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FAQs About Termite Baiting

What is Termite Baiting?

Termite baiting is a modern method of controlling termites without putting large amounts of chemical pesticide in the soil.  Instead, worker termites feed on small amounts of a slow-acting, pesticide-containing bait and bring it back to the colony.

Traditional termite treatments put a passive chemical barrier around the foundation of your home to kill or repel termites as they try to enter the structure.  In contrast, termite baits protect your home by controlling the termite colonies near your home.

Termite bait programs work by using monitoring stations installed around the perimeter of your home.  At first, the station does not contain a bait, just Wood or some other termite food.  These stations are checked regularly by one of our technicians.  Once the termites are actively feeding inside a monitoring station, the technician installs termite bait.

Termite bait programs can be used to control an existing termite infestation or to prevent new infestations.

How do Termite Baits work?

A termite bait is made up of a food bait mixed with an insecticide.  The bait is highly accepted by termites.  It is non-repellent and slow-acting so that other termites in the colony will also be recruited to feed on the bait, and so that dead termites will not cause bait avoidance by the rest of the colony.  Termites that never feed directly at the bait stations can also be affected by sharing of food or grooming within the colony.  The termites feed on the bait and also take it back to the colony.  Termites begin dying after a week or so and eventually either the entire colony is destroyed, or it is reduced to such an extent that it no longer poses a threat to your house.

Why do you use monitors instead of just putting baits in the ground first?

In termite baiting, most of the termite monitors will be inactive at any given time.  Only one or two active baiting sites out of fifteen or twenty monitoring stations are all that are needed to control a typical termite infestation.  Monitoring allows us to use the termite bait only after large numbers of termites have been recruited to a particular feeding site.  In this way, fresh bait is always presented to actively feeding termites, and the bait, which is expensive, isn't wasted in nonproductive areas.

Do Termite Monitors attract termites to my house?

No.  Termites randomly search for food, in their case wood and other cellulose.  They basically "stumble" onto a monitor, feed on the wood or other material inside, and then use "scent trails" to recruit others that are nearby to the new food source.  In this way, more and more termites begin feeding on the monitor.

Why termite baiting rather than standard treatment?

Both traditional chemical soil treatments and termite bait programs protect homes from termites.  Each has advantages and disadvantages.  To many people, the biggest advantage to termite bait programs is environmental: only ounces of active pesticides are used, they are protected inside stations, and they are targeted specifically to the termites alone.

In termite baiting, furthermore, it is not necessary to drill holes in the floors or walls inside the home as is the case when applying traditional chemical termite treatments.  And the monitors can be inspected and serviced without anyone being home.  Finally, termite baiting is an ongoing process.  Your home remains protected from new infestations for as long as the program remains in place.

The main disadvantage to termite bait programs is that it takes much longer for a bait program to achieve success, and some homeowners are not willing to wait.

How long will it take to control my termites?

Control of an existing termite infestation with baits usually takes four to six months or more, depending on the season and the size and location of the termite colony.  Termites randomly tunnel through the soil looking for wood and other termite food.  It can take months before worker termites find and then begin actively feeding on the bait.  The bait will then begin killing termites and reducing the size of the colony.  Since a large termite colony can consist of hundreds of thousands of worker termites, it can take more months of feeding to control or eliminate such a colony.

Do I need to do anything special around the stations?

Don‘t disturb them.  Termites are very sensitive to change and will often leave a monitor or bait if it has been disturbed.  Remember, we want the termites to keep feeding on the wood monitors and to recruit other termites to the site, so that they can feed on the bait for as long as possible.  Also, avoid spraying insecticides, herbicides, or other chemicals on the stations.  If you need a station moved for some reason, such as for landscaping, call us and we will reposition it.

We hope some of these Frequently Asked Questions provided some clarity to your concerns. For more information on termite services in Palm Beach County, call your local professional pest control company. You can always rely on Vulcan Pest Control for all your pest control needs, give us a call at (561) 791-2400.

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