Preventative Termite Treatment Options
Subterranean termites can be a very challenging problem for a homeowner. They are often not visible but are doing extreme damage inside walls and other hidden areas. They might be active for several years before you realize you are sharing your home with them. By then, you may have to spend thousands of dollars to repair the hidden structural or visual damage they did.
Various internet websites show estimates for cost of repairs from termite damage for the entire United States. Some say the total annual cost nationally is approximately $6 billion. Some estimates are less than that, but even half that is a large cost for homeowners. Normally, home insurance policies do not cover the cost to repair termite damage. Some home warranty policies might offer partial coverage, but primarily, based on the research I have seen the cost of termite control and repair is the homeowner’s responsibility. Looking at research from about 15 years ago, it normally costs an average of around $2500 to $3500 per home to fix the problems. Minor repairs are normally costlier than most treatments run for an average home. Therefore, prevention is a great thing to consider.
Subterranean termites normally live in an underground colony deep enough that it is un-noticeable and will continually stay moist. They are relatively thin-skinned and must have a damp place for the queen and young termites to survive. The workers scout the area for lumber for food. They can be without the direct moisture for a few hours but must return to get rejuvenated. If there is a place in your house that stays damp from a water leak or moisture from excessive irrigation, they can create an unknown secondary colony and avoid treated areas. The termites can tunnel many different directions from the colony and eventually cover about an acre of ground. In a developed metropolitan neighborhood, this is a large enough area to include several homes.
In the Dallas area, new neighborhoods start to have termite problems when the houses reach an age of about five to ten years. If you are building on or near a wooded area, where the termites are well established, they can migrate in much quicker. Subterranean termites normally have their mating swarm in the spring and will establish colonies immediately. The colonies may not be large enough to show evidence of there presence for several years.
There are several preventative treatment options to help control termite infestations and they should be seriously considered. You can do a pre-treatment of the soil surface before the concrete is poured for a slab foundation or treat portions of the soil on a pier and beam structure before the wood floor joists are installed. Also, lumber can be treated directly. These lumber treatments are a process that involves a direct chemical application to the bottom wall plates and lower portion of the studs while the walls are open. These are all much better to consider than treating after the pesky, destructive critters have decided to come visit and damage your homestead.
Soil treatments with liquid termiticides have been used since the 1940’s. These liquid soil treatments create a chemical barrier that keeps termites from entering the structure. The liquid product choices are toxic to termites if they contact it, but some are also somewhat of a repellant and will turn the critters away before they get a toxic dose. The worker termites will then be very persistent and continue to try to find alternate paths inside. These products are normally the most economical and are a common choice but probably not the best for maintaining control. If a product such as Termidor is used, it is a non-repellant and the termite workers cannot sense it. When the termites move through the treated soil, they will contact the Termidor and take it back to the colony. It is then distributed to others in the colony and will eventually eliminate the population.
Termite baiting systems are also utilized. The most common active ingredient in them is a chitin inhibitor, which breaks down the tough exoskeleton on their bodies and causes them to die. Also, the termites must find the bait stations, which are implanted in the soil at approximately ten-foot intervals around your home, and it sometimes takes the termites more than a year to locate it. When they finally do discover it, they consume it as a food source and share it with the others in the colony. This will eventually wipe out a colony over time, but it is normally extremely slow, and you will continue to have damage from their activity.
At ALL PEST SOLUTIONS we prefer to utilize the termite treatment that involves Termidor. The wood treatments or bait treatments are acceptable options but are typically much slower to work. For the wood treatment to work, termites must eat into the wood to contact the chemical. This will eventually eliminate the colony, but the wood will have been slightly damaged while waiting for the chemical to have a full impact on the colony.
As previously mentioned, ALL PEST SOLUTIONS uses the Termidor liquid or foam treatment as the first choice for controlling termites. Industry wide, it is the most effective of the liquid products approved by the federal government for termite control. Occasionally, we might need to do a retreatment with the product, but it is very rare and is normally caused by an unknown or undetectable entry point for the termites.
All Pest Solutions offers several choices (listed below) for treating a new or existing structure. The different options include different ranges of treatment and warranty terms. A company representative must inspect the property before the options are presented.
If there is no history of termites on the structure, no problems with drainage or moisture and no indicators of slab or foundation problems, we can offer an abbreviated treatment that comes with a warranty. A spot treatment involves treating the point of entry and activity only.