Subterranean termite treatment has changed dramatically over the last two decades. The number of systems, application techniques and products available for termite control has tripled in the last 10 years. Today, if you experience a subterranean termite swarm, you may call four different pest management companies and receive four completely different treatment recommendations.

Due to years of experience and ongoing training, Fowler and Sons relies on two different treatment methods of Subterranean termites here on Cape Cod. After performing a thorough inspection on your home, our inspector will recommend which treatment is best for your home and particular infestation.

Liquid Termiticide Treatment

Liquid termiticides are usually applied completely around and underneath a structure covering all areas where termites might gain access. For new construction, this is accomplished by treating the graded soil and foundation walls before the slab is poured. For an existing building, the perimeter of the foundation is trenched and drilled, then treated with termiticide. The goal of the treatment is to put a chemical blanket between the termites in the soil and the structure above. If there are termites in the building, at the time of chemical soil treatment, they cannot safely return to their central colony nest through the chemically treated soil. Termites are compelled to return every few days to their central colony nest in the ground to obtain moisture essential for their survival and to feed and groom the nymphs (young termites), the king, queen and other termites. If there are termites in the building, at the time of chemical soil treatment, they cannot safely return to their central colony nest through the chemically treated soil. Termites are compelled to return every few days to their central colony nest in the ground to obtain moisture essential for their survival and to feed and groom the nymphs (young termites), the king, queen and other termites.In many cases, these termites will die of dehydration.

The installation of a chemical soil barrier requires expert knowledge and specialized equipment to form a complete and continuous barrier to protect the building from a termite entry and infestation - as illustrated below:

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Trench and treat soil around external concrete slab edge - a common termite entry point

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Trench and treat soil around walls and piers in the sub-floor area

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Use rod injection to treat soil along and around the external perimeter area of the building

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Drill concrete floor along all expansion joints and cracks, and treat soil thereunder

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Drill concrete floor around pipes and treat soil thereunder

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Drill concrete patio areas and treat soil area therein - a high risk termite nest location


Subterranean Termite Baiting System

Termite baiting takes a very different approach to subterranean termite control than liquid termiticide application. Instead of attempting to protect a structure by creating a chemical blanket between the building and the termites, baiting targets the termites themselves. Termite baits are designed to suppress or eliminate the termite colony living in the soil.

The first commercial termite baiting system became available in 1995. Since that time, several termite bating systems have been developed. The most widely used bait products are applied very similarly. The initial installation of any baiting system involves plastic stations being inserted into the ground around the periphery of the structure approximately every 10 feet. Inside these stations are untreated wood monitors. The stations are usually inspected at regular intervals for termite activity. If live termites are found in the station, a bait will be placed inside and the infested monitor may or may not be removed. The idea is to get the termites that have been recruited to the wood monitor to now pick up the bait instead. Certain bait products are intended to be used by themselves, while others can be used in combination with a spot applications of liquid termiticide (applied only to areas where termites are active) or a complete liquid treatment.

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The stations are installed flush with the ground, often hidden in your landscaping.

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Termite Bait stations are designed to be opened by licensed professionals using a special tool.

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This bait station shows the upper stage termite inspection cartridge with termite activity

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Once activity is noticed, inspection cartridge is replaced with active bait cartridge

Because the in-ground bait stations are placed outside the structure, they do not directly affect termites that are already foraging inside. To address these inside infestations, certain manufacturers provide above-ground stations. Above-ground stations are basically plastic boxes that contain a paper matrix (bait) laced with the active ingredient (toxicant). The boxes can be attached over a termite mud tube or directly onto infested wood. The termites forage inside the box and consume the paper bait.

Advantages:
  • Baits are very environmentally friendly because there is considerably less active ingredient put into the environment compared to the hundreds of gallons of diluted termiticide used in liquid treatments.
  • Termite baits are ideal for use around structures inhabited by persons with chemical sensitivity.
  • In situations where the infested structure is within 50 feet of a well or 100 feet of a body of water, termite baits may be the only treatment option.
  • Bait installations generally do not require any drilling of the porch, slab, or foundation walls, so there is not damage to the structure.

Disadvantages:
  • There are no means of coaxing termites into stations that are being monitored so it may take months before baiting can begin.
  • Professional baiting systems are generally more expensive than liquid termiticide treatments because of the inspection requirements.
  • Termite baiting systems when used alone do not protect the structure directly. Termites feeding within the structure will continue to do so until the colony is eliminated or they are controlled with an above-ground station.