4 Common Termite Treatments and How to Choose the Right One for You

Paige Bennett
Written by Paige Bennett
Updated March 28, 2022
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If you suspect that termites are making a meal of your beautiful wood banisters or beams, it’s important to hire a pest control service near you as soon as possible. After confirming that you have some new roommates, the pros may recommend several different methods to kick them out, depending on a few factors. While your pro will make the best recommendation, consider these points to familiarize yourself with the best types of termite treatments.

1. Bait Systems

Bait systems are one of the most common treatment options for getting rid of termites. They may keep you waiting a while, though, as these systems take time to work and involve a monitoring period. The entire process can take several months before the colony is eradicated.

  • A pest control professional will set up monitoring stations around the home.

  • Then, they will install bait systems around the home’s perimeter and continue monitoring these areas. The average is 25 to 35 stations.

  • The bait systems include insecticides that the termites eat. The termites also carry the bait to their colonies, stopping their growth and eliminating them.

  • The bait systems may take weeks before the termites start getting the bait back to the colony.

2. Wood Treatments

Termites eat and live in wood, so it makes sense that there are multiple types of termite wood treatments. From building with treated wood to prevent termites in the first place to spraying or injecting the wood with chemicals to kill off termite colonies, there are multiple options if you are concerned about termite damage.

Surface Sprays

For an active infestation, a pest control service may apply termiticide sprays directly on the affected wood to kill off the termites. These termiticide applications can take care of both dampwood and drywood termites, and a pro can also apply surface sprays to the soil to treat subterranean termites. 

This method takes about one to two days for termites to die off, but it works best for spot treatments or smaller colonies rather than widespread infestations.

Injected Foams

Like surface sprays, termiticide foam is applied to the wood to get rid of termites and works best on drywood termites. Termites can burrow deep into the wood, which is why it is usually so difficult to spot an infestation. Injectable foam can penetrate deep into the affected wood to kill any drywood termites that burrow into it.

Termite foams take a few days to start killing off the colony, and the foam will continue working to kill off any new termites for about six weeks after the first application. Injectable foams are most effective when applied via professional equipment, but you can find small, ready-to-spray foams at home improvement stores for DIY spot treatments.

Gas Fumigation

A termite control professional will place tarps over the home then fumigate the interior. Termites breathe in the gas, impacting their central nervous system and killing them. This type of termite treatment aims to remove drywood termites that have burrowed deep into wood structures. This method is used for extensive infestations. 

The entire process of removing termites via gas fumigation will take up to 72 hours. After the professional removes the tarps, the fumigant will take about six hours to disperse into the air. The pest control service will test each room to determine when the home is safe for your family to re-enter.

Borate-Treated Wood

Borate treatments may be applied to wood structures during new construction or renovation projects. The chemically treated wood prevents infestations in the future.

3. Soil Treatments

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Subterranean termites nest underground in soil rather than in wood, but they can still damage your home’s wood structure. Bait systems may work for subterranean termites, or you can call a pro to do soil treatments.

  • A pest control service digs a trench around the structure’s foundation.

  • Then, they apply termiticide to the soil.

  • They refill the trench with soil.

  • Termites die as they return from the wood for food and into the soil to nest.

It’s important to rely on trained professionals to handle soil treatments. Applying these chemicals to soil incorrectly could cause the treatments to leach into local water wells or waterways.

4. Physical Barriers

If you’re building a new home, you may implement physical barriers to help prevent subterranean termites in the future. Typically, physical barriers to prevent termites include steel mesh, sand, or basaltic particles installed during construction. Other options include specialized wraps, such as Pango Wrap, installed beneath a slab foundation to keep out moisture and subterranean termites.

Physical barriers aren’t typically as effective as chemical treatments, and they can add to the cost of building a home. However, they can be a great option depending on where you live, like in Hawaii, where they’ve been used to combat invasive Formosan termites.

Choosing a Termite Treatment

While some termite treatments may seem like they’ll suit your needs better than others, you’ll want to talk to a termite inspector to determine the best course of action. Hiring a termite inspector costs an average of $165, and termite treatments cost an additional $230 to $930

You don’t want to waste time and money on ineffective methods to rid your home of termites. Instead, consult with the pros to find the best option for your home.

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