A termite infestation can cause severe damage to a home, often without the owner even seeing it or being aware of what's happening. Termites leave little trace when they invade, making them even more difficult than to remove than most other pests. As a homeowner, your best bet is always to prevent them from getting in, but the process can be more complex than you might expect.
For many homeowners facing a termite infestation, it can be tempting to try to solve the problem yourself, saving you money that would otherwise go to a professional exterminator.
However, there are a number of challenges that can prevent homeowners from successfully identifying the source of an infestation and exterminating it on their own. To make matters worse, a colony that isn't 100% eliminated can quickly recover and cause even more problems. Eventually, the cost of repairs will far surpass the price of a professional exterminator.
So why should these problems be left up to a professional?
DIY Barrier Treatment Is Costly and Difficult
Barrier treatment is the process of creating an insecticide barrier around the home, and is one of the primary method of preventing termites entry to your home. This barrier is created by injecting insecticides into the ground underneath the home's foundations and around the perimeter of the home.
In ideal circumstances, the barrier kills termites already in close proximity to the house and prevents new ones from getting in. Unfortunately, creating an effective barrier requires concrete drills, insecticide injection devices, and other specialized equipment that can significantly drive up costs.
To make matters worse, the process itself can be difficult, even dangerous. Certain insecticides can have unpredictable side-effects, and can even be harmful to pets and children. On the other hand, some insecticides won't be potent enough to fully eliminate the problem.
While do-it-yourself termite barriers can help the situation, ultimately you'll want to hire a dedicated pest control specialist. Beyond being able to properly identify the source of the infestation and create an effective barrier to stop termites in their tracks, a professional will also access to the best chemicals to kill the colony without putting wildlife, pets, and family members at risk.
DIY Baits Are Ineffective
Termite baits work by killing off the colony indirectly. Termites will leave the colony in search of cellulose to feed on, find the bait, and bring it back to the colony. The bait is then shared with other termites in the nest, and a slow-acting poison inside kills any termites that eat it.
Baits take more time than sprays or other traditional insecticides, but because the poison inside works slowly, it has a higher chance of being spread throughout the colony and killing more termites. Baits are also easy to find, being supplied at most hardware stores for relatively low price tag.
However, baits are best as a preventative measure: if you are already experiencing an infestation inside your home, baits will be limited in their effectiveness. Baits are also designed to minimize risk in smaller areas, such as a shed or a wood pile, so baits alone won't be enough to fully defend your home.
Part of the reason DIY termite bait systems do not work as well as professional bait systems is because the professionals have access to more effective chemicals. In fact, many chemical companies sell only to pest control professionals, putting the best insecticides out of reach for the typical homeowner.
Beyond access to the best chemicals, a professional will also know the best methods for blending different chemicals to reach maximum effectiveness. Even the product labels on most bait products recommend getting a termite inspection if you suspect there are termites in your home, so your best bet is to leave baiting to a specialist.
Termite Damage Can Be Extensive
When termites invade your home, they can cause a ton of damage that can be extremely costly to repair. If you decide to try and eliminate your termite problem yourself and fail, the damage will be allowed to continue for longer, leaving you with even higher repair costs over time.
As a homeowner, your best bet is to get the job done by a professional before the damage becomes too substantial. Termites are tricky, and can be a challenge even for professionals. Without access to the right knowledge and equipment, you could end up doing more harm to your home than good.
Get the Job Done Right
When facing a termite problem, it can be tempting to just get a spot treatment for the affected area. While these can sometimes be successful, it is almost always better to get your whole home treated. The cost of many spot treatments will add up; why not just get the whole job done at once?
If you're experiencing a termite infestation, or fear you might be, Breda Pest Management is here to help. We'll be able to identify, treat, and eliminate your termite problem for good, and keep them from coming back.
For more information about termites, the damage they cause, and warning signs that homeowners should be on the lookout for to save their homes, download our free Ebook, The Lifecycle of a Termite Colony.