Subterranean termite problems are still treated with liquid chemicals, because other alternative methods have not reached mainstream adoption. In order to understand termite treatment better, it’s helpful to understand the main strategies employed. Generally speaking, there are two main categories of termite treatment methods (that employ termite chemicals): conventional treatment and perimeter treatment.
In order to understand how effective each type of treatment is, it is first necessary to understand how both work. Also, bear in mind that termite liquid chemicals fall into two kinds – Repellent and Non Repellent, and the methods below are only for subterranean termite problems (the majority of cases).
Conventional treatments are only effective for subterranean termites, and have been used for more than fifty years now. They involve liquid treatments applied to the soil area around a home (often via drilling) the soil under plumbing systems in the slab, bath traps, all surfaces of foundation walls, the interior of foundation based cinder blocks, etc, all of which are common access points for subterranean termites.
Conventional treatment methods typically require drilling in order to reach deep into the ground, targeting the interior of foundation walls, plumbing areas, and the interior of cinder blocks, for example. The total amount of treatment spots and the amount of total drilling needed will vary depending on the type of construction of the home. Conventional treatment methods are often costly too, I might add, but IF the infestation is really advanced, this is probably the only recourse.
Perimeter treatments mainly only use certain types of non-repellent liquid termiticides. You don't want to repel termites when they are already established within your premises. This treatment is designed to target termite infestations by treating the soil that is in closest proximity to the foundation walls on the exterior of the home, which are often the entry points for subterranean termites.
Unless there is evidence of termites living in the home, interior treatments are not required, nor should they be sought. A detailed inspection by your pest control company should assess this issue. Conducting treatments in this manner allows for a targeted result with much less drilling needed. Product data for non-repellent termiticides indicates that there can be a reduction of as much as sixty percent in the amount of termiticides needed for adequate control when applying exterior perimeter treatment, as opposed to conventional treatments.
Which type of treatment method is more effective?
In order to establish the overall effectiveness of these treatments for termite control, researchers take into consideration the number of applications exterminators need to apply to the home in order to eliminate the problem.
One recent study compared repellent treatments to non-repellent treatments, and found that non-repellent products provide much greater effectiveness for total control. The study found that non-repellent products required only a five percent rate of retreatment, as compared to nearly twenty-two percent rate of retreatment for repellent products.
Another similar study compared nearly four thousand perimeter treatments and found an average rate of retreatment of just less than one percent when exterminators used more modern versions of non-repellent products on the market. The study went on to find that perimeter treatments with these newer products offered results that were similar to conventional treatments using the same products, because retreatment rates were extremely low.
This is just a broad overview of treatment methods for subterranean type termites. When deciding on any type of treatment for your home, it is always a good idea to speak with a licensed pest control expert, but at the same time, also have an idea of what to expect. The pest control person should be able to fully assess your exact situation, and design a treatment program to offer the best benefits for your specific needs.