So now you have to pick what type of treatment to use to kill the termites that are eating your home. Lots of decisions, questions and concerns. I’m going to break this down into a few simple groups. I’m going to focus on three types of treatments that most everyone has heard of and company’s use. Yes there are more but this is about results not cool ways of destroying your home. All of these opinions are mine. No one pays me to lean more towards their product then another. I like what works the best and what stands up to my high standards.
Baiting is marketed as a green treatment. All those who are worried about chemicals being injected into the ground run to this… At first. Most run away after using it. I was involved with the testing before this went mainstream many moons ago. The idea is good. To have a wood rod in the ground 24/7 waiting for termites to attack it. Here is the problem. Let’s just say that we live in a perfect world and your exterminator will check each one of your stations each time they come out. Well if termites are in one of these stations, the only way to tell is to pull it out of the ground. Now, what you see are termites, damaged wood and a happy exterminator who feels like they just caught a big fish. What you don’t see is the termite solider a still in the soil sealing up the tunnels to the wood station and marking it with a chemical pheromone telling all termites to avoid this area. The exterminator then puts a bait material into the hole where the termites were. A month or so later the exterminator returns and pulls it back out and no termites. They say see it worked the termites are all gone. You both hug and go about your lives as if everything is okay. Meanwhile, back in reality the termites are still there and still eating your home. Now some may say that they have seen the termites eating the bait system and it does work. Okay let’s go there. I’m sure that the bait does work in the lab. I’m sure that there are cases out there that it has somehow worked. Dow, the company that makes sentricon the leading bait sold in America internally admits that it’s only effective 3% of the time used in the field. They never release any data to the public ever. I just went to a training seminar last month for BASF. They have a new bait that they are pushing. There data states that 1-termite eating termite bait of any kind can kill up to 20 other termites. Not bad. The material I use, 1- termite kills 50,000. BASF also said if live termites are found inside or outside, that a liquid treatment should be performed immediately. Well if the bait is so good why not let it do its job. The answer is because it won’t. Ants are a big issue for bait stations. Ants eat termites. Ants live in termite bait stations. Termites won’t go into them if ants are in them. Most exterminators don’t understand the biology of the ant and think if they treat for the ants outside or next to the station the ants will go away. The issue is ants will bring the treatment back to the station where they live. Now the station is repelling the termites. Every year I have new customers that beg me to remove the bait system they have and solve their problem. Look it’s your home do what you want but this is not the way to go about a termite solution. It’s not even the safest treatment out there. The signal word “Caution” is on the label. You have to wear gloves to handle it. It can cause serious health issue If not used properly. Average cost for a single family home is $1800 plus yearly maintenance fees. This system requires high maintenance and someone who isn’t lazy monitoring them.
Repellents are those smelly nasty chemicals we all remember as a kid. They are injected into the ground and holes are drilled into your walls and floors. Believe it or not this is still done today by many companies. It’s cheap. The theory is that the material gives off an offensive odor which the termites don’t like. They are supposed to leave that area. The problem is, that no one knows what’s in the ground. There may be a rock underground that redirects the material away from the area of concern. Clay soil is tough on this. Experience and research has shown that termites can actually bridge the barrier by bring in untreated soil to form a bridge through the repellent. Termites can get in a crack the size of the thickness of a piece of paper. You have to be perfect 100% every time with this stuff. It stinks and kills everything like fish, bees, birds etc. It only lasts a few years at best and you never address the actual termite colony. It just pushes them back for a little while until it wears out. Average cost for a single home is $700.00. A lot of fly by night companies use this. Buyer beware!!!
Now we’re are getting into the professional stuff. The idea behind non repellents is that the termites don’t know it’s there. You don’t have to be perfect in the application, meaning rocks that you can’t see, don’t matter. There are only two non-repellents that are worth talking about. Altriset and Termidor. Period. The rest have issues. This is where you want to be unless you are a termite. Termidor is fantastic if applied the right way. Most and I mean most company’s use the lower rate of 0.06%. That’s fine but I never understood why. The customer is paying for a really good treatment, why not use 0.125% and give them what they are paying for and the results are 100% at this rate (I know why they don’t $$$). Termidor is your best choice if you have a company that understands how it works and has a dedicated system to apply it and I would demand 0.125% all the way around your home. Anything less is cutting corners. The great thing about Termidor is that it kills ants like nothing else. If you have termites and ants this is your material! Another non-repellents that has change the termite industry is Altriset. If you are a person concerned about the environment or the materials that go around your home, well this is for you. I use this for people who are really concerned about chemicals or a termite situation that is so bad that it requires immediate results. Altriset Attucks the enzymes found in the muscles of termites only. Nothing else. Nothing. You can spill it in the bay and nothing will happen. It won’t harm fish, birds, bees, earthworms or any other living thing. Only termites. These guys a DuPont really took this to another level. It starts to work in two hours, yes I said two hours. If you have termites eating your home and you want it to stop today this is the material for you. Notice it doesn’t even have a signal word on the label. It doesn’t need any precautionary statements. This is the only termiticide that can do this. Both non repellents come with a ten year manufacturer’s warranty. You should still have an annual warranty with your exterminator. Average cost for a single family home for Termidor is $2200.00 and for Altriset $2700.00.
This has been me being very straight forward with you. I’ve been doing this for a while and have seen a lot. I have never seen a poor company do a poor job cheaply and it solve a termite problem. Cut corners try to save and you get what you pay for. This isn’t the place to go cheap, it’s your home. I hope this helps one person then I will be happy. If you disagree with me, great good luck I’ll see you soon.
Bryan W. Guderjohn
ATC Termite & Pest Control – CEO