Should I use Termite Chemicals or Bait Stations?
Termite Chemical Insecticide
Termite control products are constantly evolving. The termite product market has changed over the years because the EPA has removed the more dangerous termiticides from the market. Today’s best termiticides belong to a group of chemicals called non-repellent insecticides. The non-repellents are effective because termites cannot detect them. Termites crawl through the chemical without realizing it and track the chemical back to their nest where it will kill the entire colony including the queen. The most widely used termite chemicals are Taurus SC, Termidor SC, Adonis 75 WSP, Dominion 2L, Tandem, and Altriset. We prefer the fipronil based products Taurus SC and Termidor SC. If you are treating large structures or multiple homes, you may want to look at our B&G Termite Tools
Termite Bait Stations
Similar to liquid termite insecticides, termite bait systems are changing and improving every year. Our top recommendation for baiting termites is the Advanced Termite Bait System. If you don't currently see signs of termites, bait stations are a good way to detect new infestations.
Most people discover that they have termites in one of these ways: Do you have termites?
For additional termite help: Call 1-800-476-3368 and ask for Walt, Don, or Ken
Do You Have Termites?
If you find termites, the first thing to do is breathe. It's an insect problem, not the end of the world. The next thing to do is to inspect the home to see if you can find the termite activity.
How To Inspect For Termites
You'll need a few tools to help you inspect the home:
- A good flashlight
- A medium sized screwdriver
Remember that subterranean termites live in the soil, not in the wood. Therefore, termite damage is usually not noticed on the surface of the wood. There are not any telltale holes in the wood or sawdust to piled up to give away their location. They eat the wood so they would never waste it that way. In fact, the wood they damage in most cases appears perfectly normal.
- Mud Tubes found on the foundation or the inside walls
- Bubbling or blistering paint over damaged wood or drywall
- Finding winged termites called swarmers or their cast skins (most likely after a warm spring rain)
- Damage is found while performing structural repairs or renovations
Searching For Termite Damage
Since subterranean termites live in the soil, their damage will most likely be found on wood located close to the ground. Start your search on the outside of the home near the soil. Don't skip any sections even if they are hidden by bushes and shrubs. This is often the most desirable place for them to enter due to shelter from the sun and limited air movement behind the vegetation.
If you have a crawlspace, you’ll need to go there and inspect in the same manner. This is where you'll need that good flashlight we talked about earlier. Be sure to look at the lowest boards to the ground and tap and probe them every several feet. Basements can be inspected in this same way. If you are in a basement with a drop ceiling, you will need a ladder to reach and inspect floor joists.
Termite Damage or Water Damage?
Lightly tap any wood with the handle of your screwdriver. Does it sound solid? If not, poke the wood with the blade of the screwdriver. If it feels spongy of soft, investigate a little more. If the wood is spongy or soft, but there is no wood missing then it is probably water damage. The moisture problem should be corrected as soon as possible because it will attract termites.
If you find the wood missing and the tunnels follow the grain of the wood, you may have either termites or carpenter ants.
Termites or Carpenter Ants?
Termites will carry mud into the hollowed out tunnels which makes it quite messy and dirty looking. Carpenter ants' tunnels will be clean and neat almost as if they had been sanded smooth.
By Ken Martin