Types of Termite Treatments
Home Protection: Termites and Treatments
If left untreated, termites can cause immense damage to your home. These wood-boring pests thrive deep within your home and foundation, slowly eating away at its core, unnoticed. Ongoing prevention is your best bet when it comes to termites because most homeowner insurance plans won’t cover termite damage.
There are three main groups of termites that can affect your home: subterranean, drywood, and dampwood termites.
Subterranean Termite Treatment
Named after their preference to build their nests underground, subterranean termites often enter the home from areas where wood comes in contact with the ground, by squeezing through cracks as small as a business card or by using the mud tubes they construct to travel from their below ground colonies to infest wood in your home.
Subterranean Treatment options:
- Monitoring and bait stations
- Termiticide application
Drywood Termites Treatment
Drywood termites don’t need a connection to the ground in order to thrive. They are known to travel up to a mile to find a home, and will establish a colony wherever they can find a preferred source of wood. Drywood termites need less moisture than either subterranean or dampwood termites to survive, and can often be found in attics where they infest structural wood. Other items they may infest include dead or dying trees and shrubs, utility poles, fences and furniture.
Drywood Treatment options:
- Gas fumigation
- Heat treatment
- Targeted termiticide application
Dampwood Termites Treatment
Much larger than their subterranean counterparts, dampwood termite soldiers sport very large pincers on their head that are used to fight off predators. As their name suggests, they prefer to build colonies in damp or decaying wood with a high moisture content and moist wood in contact with the ground such as logs and stumps. Dampwood termites typically do not construct their nests in soil and do not construct mud tubes. These termites eat the wood with the grain if their wood source is sound, but consume wood across the grain if their wood source is decayed. In general, dampwood termites are not as destructive as subterranean and drywood termites.
Dampwood Treatment options:
- Moisture Removal
- Termiticide application
Treatment Options Overview
Monitoring and Bait Stations
Monitoring stations are installed at key points around your property to determine the extent of termite activity. Once confirmed, bait stations are set up to attract termites. Bait stations house chemical materials that termites ingest and carry back to the colony, spreading them to their counterparts and addressing colonies at the source. This control method is often best when dealing with larger populations.
This method is primarily used to control drywood termites as the treatment can reach termites living deep within a home. Fumigants permeate throughout the home and disrupt a termite’s metabolism once inhaled.
Heat treatments use a special, large-capacity heat blower to raise the temperature of specific areas of a home or property to between 120 – 140 degrees Fahrenheit to kill off any termites living within the wood structures. This treatment must be recommended and administered by a trained pest control specialist.
Termite infestations often need some form of termiticide usage in order to help remove current populations and prevent future infestations. Usually this involves an application to the surface of compromised wood or into soil around the home, but it can also be injected directly into wood to more closely target termite populations.
For termites, moisture is critical for survival. Making sure to fix plumbing leak problems in a timely manner and ensure proper drainage around your home, all of which can go a long way in helping to avoid a termite infestation. Wood that is touching the ground is always at risk, so always remove wood that is in direct contact with the ground and use pre-treated wood to protect your home from wood decay and wood rot as much as possible.