Termites are pests that cause billions of dollars in damage by feeding on wood inside and outside the home, insulation, swimming pool liners, and filtration systems. Homeowners often discover the presence of termites by seeing the winged version of the pest trying to escape the home around windows and doors. Once termites are discovered, you have a variety of options, but the best option for effectively getting rid of termites is to hire a professional pest control company.
DIY Options for Removing Termites
Large-scale termite infestations are best handled by professional pest control companies who have special knowledge about building construction, the tools necessary to complete the job, and handling chemicals. The only time a DIY option might be the solution is if you are dealing with a small infestation on a wooden object not connected to the house, such as a sandbox pit or mailbox post. In this instance, one option is to spray a piece of wood or cardboard with boric acid, and then place the trap where the termites have infested.
Selecting a Professional Pest Control Company
Before meeting with a pest control company, make sure the company is certified by the Department of Agriculture or a relevant organization at the state level. Search for pest control companies in your area and find reviews from other homeowners who have made use of a company’s services. If you require pest control services in Phoenix, AZ, for example, search online for reputable companies with highly rated services. Once you have two or three companies that seem reliable and professional, have each one come out for an inspection and estimate to help you choose.
Treatment Methods Used by Pest Control Companies
One type of treatment for termite infestation is using liquid chemicals in the soil to set up a barrier between the home and soil. This prevents any termites in the soil from reaching the home or building structure, while causing termites in the housing structure to die off, since they cannot return to the soil. There are two different types of termiticides a company can use: repellent and non-repellent. The non-repellent termiticides, including Termidor, Phantom and Premise, kill the termites and are usually better at getting rid of termites in the first treatment. However, repellent termiticides can be effective as well, and a company should not be dismissed simply based on the product its technicians use.
Another treatment option used by pest control companies is baiting the termites with paper, cardboard or wood treated with a slow-acting chemical that kills termites. The baits are placed under ground or inside over an active termite nest. Since termites forage for food and bring it back to their nests, the chemical gradually spreads among the termites, reducing their population.
Extreme Cases of Termite Infestation
For termite infestations that cannot be contained by liquid soil treatment or baiting, companies usually recommend fumigation of your home. In this case, the house is sealed with a tarp and termiticides are pumped into the home in the form of a gas. Large fans push the gases around the home to ensure the termiticide penetrates every surface.
An alternative to chemical fumigation is heat fumigation, where hot air is pumped into the building structure. Once the temperature is raised to 120 degrees for 35 minutes, the termites begin to die. The negative of this treatment is the hot air may damage household items.
Termite infestation is a problem best left to the professionals. Special tools and dangerous chemicals are required to get the termite population under control. Once termites are present in your home, they can cause large amounts of damage inside and outside.