Not all termite treatments are created equally. When researching how to prevent or get rid of a termite infestation, you may come across some approaches that are ineffective or just plain wrong. To make matters worse, using an ineffective treatment will give termites in your home more opportunity to cause damage that an effective treatment could prevent.
Before you start your battle with termites, here are five methods you should avoid to save you money and get the most out of your treatment.
1. Spot Treatment
A common mistake many homeowners make when attempting to eliminate a termite infestation is to treat only certain spots in their homes. Certain areas may seem more prone to infestation than others, but if you focus only on treating specific spots, you leave the rest of your home vulnerable.
This is particularly true of homeowners that have seen evidence of an infestation in some areas of their homes but not others. Just because you don't see evidence of termites in other parts of the home doesn't mean they aren't there.
In fact, when you treat an area that is already decaying due to termites, survivors will will look for refuge in other, safe areas. DIY spot treating could inadvertently spread the infestation, rather than contain it.
As a rule of thumb, if termites are found anywhere in your home, assume they have already spread to other parts of your house as well.
2. One-time Treatment
Another common mistake many homeowners make when dealing with termites is having a single treatment done and concluding that the problem is solved.
Though most of the termites present will be killed after the first major treatment, there is always the chance that survivors will, especially eggs and nymphs. Even the most powerful treatment methods may not kill all of the the termites on your property in one go.
To ensure that there are no surviving pests that could rebuild the population and cause more damage to your property, be sure to continually inspect your entire home for evidence of termites. Likewise, consider having a professional pest control firm search all throughout your home for any signs of continued infestation.
3. Termite Bombs/Foggers
You can find a "bug bomb," or fogger, in many hardware stores and supermarkets. These bug bombs promise to handle your termite problem quickly and easily, but are rarely sufficient to handle a termite infestation on their own.
Bug bombs usually consist of liquid insecticide in a pressurized aerosol can. Upon activation, insecticide is sprayed into the air and falls to the ground, killing any bugs unfortunate enough to be caught underneath it.
However, these bombs only cover the one room they're placed in, and the insecticide used does not penetrate wood or other surfaces. In the end, this means that bug bombs can kill some termites on the surface but cannot reach them where they're most heavily concentrated: the nest.
Bug bombs also suffer another flaw: they kill more than just termites. The chemicals in these products can be just as dangerous to humans and pets as the bugs they target, and in large concentration, can even pose an explosive hazard.
Most professionals recommend consumers steer clear from using foggers to treat for termites due to their ineffectiveness and the dangers they may pose to people and animals alike.
On a number of different internet sites and forums, there is a lot of talk about using "Beneficial Nematodes" to kill an entire termite population. Unlike previous examples, this treatment method WILL kill a large number of termites if done correctly.
However, while nematodes have the ability to decimate a large percentage of a termite population, there is no proof that this treatment method will have a 100% rate of effectiveness. While they can be a big help, trying to eliminate an infestation with nematodes alone runs the risk of leaving termites alive to repopulate.
If you are considering using nematodes on your home, consult with a pest control specialist first.
5. Sunlight Treatment
Some sources will tell you to relocate individual termite-infested furniture and wooden objects outside, where they can bask in the sun for a few hot days and kill any termites inside them.
While this method is helpful, like nematodes, sunlight treatment alone will not be sufficient to eliminate a termite infestation entirely. Termites in your furniture will die, but the ones tunneling under and inside your home will be unaffected.
To make matters worse, sunlight treatment might not even have a long-term effect on individual pieces of furniture. The termites inside will be killed, but if it's placed back in its original location, the piece of furniture will inevitably come under attack again in the future.
While using a sunlight treatment will kill termites, you'll end up making little to no real, long-term progress in eliminating the infestation entirely. While it can be a useful method to consider, homeowners will need to use more than just a sunlight treatment if they want their termite problem gone for good.
Remember: As a general rule, try to avoid termite treatment methods that are aimed at killing termites in just one location or area of your home. It does little good to rid one area of termites while leaving the rest of your home vulnerable to an attack.
As with many DIY projects, there are many termite treatment methods across the web that simply do not work. Termites can cause catastrophic damage to your home and belongings if not handled properly, and if you want them gone permanently, you'll need to seek out a professional.
For more information about termites, the damage they cause, and warning signs to be on the lookout for, download our free informative Ebook, The Termite Lifecycle, and protect your home today.
If you happen to need termite management services, don't hesitate to give us a call today!