There are multiple techniques for termite control available in New Jersey, prostate Liquid Perimeter Treatments and Baiting Systems being the main choices for a homeowner or Pest Control Professional. Based on experience or preference, companies may rely on either of these techniques or offer both types of control at the customer’s discretion. Each system has its advantages and disadvantages, so let’s look at them a little more in depth.
Liquid Perimeter Treatments rely on thorough and intensive applications of liquid termiticide around the entire structure and can be indoors as well, depending on the severity of the infestation. Depending on the product used, applications must be uniformly spaced and usually 12-24 inches around the entire structure. In both field tests and real world application, Liquid Perimeter
Treatments are very effective when executed properly with some companies reporting approximately a 99.3% success rates a year after treatment. The biggest downside of these liquid applications is the invasiveness of the initial application. Sometimes alleyways or driveways need to be drilled to be treated properly and the scaring from the drilling can be noticeable. In urban areas like Hudson County or parts of Essex County, all four exterior walls might need to be drilled for proper treatment.
Baiting Systems were introduced in the 1990’s and have been a valuable tool in our industry for both prevention and control ever since. The idea behind Baiting Systems is to place bait stations, or sometimes non-toxic monitors only, around the exterior of a building in the hopes of intercepting termite colonies before they reach the home. In control situations, baits will be placed in areas adjacent to termite activity in the hope that the termite colony infesting the building will begin to attack and consume the baits as well. While installation and maintenance of a Baiting System is easier than a full liquid treatment, there have been some questions as to their effectiveness. For instance, most baiting systems cannot be used inside a home and some situations would require a liquid treatment regardless. There have also been concerns over colonies finding these bait stations and utilizing them for food; sometimes termites can be finicky eaters and might be unwilling to change food sources to a bait station.
There are two important factors when determining whether to use Baits or Liquids, one being Environment, the other Activity Level.
Different products work differently in different environments. One of the greatest advantages of Liquid Perimeter applications is how adaptable they are to different environments. Liquid applications can be customized to any almost any structure and applied both inside and out. There are also liquid foam products that can be injected under pressure to apply termiticide to void spaces. This versatility is a powerful tool when dealing with significant termite activity or in urban areas. Baits can be limited by their areas of placement or access to the stations themselves, depending on landscaping.
The next question a pest control professional must address is whether it is an active infestation or a preventative application. Due to the intensiveness of a liquid application, Baiting Systems can be an excellent step in the prevention of termites, allowing the possibility of controlling the termite colony before it attacks the structure. When thinking termite prevention, baits are an excellent choice.
There are a few secondary issues that should be discussed before we close the conversation. Recently, information released by the University of Tennessee has shown that termite colonies may not operate in the ways we once thought. In a survey of dozens of home sites researchers found some alarming facts. Most importantly, homes that had termite activity had between two and three (2.7 to be exact) areas of termite activity, some of which may be hidden behind walls. Secondarily (and perhaps more alarming) was the number of different colonies found on a single piece of property. Through DNA studies, researchers found no fewer than 10 different colonies on each affected home site with one home site hosting 38 different colonies!! The number and complexity of termite colonies and their interaction makes colony specific control methods like Baiting Systems a questionable choice. For instance, if a home has three areas of termite activity inside the home and ten colonies on the property, how can we make sure the colony feeding on the Bait Station outside is one of the three doing damage in the house? It’s a very tough choice, and certainly nothing you as a homeowner want to chance.
A quality termite control company will custom tailor their response to your activity level, environment and expectations. It always helps if the technician is a Certified Wood Destroying Insect Inspector as opposed to a general pest control operator. Certified WDI Inspectors have more training and experience than your run-of-the-mill tech and will be able to weigh options and offer control programs more effectively.
If you do require a termite treatment, make sure that you are getting a multi-year warranty!! Termites can be a perennial or ongoing problem, DO NOT settle for a short term (one year or less) warranty, there just isn’t enough time to gauge the success of the initial treatment. The warranty should be for two years or more and be included with the initial price. Annual renewals for termite warranties are available from most companies but they shouldn’t start right away. Make sure your company stands behind their initial application for more than one year without any additional charges.
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