Termite infestation of the house may prove dangerous, as the insects can destroy the whole construction, if not eliminated on time. Any delay in termite extermination may result in more damage. So it is always better to go for termite treatment, as soon as you notice signs of infestation. Here are some tips for eliminating termites at the earliest.
Identify the Termite
Once you notice signs of termite infestation in your house, the first and foremost task is to identify the type of termite. There are many types, like drywood, subterranean and dampwood termites.
The most common types of termites that cause damage to man-made constructions are drywood and subterranean ones. Identifying the termite species is important, as the treatment measures may not be the same for all.
Drywood termite infestation can be identified by their fecal pellets, which resemble sawdust. This is one of the initial signs of drywood termite infestation, and these fecal pellets are often found on or near window sills or other wooden structures.
Drywood termites are commonly found in attics, and can spread fast throughout the house, thereby causing damage to the construction. If you notice mud tubes or tunnels made by termites, near the basement or the walls, you can make sure that the house is infested with subterranean termites.
They require moisture for survival, and are mostly found underground, or in damp locations. As compared to subterranean termites, drywood ones are larger. Usually, dampwood termites are not seen in homes as they infest moist wood.
Choose the Right Treatment
When it comes to termite treatment measures, there are different options. Choose the right method, which can terminate the specific type of termite, which has infested your house. You may opt for liquid treatments, fumigation, termite baits, and borate.
Even though, all types of liquid pesticides are not meant for do-it-yourself termite treatment, there are certain types, which can be used for this purpose. Otherwise known as termiticides, liquid pesticides for termite control are of two types - repellent and non-repellent.
While the former prevents entry of termites into your house, the latter kills the termites, which have already infested the house. Termiticides are pumped into the ground around the house and into the cracks in the building.
Most of the older products are not used anymore, as they can contaminate water supplies or deposits, because they stay in the ground for years. However, termiticides are cheaper, as compared to other methods. Always go for products that are safe for the environment.
Termite baits do not cause chemical contamination. This newer method is not only more effective and safe, but is also expensive. Bait systems consist of several plastic stakes, which are inserted into the ground at various points near the house. Each stake contains growth inhibitors that result in eventual death of termites.
These baits work slow and is not suitable for a house which needs immediate termite extermination. Moreover, most of these products are meant to be used by professionals. You may find a few brands that can be used for do-it-yourself termite treatment.
This is considered an effective method for getting rid of termites, but is more popular as a preventive measure. In this method, sodium borate mixed with water is applied on all wooden surfaces.
The course of action of sodium borate is as follows. The digestive tract of termites have protozoa, which break down the wood into nutrients, which are digested by the termites. When sodium borate is ingested by termites, these protozoa are killed and the termites starve to death, as they cannot digest wood.
However, there are drawbacks in this method too. It is impractical to cover all the wooden surfaces, once the house is built. So, this method can be adopted by those people, who are constructing a house.
Unlike other methods, fumigation is mostly used to combat drywood termite, but it is better done by a professional, than a layman. Some people go for fumigation as a do-it-yourself method for termite extermination. Here, professional help is needed to install gas lines, as the method involves use of concentrated gas (sulfuryl fluoride and methyl bromide).
Do-it-yourself termite treatment methods are good for saving money. However, follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully, while using termite-control products. Proper safety measures have to be taken, to avoid harm to yourself, other inhabitants, pets and other animals.