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How do I Choose the Best Termite Treatment?

By Nychole Price
Updated May 16, 2024
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When a homeowner experiences a termite infestation they usually seek termite treatment immediately. This is because some types of termites, such as the subterranean species, can eat up to 15 pounds (6.8 kg) of wood per week, causing an extensive amount of damage in a very short period of time. When a termite exterminator is called he will investigate the situation and perform one of four different termite treatments. They are as follows: mechanical alteration, soil treatment, wood treatment and termite bait systems.

Termites love wet, moist wood, cardboard and paper. If you live in a naturally humid or wet environment, you are at a high risk for a termite infestation. The first form of termite treatment, called mechanical alteration, calls for the removal of wood, cardboard and paper that makes contact with the soil, as this is what termites are looking for when they build a nest. Under the category of mechanical alteration also falls fixing any leaks near the home and increasing the ventilation in crawlspaces to lessen the moisture content around the home.

Wood treatment is a form of termite treatment that must be done during the construction of the structure. It is basically a prevention technique that is performed in areas that are prone to termites, such as warm, humid environments. When the building is constructed, pressure treated wood is used instead of the standard, untreated wooden beams. When the building is constructed solely of pressure treated wood from the ground to the top of the first floor, it is an effective form of termite control.

Soil treatment is the best method to use if your property doesn't contain any wells, french drains, drain tile or other drainage systems. This method of termite treatment involves digging a trench and using termiticide to create a barrier under and next to the structure. Soil treatment also involves blocking access to the foundation walls, chimneys and pillars by using a vertical barrier. The finished trench should be at least 6 inches (15.24 cm) deep. The termiticide should be mixed with water at a ratio of 4 gallons (15.14 liters) per 10 feet (3.05 meters) of length, per foot (30.48 cm) of depth and poured into the trench.

Bait systems should be used when neither wood nor foundation treatment is possible, such as if you have a well or have experienced negative reactions to liquid termiticides. When using a bait system, you must first gain the attention of the termites by placing untreated wood inside a monitoring device, which you then place in the ground around the home. When you see the termites feeding on this wood, you can then switch the untreated wood with a poisoned material known as termiticide bait. The termites take the bait back to the nest, where the it will poison the whole colony over time. You can also connect the poisoned material directly to the wood of the structure where you notice the termites feeding.

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