Subterranean Termites are an elusive threat to the homeowners in America as the level of damage they can cause can cost you your entire home. Once they infest a home or a structure, it becomes difficult to eradicate them. Every year Americans spend millions of dollars on the Subterranean Termites treatment. Additionally what makes them a threat is that the studies show that there could be millions of Subterranean Termites in each acre of the country.
So, to help you protect your home from the attack of this stubborn pest, this guide- How to get rid of Subterranean Termites will help you get rid of them in the best possible manner.
First and the foremost question which pops into your head is if it is even possible to treat subterranean termite infestation. Well, if you address the infestation in time, it is certainly possible to get rid of Subterranean Termites without having to invest a fortune in the subterranean termite treatments. Though it is difficult to discover termite infestation in the first go and most of the people don’t even realise that there are termites resting below and around the foundation of their houses due to their secretive nature.
Table of Contents
- Best Repellents to Control Subterranean Termites
- Methods to Help You Get Rid of Subterranean Termites
- Which Method of Killing Subterranean Termites is Best?
- Early Signs of Subterranean Termite Infestation
Best Repellents to Control Subterranean Termites
Subterranean Termites are brilliantly talented when it comes to finding their way into the houses and sensing the threat to their colony. Therefore, it is advised to be very prudent while disturbing the population even if you detect an infestation into your house. You need a plan of action before you can start treating them. It is advised to always adopt a multi-pronged strategy to get rid of these termites in and around your house. This strategy includes prevention and control.
Here, in this buying guide, we are going to take you through some products you can invest in for preventing and eliminating these pests from invading your house.
Similar to Bifen and Talstar, this is also an effective termiticide when you are looking for a residual to keep termites at bay. This is the perfect solution for barrier targeting. It is a safe solution as it doesn’t emit a foul odour or toxic substances into the air to cause irritability in the children or other family members. Additionally, being a non-repellent substance, termites come in contact with it and the action being delayed with a low dosage, they can spread it into their colony as well. This slow action has two-fold benefits- one, the corpses don’t accumulate at one spot and second, the slower the action, more it spreads. Another merit of using this product is that it is comparatively cheaper than its alternatives.
If you are looking for a product to eliminate subterranean termites which have infested your house, Bifen is the most popular and effective chemical to do so. It leaves no visible residue and emits no odour which will be troublesome for you and your family members. It can deal with up to 75 varieties of pests including termites. All you need to do is to mix it in the prescribed ratio and protect your home from considerable damage caused by termites. Plus, it is non-repellent so that the termites are effectively eliminated.
If you are worried about how to get rid of subterranean termites, a great option is creating chemical barriers around the foundation of the house so that the termites are eliminated before being able to infest your house. This is done by injecting liquid chemical termiticides into the ground and letting it seep in. Harris Termite Treatment is a great option because it is an odourless solution to spray or use as a solution by mixing it with water.
These are the most sought-after baiting treatment products online. These baiting stations comprise of attractants for the termites which contain cellulose. People install them into their yards, around the house to check for signs of termite infestation. By placing the stations at every 10 feet of the ground will provide you with a better chance of detection. These baits are pre-assembled and designed to provide the termites with easy access. You can install the baits and forget about them for 3-4 months. After a substantial amount of time has passed, you can revisit the stations and check the monitor cartridge. If you find any action, you can simply replace the monitor cartridge with Bait cartridge which contains pesticides.
When you detect any activity in the monitor cartridge that accompanies your bait station system, you can use this product to replace the previous attractant. The cartridges which accompany the bait systems are mere attractants full of cellulose to act as forage for the termites. Whereas, Termite Bait is cellulose mixed with insecticide to promote gradual elimination of termites from your house. It is a safe and effective tool to protect your house from subterranean termites.
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Effective for treatment of more than 75 varieties of insects and pests, this chemical works best when used for implementing the barrier treatment against subterranean termites. Barrier application targeting around wooden structures can save you huge costs involved in termite damage. Therefore, opting for the best termiticides and effective application is important. What makes Taurus SC better than the rest is the fact that it is non-repellent, leaves no residue, and is odourless. This ensures that the chemical is undetectable by the termites. This is an efficient product in terms of results as you can see its effects within 2-3 days of application, perfect for homes infested by termites and want immediate attention.
When you drill holes into the concrete pavements or sidewalks to fill them with termiticides, it becomes a taxing job to bring out the concrete again and cover them up. To help you escape that hard work, Mymicco has designed these ½-inch wide, ¾-inch long plugs with 3 grips. The grips are there to keep the plugs intact into your foundation, sidewalks, concrete pathways, walls, tiled and brick surfaces. You can use a standard drill to pluck out the plugs when you want to re-treat the structures. Plus, if you are not sure about what size you should buy, you can always order samples from Amazon and see if they work fine for you.
Methods to Help You Get Rid of Subterranean Termites
Well, the science of how to kill Subterranean Termites isn’t as easy as investing in the above-mentioned products, there is more to it. Here is how you can employ these products for eliminating these pests effectively:
1. Barrier Treatment
- A barrier treatment is a traditionally defined method of preventing termites from infesting your homes.
- Subterranean Termites are aggressive eaters and they dwell in colonies of millions in a fashion that the infestation can remain undetected for years. Behind the walls, under the grounds, and in the roots of the trees are some spots where you can detect them after they have caused substantial damage. Therefore, it is prudent and rational to employ Barrier treatment in order to stop the troubles caused by termites at the very source.
- This type of subterranean termite treatment is effectively done while the house is being constructed. As a part of this process, ‘Termiticides’ such as Bifen, Wisdom TC, and Taurus SC can be incorporated into the very foundation of the house. This incorporation provides an ever-lasting barrier against various pests including termites. These chemicals work well in repelling and eliminating the pests trying to infest the structure and prove toxic for the ones already present in the soil as well.
- The barrier target treatment can be done with the help of repellent and non-repellent termiticides. Repellent termiticides are effective in terms of keeping the termites at bay and discouraging them from attacking the structure.
- While repelling the termites might sound like a great option, studies have proved that non-repellent termiticides are more effective when it is the question of eliminating the lethal intruders. They do not have any visible residual or emit odour to repel the termites, making the termites come in contact with the chemicals. They do not kill the termites on contact but allow them to transfer the chemical on other termites as well so that you are able to kill a large population at one go.
- For trenching or creating barriers, drill 10 feet deep, ½ inch wide holes around the foundation where you are more likely to detect termite infections. They can be placed near the water tap in your garden, in the roots of a tree, storage of dead wood, or moist places near the foundation. Use drills to dig into the pavements, tiled, bricked, or concrete sidewalks.
- Mix the chemicals with water in the prescribed quantity and pour them into the holes 3-4 times after intervals of 1 hour. This will allow the chemical to seep into the soil.
- You can then cover the holes with plastic plugs which are gripped to stay intact in the concrete till you yourself want to eject them from the ground.
- Use a hand pump sprayer when filling the holes back with soil. If the soil remains untreated, it can again create the breeding ground for termites.
- This is yet another technique to lure termites into traps where they can be eliminated. “Edible Missiles” are basically the bait containing traps which are installed into the yard where the risk of termite infestation in high or they have already infested. The bait is forage which termites share within themselves and this is how a greater number of population can be targeted at the same time.
- The baits comprise of cellulose, similar to the one found in wood and a slow acting insecticide which allows the termites to consume and share the bait amongst others before developing growth issues in them. This delayed action not only ensures a larger target population but also makes sure that the corps of the termites get a chance to move away from the region. If the corps accumulate near the bait, other termites will start avoiding the region altogether. It is an effective method and can be used to eliminate a huge chunk of the population or even an entire colony in one go.
- The procedure that you need to follow for baiting is not rocket science, then again, it is advised to take expert help for an effective installation. For Baiting, the bait stations are installed into the digs in the soil. Baits stations are solid but perforated structure allowing the termites to tunnel within them easily. They have chambers in which bait can be stationed
- Now that question arises is where can these bait stations be installed. Experts believe that for best protection of the structures against termite invasion, one must opt for barrier treatment around the foundation of the house. So, if your house is treated with termiticides already, you need to ensure that the baits are placed some feet away from the treated ground.
- Location of bait also depends upon the type you’ve opted for, as certain kinds can also be mounted indoors on top of the infested region also. You can install them in the patios, driveways and sidewalks, or in close proximity to a tree which is likely to be infested by termites.
- These baits are dug out for inspection quarterly, annually, monthly, or biannually to see if termites have fed upon them or not. Sometimes, the baits are also accompanied by partial barrier treatment for better results.
- The bait stations are strategically installed at the distance of 10 to 15 feet so as to stay up to the mark with the nesting pattern of subterranean termites. They make their nests at some distance from each other and one house can have up to 4-5 nests spread across the foundation. Furthermore, there is enough room for the termites to stay in touch with their nest so that they can carry the forage to them as well. Once the mission is accomplished, they leave a colony-specific scent, inviting other termites to the same station in search for forage.
- The termite baiting programmes promise to kill millions of birds with an arrow, but there are various disadvantages of it.
- One thing this method asks for is patience as it might take the termites a considerable amount of time in reaching the bait and consuming it. For better results, try installing the baits at locations such as woodpiles, damp ground or near the roots of a tree. This is where the termites are more likely to nest. They prefer darker regions too.
- Next are the season and climate specific challenges with baiting. If the temperatures are too cold, the termites are less-likely to feed upon the bait and the effects of bait also reduce. Apart from that, if the climate is too dry, or if there is a draught, they are more likely to dig deeper, escaping baits.
The process is cumbersome and has its own pros and cons. Then again, if deployed with care for efficiency and at the right time, it can prove quite helpful.
3. Some Precautions can Take to Avoid Infestation
- Subterranean termites are a bit choosy in terms of shelter and hence only look for places which are closer to the source of food and are dark and damp. So, ensure that the downspouts you are using to water your garden are placed to water away from the foundation of the main structure.
- Never let the mulch or dug-out soil accumulate near the foundation. If it does, pull it at least 6 inches away.
- Letting trash or any damp debris accumulate near your home is an open invitation to insects and pests including termites.
- Eliminating or keeping the standing water bodies.
- Keep a regular check on the drainage and repair all possible structural leaks. Especially ones near to foundation.
- The sidings should end way before your round starts. If brick veneers, foam insulation or door sidings extend into the ground, they become easier for termites to trespass.
- Patios, decks, and porches though made up of wood, should never be in direct contact with the ground through their wooden parts. They should always be protected with metal guards.
Which Method of Killing Subterranean Termites is Best?
- Indoor convenience. If you are okay with a technician coming into your house, moving furniture around and drilling holes into your flooring to fill them with termiticides and fill them back, then barrier treatment is for you. Then again, if you don’t want to go through all the hassle, you can opt for baits as they can be installed around the house.
- If your house has the pond, well, inaccessible ground or nearby area has such as a structure which is accessed by all, it is advised not to opt for injecting chemical in the ground. In such cases, you can go for baiting as the chemicals involved do not infect the soil.
- If you are simply opposed to the idea of having termiticides injected in the ground around your house, you can have baits installed in the ground. This not only limits the number of chemicals used, but it also ensures that the action takes place below ground.
- The amount of time you are willing to wait to get rid of termites is also very important. If the bait infestation is already rapidly increasing if your home, baiting will not be an effective option. Injecting liquid into the soil will be a better option in such cases. Baiting can take a week and sometimes even months to trap the invaders into their illusion.
- The amount of money you are willing to shell out for termite treatment is another factor which you might want to see to. Baiting requires a thorough study of the landscape and checks on the baits at regular intervals by experts which tends to be expensive. Whereas, barrier treatment is a one-time expenditure which will last you a long-term.
Well, considering both the methods, you can decide which the best one to save you the loss is.
Early Signs of Subterranean Termite Infestation
Subterranean termites are known to be very cunning in terms of hiding themselves below the ground and keeping the tunnelling and swarming activities guarded. By acting so secretive they make identifying the infestation difficult. While we are unable to detect the infestation, a significant damage in the foundation of the house is already done. Here, we have curated some ways you can detect whether your home has an infestation or not just by observation:
- Detect the subterranean tunnels built by these termites to transport food to their nests. These tunnels can be 20-cm deep into the ground or 50 metres. This depth varies with the level of infestation.
- If you see any vertical slits carved into the trees in your house, then you must run a thorough termite check because soldiers amongst the subterranean termites carve such blowholes if they sense an invasion from the intruders. These openings give them an easy escape. Once the fight is completed, it is the action of the tree to seal its injury and the worker termites combined to shut the opening again.
- Another very easy method to check if termites have infested your furniture or flooring is to tap on them. If the sound is hollow, then the wood is infested and needs immediate attention.
There you have it! Through the above information, you will not only be able to detect subterranean termite infestation, know how to treat Subterranean Termites, but also employ some methods on your own to get rid of these elusive invaders.