Termite prevention, pest control and treatment is not an affordable service. Likewise, there is no guarantee that termite infestation will never recur after the treatment. The termite removal treatment can cost you an average of $500 annually and can go up to $2,500 depending on the coverage and lot area, however, this does not mean that when you notice signs of termites you should not act!
Unfortunately, there is no insurance coverage for termite infestation and removal. Yet, the effects of termite damage are quite similar to fire damage. It will not only compromise the stability of your home, but it can also inflict loss of assets, so the best way to prevent termites is by using advanced termite bait stations.
But, there is an alternative way to prevent the threat of damage termites can bring to your home. This procedure is used by professional termite exterminators themselves as an alternative barrier treatment. Termite baiting systems are easy to find and install tools in the perimeter of your house. It will target termites at large which scout for food source.
Termites follow a caste system where each termite has a role to fulfill. Worker termites are the ones we often see that swarm a location during infestation. They find, gather food and feed the rest of the termites in the colony by eating, digesting and producing food for other termites in the process called Trophallaxis.
In this rationale behind baiting systems, it is a smart way to eliminate the whole colony by targetting what feeds them. By exterminating the worker termites, the rest of the colony will starve to death. Likewise, if poison is in their food, it will be transferred to other termites as well.
Why Should I Use Termite Baiting Stations?
1. It is suitable for prevention
All bait systems start as a termite monitoring tool. When you install your termite baiting stations, it may come with dry wooden structures or cardboard which are food attractants and a monitoring cartridge.
These monitoring baits will attract foraging termites away from your home. Termites eating your monitoring cartridge signals you to an impending danger. Immediately replace it with a liquid termicide chemical and exterminate them even before they infest.
2. It can kill an entire colony
Since worker termites are your targets in termite baiting, the poison in the cartridge usually has a suspended-release effect. Termites are not killed effectively in an instance, but they are allowed to reach their colonies to transfer food and poison to the rest of the population.
This can significantly reduce the number of termites in a colony and the absence of worker termites to feed them will eventually lead to the death of the remaining termites.
3. It is a long-term monitoring solution
Termite baiting stations can be used to prevent termites for as long as they are in good physical condition. It is designed to be leveled on the ground and it is lawn mower-proofed.
Spending $200 to $300 annually for baits and poison refills is still cheaper than spending $500 and up for termite pest control services for monitoring purposes. Likewise, bait stations can be used for a minimum of 1 year and the cartridges for 60 to 90 days at least.
4. It does not need professional pest intervention
Termite bait systems are easy to install and manage. You can do a quick do-it-yourself termite prevention, control and treatment. Generally, termite baits follow this 4-step installation method:
- Draw a map of the perimeter of your house. Mark spots where you will place your bait stations. It should be 2 to 4 ft. away from the foundation walls and dripline. It should also be 10-feet apart from each other.
- Dig holes according to the package instructions. Baits range from stakes to the regular bait stations, where stakes are slimmer. Take note of the required clearance from the bait to the bottom of the hole to allow water to flow and to keep the bait from getting soaked. Some brands come with an auger but it is always better to have your own tools ready.
- Monitor bait stations 60 days from installation. Checking the baits during this period will alert you whether there is an active termite activity underground. By this time, nearby termites should have already located your bait and made it a part of their food sources.
- If there are no signs of termite activity. You may come back and check your bait monitor after 90 to 120 days.
- Replace the monitoring cartridge as soon as a termite activity is confirmed. Within 30 to 90 days, termites should be trapped in the monitoring cartridge and it should immediately prompt you to put the poison cartridge to start with the treatment.
If there is no confirmed activity, you should still replace the monitoring cartridge with a regular cartridge after 90 days or as prescribed in the package.
5. It is affordable
Termite bait stations will probably cost $200 initially. But the refills that you will get thereafter is much cheaper at around $15-$100 per bundle. It might also be overwhelming to buy refills and digging tools separately but looking at the long-term cost, this proves to be a more practical investment.
The How’s of Termite Baiting
It is sometimes hard to manage expectations when reading and watching product reviews. A buying guide without prejudice to any product is an unbiased way to arrive at an informed decision. Here’s how termite baiting works :
1. How does it work?
Termite baits target any type of termite but most especially subterranean termites. These species are the most dangerous due to the extent of damage they can cause. They can start feeding off wood piles or stumps around your house or source food from underground up without you knowing it.
When bait stations are installed, it can become part of the termites’ network of food sources and can be a part of their whole colony. Starting off with the bait monitor which are normally dry wood or food attractant will drive more worker termites in the stations until such time that the monitors are replaced with poison cartridges.
Poison cartridges must be continuously replaced until it gets cleared of termites. Only then can you put back a bait monitor and start over the process.
Likewise, it is also important to note that termite baits will not work on current infestations at home. It is both a preventive measure and a renewal monitor and it can supplement termite control being done inside your home.
2. How long does it take to see the effect?
Reading and watching user reviews might pre-empt your decision to buy termite bait systems. The key ingredient to make this system work is patience. It is not an overnight solution for termites. It takes time to attract termites and to kill them.
Even professional termite exterminator companies which offer baiting services have a 6-month baiting guarantee. And monitoring continues up to 24 months.
3. How long do I need to keep the termite baits?
If after 12 months you have not monitored any, it is safe to say that your home is still termite free but that should not stop you from using the termite baits. These baits should serve as your perimeter protection against termites which might swarm your property soon.
4. How is it different from professional termite control and treatment?
There are many factors to consider in answering this question. But knowing these can help you manage your expectations about termite bait systems:
a. Are you sure there are no existing termites inside your home?
If yes, then termite baits can be your standalone termite solution. If you are not sure, you might as well install termite baits as you get in touch with professional termite exterminators.
Unlike professional exterminators, termite bait stations cannot instantly eliminate termites in your house. However, it offers zero-downtime and does not require too much effort in removing and putting back your furniture.
b. Are you in willing to do DIY termite prevention and control?
One-time installation and periodic checks will require time and effort and if you’re up for it, then bait stations are for you. If you have an existing infestation, termite exterminators will likely offer you bait stations in the perimeter of your home aside from the in-home treatment. DIY can save you a lot.
c. Are you looking at a specific budget?
Both options are not cheap and termite treatment is never really cheap. But if you are willing to spend more than $500 dollars per year, go with the pro. Otherwise, DIY at a little over $200 is worth a try.
Termite baits do not need an advanced fixer-upper knowledge to install. In fact, every property with a non-concrete perimeter that meets the rest of the requirements can take advantage of the ease and protection it can offer.
The use of termite baiting systems is a promising and practical termite management and control tool. There is no question about its efficacy as professional exterminators use it as a supplementary treatment for the perimeter of the house.
The decision to give it a try might rely on various factors. Bait users can cite many reasons why it did not work for them. But proper installation and monitoring is the surefire way why it works for other people.
Wondering what termite bait systems will work for you? Check out Best Termite Bait Stations In 2019 for a comparative guide.