Doing Termite Baiting Yourself

by Nate on March 26, 2011

Doing Termite Baiting Yourself

We are increasingly becoming a world of people who like to do things ourselves. Whether it’s because we want to save money or just like the satisfaction of taking care of our own things, sometimes we like “getting our hands dirty” and learning how to do new things.

Even termite treatment is possible for the avid do-it-yourselfer. There are a variety of commercial products on the market with professional strength that you can use. They are available in many places, but we suggest you look in a home improvement store to find the best selection.

Termite Baiting

Let’s first take a look at termite baiting. Since this is probably the easiest way to approach do-it-yourself termite control, it seems like a logical place to start. You won’t be working directly with chemicals, so it is probably the safest way to start as well.

Take a quick survey of your property. Draw a rough graph of the home. On this graph…you can show locations of doors, windows, gutter down spouts, air conditioning drains, stumps, firewood, bushes, etc.

As you walk around the perimeter of your home, take note of damp conditions which are conducive to termites caused by shade, poor drainage, air conditioner condensation, etc. Mark these on your graph.

As a rule, you should position bait stations at 8-10 feet intervals. However areas that are conducive to termites such as the following conditions, it would be advisable to have bait positions placed at closer intervals. Mark these on your graph of your property:

• EW- Earthwood contact is where wooden portions of a structure touch soil or are embedded in concrete / flooring allowing undetectable termite access.

• M – Excessive moisture within 3′ of a structure provides water for termites and breaks down any termiticide treatment.

• F- Foliage (trees, shrubs, etc.) within 3 feet of a structure reduces visual access, provides food source and may breach any termitcide barrier via the root system.

• J- Blind joints are areas where two concrete slabs meet and are blocked from visual access by wood or other material. This condition allows undetectable termite entry.

• HT- Hollow tile walls allow undetectable termite access via void chambers.

• S- Stucco siding embedded in the soil or concrete allows undetectable termite access.

• C- Concrete cracks in excess of 1/16″ allow undetectable termite entry.

• W- Wood debris or other cellulose containing material should not abut the structure.

Next, you need to dig holes about 6″ deep. ..big enough for the bait stations. Always be alert for utility wires, water pipes, gas lines, etc.

Distance from the house is not critical, but installing them 1-2 feet from the foundation would be a good choice. This is to avoid placing the bait in soil that may have been previously treated with termiticides.

You certainly wouldn’t want to apply insecticides of any type directly to the ground in which bait stations have been inserted after you’ve gone to the trouble of avoiding likely termiticide-treated dirt when you installed the stations.

When backfilling the dirt after the station is placed in the ground, make sure there are no air pockets around the bait stations. Also, make sure the lip of the station is flush with the ground.

Make sure to mark the location of the bait stations on your graph or use small surveyor’s flags or some other method of determining the placements of the bait stations. Several months from now, they will be more difficult to find than you might think.

Once installed, the bait stations should be monitored every 3 months. Monitoring more frequently than this, only serves to disturb the termites.

If termite mud tubes or live termites are found in a bait station, then the wood monitor-replacement stakes (Firstline and HexPro) or the inspection cartridges (Advance) should be replaced with the active ingredient or the toxicants.

It may be impossible to tell if you have eliminated a colony, but when the termites cease feeding, that is a positive sign of control and elimination.

Once feeding has ceased you should return the untreated wooden replacement monitors to the bait stations, then monitor as before.

Each time you have finished checking your bait stations, you should also inspect your house for signs of termite activity as we mentioned before: peeling paint, mud tubes or rotting wood could be related to a termite problem.

Since termites work from the ground up, make sure that door frames, siding, or and wood close to the ground is checked thoroughly and frequently. If you have any doubts about whether you have found active termites, you really should call a licensed pest control company and have them inspect your home.

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