Termites are among the most destructive pests and most difficult to exterminate. This is the reason why it is important that you employ the service of a professional to get rid of the menace whenever it is possible. In cases where the services of a professional are not available, using the best available DIY methods would be your next choice.
A professional would be well equipped and experienced to use a combination of methods to control the infestation.
Depending upon the type of the termites and spread of infestation, this would include fumigation tents, foams, sprays, monitoring stations, and bait stations.
Do It Yourself Termite Control Method — When It’s Recommended And When Not
In most cases, the first call that disaster has struck in the form termites infestation comes from the presence of termite droppings. This odorless dots, also known as frass — will be the first sign that you are having a major problem in your home/ workplace/ shed/, etc.
Acting on this proof, you could place baits at various places where the termites would prefer to colonize and test the area thoroughly. Be aware that this is a slow process, which requires immense patience and continuous follow-up.
When it comes to termites, it is always best to do a thorough job. These insects are known to be very resilient even in the most hostile environment. There are many methods available, but for DIY effective control, a combination of liquid termiticide and termite bait would be the best bet.
This works best when the infestation happens in wooden sheds, fence posts, courtyard, mail boxes, and so on.
Do it yourself termite control is a good option when the house has already been treated, and you need to maintain it termite free.
The DIY method would be effective if:
- your home allows enough crawl space so you could apply the necessary chemicals to exterminate the pests;
- if your house is a block type construction. The DIY method would not be recommended if: – your home is on slab (this is because the treatment requires drilling); – your home has a basement (requires drilling);
- you need to mortgage your house as mortgage companies accept only certificates from a professional and do not recognize DIY methods.
The “How” of the DIY Method
The two most popular and useful DIY methods for getting rid of termites are using termite baits and applying liquid termite insecticide or termiticides. Many people use both the methods to ensure that they get rid of the infestation for good.
(1) Termite Baits
This method consists of some material which the termites love for food such as cardboard or paper treated with a slow-acting poison that is lethal for the termites.
The bait to be effective, need to be tempting enough in spite of the available food and also have a poison that acts slow enough so the termites who fed on the chemical could return to the nest and infect the others who would not have fed on the bait.
Location of the termite baits is also crucial as it should not be too close, not too far from the infested area. Sometimes, the food on which the termites feed is removed, treated and returned to the same place. Below-ground bait stations are now available.
These contraptions would use untreated wood until the termites find it and start feeding on it.
When the termite presence is confirmed, the wood is removed, treated and replaced so the termites would continue feeding on it, this time taking in the slow-acting lethal doses of poison.
There are two types of baiting methods for doing it yourself termite control — one, involves observation stations and pre-baiting. In this way, stations are placed at various points to test the activity of the termites.
Once the termites are confirmed by attacking the bait, the bait is treated and replaced, which will act to slowly kill the whole nest. This method requires close monitoring and periodic testing.
The second method is to place the baiting stations directly at the infestation locations. This type does not need monitoring; once in every six months would suffice.
(2) Liquid Insecticide for Termites (Termiticides)
The termiticides, when applied right and according to the instructions on the label can protect your property for 5 to 10 years. The downside here is that you would need plenty of it. For example, a smallish house that measures about 40′ x 30′ or 1,200 square feet would require about 150 gallons of termicide (diluted) for the treatment.
When choosing this method, you need to analyze the soil at the site to learn about its chemical composition.
The chemical composition of the soil can significantly affect the veracity and tenure of the insecticide. Fortunately, you need not be an expert soil analyst; this type of soil analysis is easy to carry out and quite inexpensive; sometimes, even free.
After the analysis is done, you may choose the chemical that is most suitable to that type of soil, so you will ensure that the infestation once gone would not recur for years to come.
Which Do It Yourself Termite Control Is The Better One?
Both the DIY methods are standalone and can tackle the termite problems on its own. However, to be assured of its efficacy it would be good to adopt both options. While the bait would ensure that the termites would gradually die, destroying the entire nest in time, it is a good thing to make sure that they are not able to come back to the house/ place you are trying to protect.
This is why most people who use DIY methods, use both the techniques to ensure that not only the termites are exterminated, but also their return is prevented in the future.
While the bait would take six months to 1 year to get you rid of this problem, the liquid chemicals would ensure that your home/ place would not free from termite for up to 10 years. With time, patience and experience you will be able to get rid of these pestilent insects.
However, you need to follow the instructions on the label of the DIY equipment and insecticide to the letter.
In place of the chemical insecticide, you may like using some 100% natural remedies such orange oil or neem (Azadirachta indica) oil. These are used in the same manner you would use the insecticide, i.e. mix it in the soil to make a barrier that prevents termites from reaching your property.
Nematodes (living organisms), which are natural predators of termites may be used to get rid of the termites.
This is known as “biological pest control.” To ensure that this method is effective you will need to identify the types of termites you have, as there are nematodes that attach themselves to specific types of termites.
It is important that as soon as you can find a professional who can test and ensure that your home is termite free