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Termite Control


For most homeowners, their home is their biggest investment. For that reason, they get very upset when they think termites might be attacking their home. There are above ground termites that are called drywood termites. The drywood termites are found on almost areas urban and rural.

The most common termites live underground. These are called subterranean termites. Subterranean termites are found in every province. The subterranean termites invade most often and cause the most damage.

Every year people spend thousands of pesos to treat termites and to repair the damage that they cause. Most of the expense is for treatment of subterranean termites. A few homeowners do the treatments themselves, but most rely on a pest control professional.

Residential termite control can be challenging. Termites can squeeze through very thin cracks. This enables them to enter homes through cracks in the slab or the foundation.

Termites invade homes in hard–to–reach places. They have been found traveling between the foundation and the brick veneer. They have also been found moving behind stucco that was applied to the outside of a home.

Termites often enter through an expansion joint — where two slabs meet. If the termites can hide inside of a wall or under a carpet, they can cause extensive damage before they are noticed.

Residential termite control is often done to prevent termites from invading. Many treatments are necessary to eliminate termites that have already attacked the home. Treatments are most commonly done with liquid termiticide or termite bait. These tools can be used separately or they can be combined in the same treatment.

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Although there are several types of termites in the Philippines, subterranean termites are most common. They are found in every province. They attack more homes and cause more damage than the other types of termites. Because of this, most termite control using termiticides is done to stop subterranean termites.

Subterranean termites live in the soil. In nature they attack dead trees and stumps that are near the surface of the soil. They attack homes by moving up into the structure and eating the wood, cardboard, and paper products that they find. Termite control using termiticides creates a barrier in the soil to keep the termites from reaching the home or other protected structure.

Since the 1980’s, scientists have found a variety of new termiticides. The new products kill or repel termites more effectively than the old petroleum–based products. Some of the new termiticides are very repellant to termites. When the termites detect the termiticide in the soil, they turn away.

Other termiticides are non–repellant. The termites move through the treated soil without detecting the termiticide. The termites pick up some of the termiticide on their bodies. As they move around in the colony, the affected termites pass the termiticide to their nest mates by physical contact in the colony.

The termiticide barrier in the soil keeps the termites out of the home. The barrier must be applied uniformly so there are no gaps. It is important to be sure that there is the same amount of termiticide in the soil all around the structure. If the barrier has gaps, termites can squeeze through and enter the building.

Around the exterior of the building, a shallow trench is usually dug next to the foundation. The trench is seldom more than a few inches wide. The purpose of the trench is to hold the liquid termiticide and prevent runoff.

If the footer of the foundation is close to the surface of the soil, the treatment only requires putting the liquid termiticide into the trench. The termiticide label prescribes the amount of termiticide that is applied. If the footer is deep in the soil, the technician injects the termiticide into the soil with a hollow rod until it reaches the footer.

Houses with crawl spaces would normally be treated underneath the crawl space. The trenching and treatment process in the crawl space is similar to the outside treatment. All of the piers are treated in the same way.

Many homes have concrete slabs against the foundation. These are often porches, patios, and garages. In these cases, the technician drills holes in the concrete. Termiticide is injected into the holes to form a barrier next to the foundation. The holes are plugged and sealed with concrete after the treatment.

If the foundation wall is made of bricks or concrete blocks, it is often necessary to drill holes into the blocks to allow treatment. A small amount of termiticide is injected into the holes to treat the void spaces inside the blocks.

Homes that are built on concrete slabs have openings in the slab for pipes to enter. The termiticide must be applied under the concrete near all of these openings. The technician drills a hole in the concrete near each pipe penetration. After treating each hole with termiticide, the technician plugs the holes and patches them with concrete.

It is common to use a foam–generating machine for treating these pipe penetrations. The machine changes the liquid termiticide into foam. The foam spreads under the concrete and helps ensure that there is a complete barrier around each pipe.


The termite–baiting program is designed to intercept termites outside the home. The program’s objective is to eliminate termites before they get to the home and attack it.

There are several different termite–baiting systems available. Some systems are available at home or garden stores. Other systems are available from pest control professionals. They use different active ingredients and different types of stations. However, the principles are similar in many respects.

The process starts with the installation of the stations in the ground. Termites forage at random in the soil, so the stations are spaced around the outside of the home so that the termites will be likely to find them. It is normal for extra stations to be installed in areas where termites would be likely to go. Stations are often placed near woodpiles, in shady areas, and near downspouts.

During the installation, the technician makes holes in the soil with an auger. The stations are pushed down so the tops are level with the top of the soil. Most stations have a clear lid or a removable lid. This allows the stations to be inspected without removing them from the soil.

In most systems, the stations contain untreated wood. The wood serves as a monitoring device. When termites find a station, they will begin to eat the wood.

The stations are checked on a regular schedule. The frequency depends n the location and the time of the year. Along the Gulf Coast, stations might be checked weekly or twice each month during the spring and summer In the Northern states, stations might not be checked at all during the winter.

When termites are found in a station, a bait device is placed in the station. The device usually contains cardboard or paper. The cellulose material is treated with an active ingredient. The termites eat the treated cellulose and ingest the active ingredient.

As termites travel back to the nest, they share the active ingredient with their nest mates. In this way, the bait program can eliminate many of the termites. In some tests, the bait eliminated the entire termite colony.

As long as termites are feeding in the station, the bait must be kept full and fresh. When the termite activity is finished, the bait device is removed. Wood monitors are replaced in the station and the monitoring schedule resumes.

At the time of the installation, some systems can be combined with a liquid termiticide treatment. This helps eliminate active termite infestations. In these cases, the monitors are installed to start keeping out any future infestations.

Liquid termiticide is used to form a barrier in the soil against the termites. Depending on the home’s construction, liquid termiticide can be applied into the soil beside the foundation. This might be done outside and in the crawl space. Treatment of slab homes often includes drilling holes in the concrete to protect cracks or expansion joints.

Termiticide might also be applied in areas where plumbing pipes enter the home. Some of these treatments might be made with a machine that turns the termiticide to foam. This helps the termiticide spread to the places where it is needed.

Termite baits are usually applied in the ground around a home. In most bait systems, the stations initially contain un–treated wood. The stations are spaced to improve the chances of termites finding them. They are also placed in areas that are likely termite targets — near stumps, woodpiles, or downspouts.

When termites attack a station, the wood inside is replaced with a material that is toxic to termites. The termites eat the material and share it with their nest–mates. This process can eliminate many of the termites. Sometimes the entire colony can be eliminated.

Homeowners can help prevent termites from attacking their home. A careful inspection can reveal conditions that might give termites an easy entryway. . Wooden structural members that extend into the ground can give termites an entryway to the home. Siding or stucco that extends into the soil can also enable termites to invade.

Mulch in flowerbeds can make the area comfortable for termites. Many experts recommend raking mulch 12″ away from the foundation. Firewood piles should be raised off of the ground and stored as far from the house as possible. Soil in flowerbeds that is higher than the home’s slab can also give termites an easy entrance to the home.

Many homeowners call a pest control professional for a termite inspection. During the inspection process, these experts can point out maintenance or structural issues that might make the home more attractive to termites. Correcting or changing these conditions can help prevent termites from attacking the home.

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