Termite control basics

There are several methods of termite control treatment for subterranean termites which can be carried out; basically there are only 3 methods which boil down to 1) Prevention or stopping termites from taking hold at the very onset 2) Drilling method carried out when the premises are already infested by termites 3) Baiting method, which is carried out at the onset of an infestation, when active termites are found around the premises

Prevention is always better than cure, and so, before a house is constructed, treating the foundation as well as the surrounding soil with termite spray is the best course of action to stop subterranean termites from taking a hold in the first place. Although it is not enough to ensure foolproof protection from the myriad ways subterranean termites can tunnel through the soil, it acts as a first line of defense.

During pre-construction treatment, any wood material above or below the soil is removed to prevent any possible colonization. Before the ballast is added to the foundation trenches, termiticide is injected into the foundation floor at regular intervals. Termiticide (termite insecticide) is also added to the foundation earthfill and plinth area as well.

Post construction treatment (once termites have been found on the premises) involves drilling and baiting. These two methods are not exclusive of each other and can be used concurrently, or separately, depending on the severity and progress of the infestation.

Termite baiting system or Sentricon systemDrilling involves drilling holes into the floor surrounding the building and injecting termiticide into them. The number of holes to be drilled depends on the size of the built up space. The choice of termiticide to be used will influence the effectiveness of the treatment. Drilling is often not totally effective, as soil movement and underground rainwater movement over time, can dilute or disperse the termiticide.

Baiting involves setting up a bait station around the premises, by placing a piece of wood in the bait station, to which the termites will be attracted to. The Sentricon system is the most famous system of this sort. Termite bait laced with termite insecticide is placed in the bait station, which is slow acting, and is meant to be spread throughout the entire colony by the action of the termite’s trophallaxis. The termite insecticide is meant to eliminate the entire colony within 1-4 months.

The three methods listed above are the most common ways by which termite control is carried out on buildings and residential homes. All termite control methods used by pest control companies basically boil down to any one of these. You either prevent them from coming in, or you “treat” the problem should they be found to be infesting your premises. “Exotic” methods of control such as genetic modification, are highly discouraged due to the risk that it poses towards ecological integrity, besides being costly and untested.