Termite Facts and Control

 termites crawling on a mound

Do damages caused by termites worry you? If yes, you are not alone. Termites are responsible for losses of billions of dollars’ worth of property and structural damages every year. Those affected by termite infestations spend over two billion U.S dollars to properly treat these insects. This paper will focus on how consumers can protect their property from termite infestation by identifying and putting in place effective preventive techniques. Moreover, the paper will attempt to offer advice on what are the best termite treatments.

The foremost step in the attempt to prevent termite infestation lies in being alert. Termites hardly come from mud tubes, the soil, or sources through which they tunnel. Most property owners are not aware of the presence of termites until they witness a swarm of them during construction. Below are more effective ways of discovering if you have termites:

Thoroughly examine wood for hollow tunnels

Identify swarms of termites – mostly, people confuse between ant swarms and termites
Please note that termites have straight antennae that may droop. Also, its wings are equal in length.

How can You prevent a Termite Infestation?

Make the structural design of property less attractive to termite infestation

While constructing, use concrete material and ensure that there is a ventilation space between the wood and the soil. Cover any exposed wood with a metal barrier.

Maintain the Termite Prevention Techniques

Right after construction is completed to ensure that you keep the soil around the structure dry by ensuring appropriate drainage.

Secondly, cover all openings that might give the termites access to the structure. This will require you to fill all cracks in the concrete foundation.

Fix Leaks

Ensure that you keep all vents free from plants and other blockage causing material. Make sure that shrubs and trees are planted further from the structure and ensure that they do not grow against wood surfaces.

Do not store wood debris or firewood next to the home

Carry out a timely inspection to make sure that termite colonies do not form
Types of Termite Treatment

Non-Chemical Treatments

You may still treat termite infestations by avoiding the use of insecticides. Consider the following methods:

  • Physical barrier: Steel mesh, incorporated during construction, has proven to be an effective physical barrier.
  • Biological agents: Fungi and nematodes have proven that they can inhibit termite growth albeit in laboratory settings.
  • Biological control agents (nematodes and fungi) have demonstrated some success, particularly in laboratory settings.

Since these techniques do not involve the use of insecticides, EPA does not seek to regulate them.

Chemical Treatments

Before an organization can distribute any pesticide in the U.S, EPA has to review the pesticide to establish whether or not its chemical composition will pose risks to the environment or human health. Once the EPA is determined to be safe, EPA will register the pesticide for use, but in strict adherence to the directions stipulated on the label. The insecticides used for treatment or prevention of termites are known as termiticides. These pesticides must prove their ability to offer structural protection. Often, termiticides can only be applied by a pest management professional.

Approved chemical treatments include Chlorantraniliprole, Bifenthrin, Acetamiprid, and Chlorfenapyr.

Most termiticides are very toxic, making it very essential to follow label instructions with utmost care. Pest management professionals have the equipment, expertise, and knowledge to handle termiticide which reduces risk and ensures the effectiveness of the pesticide.

How to handle termite infestation

Ensure that you choose an ideal pest control company – Organizations that provide termite services have to get licensing from the state. Before negotiations, ask for the organization's license.

Go through the pesticide product label – The label offers instructions on how the pesticide must be used to avoid risks. If the product label does not include such information, do not use it.

Be aware of when you should return to the treated house – the period required before reoccupying the treated house may vary from product to product: this information will be highlighted on the product label. Make sure that you are well aware of when you should reenter the house.

Conclusion

To log a complaint concerning pesticides, contact the responsible pesticide regulatory agency in your state. You should also consider calling the National Pesticide Information Center hotline. The NPIC has professionals who can answer numerous queries involving pesticide-related matters, such as health effects and product use.