Pesticides that are targeted towards the control of termites are usually called termiticides. Today, there are two main categories of termiticide applied to soil or wood: repellent termiticides and non-repellent termiticides. The main difference in how these two types of termiticides work is defined by how the termites react when they encounter the area of treatment. Repellent termiticides are perceived by some to be more environmentally friendly - although that is debatable, since all termite control chemicals affect the environment (one way or the other).
Difference between repellent and non-repellent termiticide
Repellent termiticide have been the treatment option of choice for exterminators for a good number of years. These chemicals do not kill the termites; they simply deter them from entering the treated soil and building tunnels. Repellents make the soil so termite-unfriendly that any approaching termite workers soon stay clear of the treated area.
Repellents make the soil so termite-unfriendly, that any approaching termite workers soon stay clear of the treated area. Non-repellent chemicals do not prevent termites from tunneling; they only kill the termites upon ingestion or contact - the termites are unaware of its effect on them. An example is imidacloprid.
Common repellent termiticides
Some of the most common types of repellent termiticides include:
All synthetic chemicals that are classified as repellents fall into the category of pyrethroids. These chemicals have a proven track record of being effective means of termite control, and make for very effective barriers when applied correctly.
Issues with using repellent termiticides
When using a repellent chemical as a form of barrier treatment, the chemical must be applied to the soil in a large number of locations in order to cover as many potential termite entry points as possible. Some homes may have greater potential for large infestations of termites, which may require extensive drilling into wood structures, foundation walls, and the structure’s slab in order to reach all the necessary areas.
While repellent treatments are overall effective, the main issue with this form of treatment is that it is nearly impossible to treat every potential termite entry area. Even the smallest gap in the barrier could allow the termites to enter and begin infiltrating the building. If this gap is left untreated, the infestation will reoccur as if there was no treatment done at all.
Another common problem with repellent termite treatment methods is that they have very little effect on termite colonies that are not in close proximity to a home. This form of treatment is meant to control only the termites that come into close contact with the product and chasing them away. Therefore, if you have another colony a bit farther away from the home, and outside of the treated soil area, you have the potential for damage in a new area.
It is a good idea to consult with the termite treatment company to discuss all of your possible treatment options pertaining to your home. He or she will explain different methods, and may design a course of treatment that offers a combination of repellent and non-repellent products for optimal control.