Termites can cause significant damage to homes and property. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, homeowners spend over $2 billion to remove termites and repair the structural damage they cause.
If you do need a termite treatment, they last for several years. Once you detect any signs of a termite infestation, it is important to act immediately. Fast action reduces the damage and other problems that come with these pests.
Termite Treatments 101
Termite treatments involve lengthy applications. The only way to know if termites are gone for good is to work with an exterminator’s help.
Heat Extermination Treatment
This treatment does not involve using chemicals. Instead, it uses heat at high degrees to kill termites. Exterminators need to seal up the entire home to ensure it reaches the correct temperature.
- No chemicals involved in the treatment
- No chemical residue left in your home
- Treatment does not last long
- Best for attic treatments only
- Heat can damage furnishing and finishes
Fumigation relies on a chemical-laden gas to kill termites in one fell swoop. Exterminators enclose your entire property in a large, sealed tent. Then they release the gas into your home. The gas seeps into the wood and crevices where the termites live.
Once finished, the exterminators vent the tent so that all surface residue from the gas leaves your home.
- Kills termites throughout your home
- Gas vents leave no residue
- Treatment does not last long
- Homeowners have a lengthy preparation to protect plants and furnishings
- Treatment can take up to a week
- Homeowners must vacate their homes during the fumigation process
Liquid Termite Treatments
This type of treatment involves exterminators digging a small trench around the perimeter of your home. Then, they place a chemical barrier in the soil using gallons of pesticide solution. Some exterminators will drill into the foundation to maintain barrier continuity.
- Effectively kills termites at the lowest level of the home
- Treatment lasts up to five years
- Homeowners can stay in their homes during treatment
- Uses many pesticides
- May damage the environment around your home
- Exterminators might drill into your home’s foundation to keep the barrier unbroken
Termite Bait Stations
Exterminators use bait stations outside to kill subterranean termite nests. They also install above-ground baits to kill termites in your home.
When termites return to the nest, they have insecticide residue on their bodies and legs. They then spread it to the rest of the colony. Within three months of treatment, the termiticide should kill the entire colony.
- Kills termites in their nests
- Uses minimal insecticide
- Homeowners do not have to leave their homes
- The system works for about a year
- Works best in conjunction with another extermination system
- Requires annual maintenance
- Termites can move their nests
Factors Affecting How Long Termite Treatment Lasts
The lasting quality of termite treatments depends on several factors.
Two types of termites create problems for homeowners in the United States. Most termites look the same, with white and brown bodies. They are all about ¼-inches long, and the workers generally do not have wings.
Drywood termites burrow deeply into dry wood inside of homes. The first signs of dry wood termites include shed wings and dead swarmers, along with their fecal matter.
Subterranean termites build underground tunnels and mud tubes at ground level when they emerge to eat wood. The first sign of an infestation in your home will be mud tubes, usually in your basement or ground-level floors.
Level of Infestation
The number of termites living in and around your home can affect the length of termite treatments.
Your home’s structural materials can also affect the length of the treatment. If your home is mostly wood, termites have more opportunities to hide. Homes with more concrete and steel are easier to treat, as they have fewer areas for termites to nest.
How Often Should You Treat for Termites
The time frame varies based on the termites you have in and around your home. The structure of your home also affects the time frame.
- Liquid termite treatments — every five years.
- Bait stations — monitor every three to six months.
- Bait stations — replace or refill annually.
- Fumigation and heat treatments — as needed.
- Annual inspections help determine timelines.
What To Do Between Treatments
Preventing termites from entering your home should be a priority. Between treatments take time to:
- Remove standing water from around your home and in moist interior spaces.
- Closely monitor areas of your home with wood-to-soil contact.
- Keep stacked firewood away from your home.
- Regularly inspect crawl spaces, basements, decking, patio area, and outdoor furniture for signs of damage.
- Remove rotting branches and dead trees from your yard.
- Hire exterminators for annual termite inspections.
How Much Treatment Do I Need?
Defending against termites involves teamwork. You can help by taking preventative steps to keep termites out of your home, while a professional pest control company can help with termite treatments.
The experts at Stampede Pest Control know what methods work best. You can put your trust in their competent hands for termite inspections, treatments, and control.