A termite problem can turn your entire life – and house – upside down. Your house may look physically fine, but with a wood-destroying pest like termites, the damage tends to be subtle until it isn't.
While many homeowners may turn to DIY termite solutions to save money, they often end up wasting more of their money (and time) in the process.
For instance, insecticides and bait monitoring stations are popular DIY methods that promise to get rid of the entire termite colony. Some systems will infect the termites in the trap, who then spread the toxin to the rest of the colony.
Bait monitoring stations may be able to take out a portion of your termite infestation or discourage new termites from invading, but they rarely get rid of all the larvae and eggs that are left in the colony.
Cardboard traps are another DIY treatment. You use moist cardboard to draw the termites in and then burn the cardboard once they've started to eat it. Much like bait monitoring stations, cardboard traps might take care of part of the colony, but the larvae and eggs will still survive, allowing the termites to continually reproduce.
Ultimately, the best way to get rid of termites is by working with the pros and using professional termite control.
Here's what Ventura County homeowners should know about the types of termite bait, the types of chemicals used on termites, what you can expect when signing up for termite control, and how pest control in Ventura County fits into the picture.
Types Of Termite Bait
While store-bought bait and trap systems may fall flat for termite removal, there are other types of termite bait available for professional use:
- Termidor® HE liquid bait solution: This is one of the most common liquid bait solutions and also the first choice for dealing with subterranean termites at Ventura Pest Control. This is a high-efficiency termiticide, which means that it's designed to cut the time and work involved in rooting out termites – all while being even more effective than normal. This bait solution also uses transfer technology, which transfers the solution from one termite to another. This is one of the most important aspects of any baiting system.
- Exterra® Termite Interception and Baiting System: This is an inground baiting system that uses cellulose material as its bait. When termites find the bait and begin ingesting it, they'll get hit with an insect growth regulator.
- Sentricon Colony Elimination System®: Installed at specific intervals around your house, Sentricon stations have both bait and insect growth regulators inside them.
- Trelona® Advance Termite Baiting System: While this baiting system can be used as a standalone treatment for termites, many pros use it in addition to spot treatments. This is a monitoring-baiting system that's already pre-baited when you install it.
Professional termite baiting systems are often effective at rooting out most (if not all) of an infestation. Not only do they poison the termites that eat the bait, but they also transfer it to other termites in the colony.
Types Of Chemicals Used To Treat Termites
In addition to baiting systems, many professionals also use liquid chemicals or spot treatments to take care of pests that the baiting systems might've missed. Liquid treatments create a barrier that prevents termites from entering a building or structure – like your home. Because they can no longer enter the soil or return to their food source, termites will either die off or go somewhere that isn't your property.
Not only does this help you get rid of existing termites around your property, but it also prevents them from coming back.
But what chemicals do termite treatments use? Most treatments rely on the same five chemicals, regardless of the specific product:
- White arsenic (Arsenic trioxide): Sometimes called white arsenic, this chemical gets used in timber preservation just as much as termite control. While it just looks like a white powder without any odor, white arsenic is only soluble in water. This isn't meant to be used in soil, and it has a few risks for homeowners that are trying to use it without professional help. You want to keep this white powder from entering any cuts or open wounds, as well as avoid breathing it in.
- Bifenthrin: Often used at construction sites or new homes, this chemical does a good job of keeping termites away from vulnerable new structures. Freshly-built homes and buildings can be susceptible to termites, which is why this perimeter barrier treatment comes in handy. You can choose how concentrated this chemical is, and it offers long-term protection for years.
- Permethrin: Another chemical meant for long-term use, permethrin works best for active termite infestations as well as prevention. It works best for subterranean termites, and while it should still be applied by a pro, it's not as toxic to humans as some termite chemicals are.
- Fipronil: Many people associate this liquid treatment with other types of pest control, not just termites. While it's not as effective for construction sites or houses that are still mid-construction, you can use it as a barrier for existing homes. The chemical works by attracting termites and then poisoning them.
- Imidacloprid: While this chemical has low toxicity to people, it's dangerous for termites. Not only does it eliminate termites that come in contact with it, but it's also an insecticide that will harm other insects.
The type of chemical treatment that a professional pest control company uses can depend on several factors – the type of termite, whether it's a home or construction site, and how extensive the infestation has become.
What To Expect When Signing Up For Professional Termite Control
You may know that you need professional termite control, but signing up for it can be stressful, especially if you've never dealt with a wood-destroying pest before. Here's what you can expect when you decide to use professional termite control.
The first step is usually an inspection. After you've made contact with the pros and communicated about the infestation, they'll want to see for themselves. A pest control company like those of us at Ventura Pest Control will need to see the extent of the infestation before we help you decide on a treatment plan.
At the inspection, the technician will look for signs of an infestation and termite damage. Once they've seen the extent of your termite infestation, they'll make recommendations based on their findings. Treatment could include anything from baiting systems or liquid treatment to fumigation services. They may also help you come up with tactics to prevent termite problems in the future, like eliminating wood-to-soil contact near your home.
Once the technician has collaborated with you about your treatment options, they'll set a date to come back for the installation of your baiting systems or to apply the treatment.
Even after they've applied the treatment, you can expect plenty of communication about what they've done, what you'll need to do, and where your treatment stands.
Depending on the treatment, there may be follow-up visits from the technician, but if they're placing baiting systems, they may not need to. Many baiting systems are designed for long-term protection, so you don't have to deal with the constant hassle of reapplication. With other treatments, a technician may set up a schedule to come back and check on the progress of the treatment.
A year after your treatment, you can expect your first annual inspection. Annual inspections ensure that your treatment is working and that you no longer have termites in your home. They'll also just check to make sure there are no other signs of termite damage in your home. As a result, annual inspections can be a great way to catch termite problems early.
While annual inspections are recommended if you've already dealt with termites, you don't have to have an infestation to get one.
Since termite damage can be so subtle, you can also set up annual inspections as a precaution. Catching a termite infestation within a year of onset can go a long way towards preventing property damage and saving you money in the long term.
Total Termite Control For Ventura County Homeowners
Rather than waste your time on ineffective DIY treatments or over-the-counter solutions that won't be much help, the best thing you can do for a termite problem is contact Ventura Pest Control.
With years of experience and a trustworthy reputation, we've had more than enough time to perfect our effective termite control services. And, to make sure we get the job done, our termite control services always come with a complete satisfaction guarantee.
If you think you may have termites in your home or would like to schedule an annual inspection with one of our professionals, we're only a phone call away – contact us today at Ventura Pest Control to schedule an appointment.