Barrier or Bait? What Approach Should You Take to Deal with Termites?

Termites can quite literally eat you out of house and home. They are pervasive pests and are to be found extensively throughout Australia. Your property is at significant risk unless you take steps to try and avoid an infestation, or aggressively treat an existing condition. What's the best approach for you, though? Should you consider barrier or bait?

Barrier Treatment

For many years technicians would routinely apply a barrier treatment in order to control termites. This consisted of a liquid pesticide which would be applied to the soil as a continuous chemical barrier. The solution needed to be applied all around and beneath the building, in order to eliminate all possible routes of entry for the insects.

The challenge with a barrier treatment is making sure it is a comprehensive deterrent. Termites are very stubborn and will find their way into your home to consume its wood products through the most inaccessible entry points. Another issue with a barrier treatment is that it needs to be constantly renewed in order to ensure it is "wet" and therefore active. Many hundreds of gallons of this pesticide will need to be injected and this may involve intrusive work in order to gain access to the concrete slab and foundations.

Baiting Systems

Homeowners will find it a lot easier to deal with a termite baiting process instead. In this case individual monitoring stations are placed into the ground at intervals around the perimeter of the property. These are simple plastic devices that have pieces of wood inserted within, treated with a specific kind of chemical.

There are a number of different types of chemical available in order to deal with a termite infestation. Some products are meant to inhibit the insect's ability to reproduce, while other chemicals are meant to inhibit the insect's ability to grow. Either way, the chemicals have delayed reaction and do not instantly kill the insects when they eat the treated wood. This is to ensure that other termites do not come across dead insects in the vicinity of the monitoring station, thereby turning them away. Rather, they eat and return to the colony, leaving a trail to the processed wood for others to follow. Usually, the commercial baiting product available has been specially designed to ensure that it has a specific "taste" that will be favoured, even when other wood products, such as as tree roots are nearby.

In general, baiting systems are much easier to maintain and monitor. The technician simply pulls the plastic tube out of the ground in order to see whether termites are present. For more information, contact Jeffrey Hills and Associates