When termites are found inside a home, there are generally two stages of treatment. The first, very important stage is to get them out of your house. . This is efficient and commonly carried out using insecticidal dusts or foams such as Termidor Dry or Termidor Foam. When applied correctly to a significant number of termites, this initial stage may also offer a shot at eliminating the nest responsible. Just remember though, these types of treatments don’t actually protect your house and are only the first step. That’s when the Second Stage treatment is carried out, to place a protective barrier around the building to stop termites coming back. Our preferred product is Termidor, and all of our technicians are Termidor Acccreditied Installers, however other products have their place in the market.
Nest location is very important, but not always possible (it may not be on your property), so further treatments are sometimes required when the nest responsible for attacking the property isn’t located. There may be several different nests nearby, all of which would present a threat. That’s why the Second Stage preventative treatment, or Barrier Treatment, is required to protect the building for the long term.
There are three commonly used types of first stage treatment. This article will discuss the pro’s and con’s of each.
Recently, laws were changed and in Brisbane (and Qld) termite technicians are now allowed to foam or inject into wall cavities. (With the old chemicals like DDT and Heptachlor, it’s probably a good thing that wall cavity injection was only permitted after they were banned). Foaming in particular is very useful where large mudpacks of carton material (called bivouacs) are present in the wall or when there is a concealed void under concrete that cannot be otherwise accessed. When the foam is injected into the workings it expands (a little like shaving cream) coating all the surfaces and termites around it.The pest technician can control the type of foam he needs by adjusting the amount of foaming agent added to the mix. There are two primary drawbacks. The foam eventually will return to liquid and if mixed improperly can result in liquid seeping out of the wall cavity. Foaming can also be very effective at smothering the termites so that they can drown in termiticide, giving a quick kill but ruining a chance at the primary target (the nest).
Recommended Article: Termite Treatments Explained
PRO’S – Effective for treating termites hidden in voids, and is an effective and quick treatment of major infestations where wall sub nests are present.
CON’S – Can be messy, Decreased chance of nest elimination due to the relatively quick kill time.
Dusting is one of the oldest techniques available to termite technicians. Thankfully the days of Arsenic are well behind us. Modern dusts (like Termidor Dry previously known as Termidor Dust) use cellulose and talcum powder as carriers, meaning that termites will continue to ingest excess dust and cellulose which will in turn affect their moulting cycle causing death. Discrete openings are made into the termite galleries, preferably in areas with the largest amount of activity. There is no point in dusting long abandoned workings, live termites are definitely required here. With deft skill the technician gently puffs the dust through the galleries, coating as many termites as possible. He then moves on, getting as many sites of activity as possible. The small breaches are quickly sealed afterwards to minimise disturbance. Coated termites return to the nest and are groomed and fed, passing the toxin around. With sufficient numbers colony elimination can occur within 14 days though sometimes reapplications are required.
PRO’S – Neat and tidy, minimal damage added to what the termites have already done. Modern dusts are a very safe option.
CON”S – Large numbers of termites required to effect colony elimination. Termites are not always located in accessible areas.
Termite baiting is another relatively recent addition to the arsenal. Where physical obstructions prevent access to the entry point it can sometimes be the only sensible option. Successful baiting takes skill, care and above all, time. A baiting box is carefully attached over a site where the termites are feeding. Baiting matrix (looking like a soupy bread dough) is added to the box, sometimes a small amount will be popped into the galleries to encourage them in. The box is then meticulously sealed to prevent dehydration and the termites are left to do their work.
The matrix is designed to be a termite super food, once they are keen they’ll demolish it in preference over anything else. It contains a slow working poison that interferes with their biochemical processes over time, allowing for plenty of sharing. As the matrix is consumed it is regularly topped up, depending on the rate of consumption. Termite baiting can be an extremely powerful tool for eliminating colonies, even from hundreds of metres away. Its primary drawback is the time it takes. It is not unknown for baiting to take up to 6 months or longer to be effective.
PRO’S -A genuine colony killer. Damage to the property usually ceases once termites start feeding. The results of baiting are measurable as the ratio of soldiers and workers change, and feeding ceases. The volume of bait consumed can be measured and the average bait consumption required to control a colony is known.
CON’S -The slowest working method by far depending on the species, the time of year and colony size.Colony control is much slower during winter where termites may still consume large amounts of bait, until the weather warms up and moulting resumes. That’s when the colony declines quickly.
Termite Solutions are experts in nest location, dusting, foaming Contact our office if you suspect a termite problem!