Termites and Treatment

The food source for most termite colonies is wood, so unprotected homes are an attractive snack. A handful of traditional factors contribute to termite infestations.

Wood-to-earth contact. Termites usually take the easiest path possible to obtain a meal. Since termites live in the ground and eat wood, if the wood of a home is touching the ground, that home becomes an easy meal.

Poor ventilation. Because termites need moisture to survive, they are drawn to damp, unventilated crawl spaces. To maintain an inhospitable environment, homeowners should keep crawl spaces dry.

Debris in crawl space. Storing wood on the ground in a crawl space attracts termites. Keep crawl spaces free of cellulose materials.

Leaks, flooding, and standing water. Poor gutters, poor landscaping and inadequate waterproofing can cause water in a crawl space or near the home.

Three popular termite treatment systems in use are the traditional barrier system, the bait system, and the nonrepelling barrier system. Each system has its advantages and disadvantages. Ask your trained pest control professional which system is best for your particular home.

Traditional repelling barrier system. The barrier system places a chemical barrier between the ground and every potential entry point into the house.

Bait system. The bait system strategically places a series of baits around the house. The bait system is relatively new to the pest control market, and its success depends on the termites finding the bait before finding and damaging the house. Once termite activity in the bait is observed, the exterminator replaces the bait with an active ingredient. The termite brings the ingredient back to the colony, and the colony is eliminated or substantially reduced.

Nonrepelling barrier system. The nonrepelling barrier system is similar to a traditional barrier system, but the active ingredient is not a repellent. The termites cannot detect the active ingredient and thus bring it back to the colony, where it either eliminates or substantially reduces the colony.