How to Safely Use Termite Poison in Your Home
One method of treating or preventing an infestation of termites is through the application of termite poison. Termites are tiny insects that survive on the cellulose found in wood and will eat their way through almost any part of a home from major areas like walls and stairs to small items such as books and picture frames. An existing infestation of termites should be tackled by a professional company due to the volume of chemicals involved. Leaving even a small number of termites in a house can be catastrophic as they will simply begin all over again. The most common treatment methods is to drill multiple holes in the concrete base slab of the home to inject chemical poison that will kill the termites.
Step 1: Using Chemical Barriers
Dig a trench round the exterior of the house until the foundations and edge of the concrete foundation slab are exposed. Take care to dig right down to the base around any utility pipes as they will provide an bridge for the termites if not thoroughly treated. Drill holes around the concrete apron at regular distances for access to the soil underneath.
Inject the chemicals into the holes in the concrete, then refinish the concrete or place caps over the holes. Placing caps will allow easier access when chemicals need to be topped up. The soil surrounding the foundations should be completely saturated with the termite poison to provide the highest level of protection. It is imperative that no gaps are left as termites can fit through a gap the width of the lead in a pencil.
Fill in the trench with regular soil after applying the chemicals. Many professional companies will include a regular monitoring program to watch out for termite tracks in their installation package. The chemicals will need to be topped up in between 5 and 10 years for continued protection if the soil is not disturbed during that time. If any alterations are made to the house a termite barrier must be included otherwise it will be a weak spot for the termites to exploit.
Step 2: Using Chemical Baiting
An alternative or supplement to barrier treatment is to use a termite baiting system. Place a pieces of untreated cellulose bait such as wood or cardboard into the ground at fixed intervals around the home.
There is no lure for termites so in-ground baiting can be a time consuming process for a home owner as the bait stations must be monitored once a month to check for activity. The chance of discovering termites can be increased by installing a higher number of bait stations around the property.
Once there has been a “hit” replace the bait with one that has been chemically treated. Getting the correct balance of poison in the bait is important for effective treatment. It is more desirable to use a slow acting bait that will be passed on to other members of the colony rather than have the termites die immediately as this will simply make the rest of the colony move to another area.