind of Poison to Use for Termites?

Some termite prevention and treatment methods require the application of termiticides, which are pesticides that can control or kill termites. (Some homeowners may refer to these products as the best kind of “termite poison.”)

The exact treatment approach depends on the termite species and the location of the termite infestation. Termiticides can be used in liquid, foam, granule or gas form to control subterranean and drywood termite infestations in and around homes. Baits can be used in devices strategically placed around a home to control subterranean termites.

What is the Most Effective Termite Control Method?
Before you try termite control “what some people refer to as ‘termite poisoning’ ” on your own, you should know that termites can be difficult to control. Not only can they be active with limited to no signs of activity, they require a knowledgeable, trained professional to provide treatment.

Experienced pest control professionals are trained to identify which treatment approach will be most effective for a home. Professionals also understand pesticide regulations and have the specific equipment required to ensure the appropriate application of treatment materials.

If you see signs of termites or want to learn how to prevent termite infestations, call a specialist. He or she can identify signs of an infestation, recommend treatment and provide recommendations on how to reduce moisture and food sources that allow termites to thrive around your home.

Examples of Termite Treatments:

  • Liquid Soil Treatment
    Fipronil (Termidor®), chlorfenapyr (Phantom®) and imidacloprid (Premise®) are examples of common liquid termiticides applied directly to the soil. These chemicals affect termites’ nervous systems and can cause their death within 11 days.
  • Bait Stations
    Most termite baits contain insect growth regulators (IGRs) or metabolic inhibitors and toxins (materials that get into termites’ nervous systems).
    • IGRs disrupt a termite’s ability to molt, causing its death.
    • Toxins, including sulfluramid, hydramethylnon and fipronil, affect termites’ nervous systems.
  • Direct Wood Treatment
    Liquids, aerosols and dusts can be used to treat wood infested by subterranean or drywood termites. Borate formulations are often used, as they are effective on many species of wood-destroying insects and low in toxicity to humans. Borates are generally believed to affect termites’ digestion but the exact way they lead to termites’ death is unclear.
  • Fumigation
    Sulfuryl fluoride is the most common fumigant used to control drywood termites in the U.S. When inhaled, it interferes with termites’ nerves, causing death within a few days.