Do It Yourself Termite Extermination
Photo by Aleksey Gnilenkov
Doing termite control by yourself can save you lots of money and it can be effective when implemented properly. However, there are a couple of downsides.
First and most importantly you must be very careful. Do it yourself termite extermination involves using a lot of dangerous and harmful materials, great care for safety must be used and always read the label and instructions. Wear the appropriate gloves, goggles and masks when dealing with these dangerous chemicals. Secondly, it takes time. A pest control company knows what it’s doing as it will have performed the procedures many times before whilst you’re doing this for the first time so you’re going to have to put in a lot more effort understanding the process.
To do termite control properly you need the correct materials and equipment. The best options are to order online or to visit your local DIY store. The three main ways in which you can treat termites by yourself is via chemical applications, termite baiting and natural termite control.
DIY Termite Baiting
If you decide to choose termite baiting then please read the previous as it contains vital information on the different types of systems available.
Termite baiting is probably the easiest way of doing termite control by yourself and it’s also probably the safest because you’re unlikely to be working directly with any of the chemicals. Because of this, if you decide to treat termites by yourself then termite baiting is the best option.
Termite Baiting Preparation
The first step is to do a rough survey of your home and garden, if you have any house plans handy then make a copy of these and use them as your guide. On the map make notes of any of the following: windows, doors, gutter sprouts, air conditioning units, drains, outdoor furniture, firewood, trees, bushes, mulch etc. (include anything that you believe may be at risk to termite infestation).
Then inspect the walls inside and outside your home – taking note of any termite tubes or areas which look damp. I advise using the following letters as a guide when creating the map.
- F – Foliage (bushes and trees) anything that is within 10 feet of your home that could possibly be used by the termites as a food source or to breach the defensive barriers.
- J – Joints, areas where 2 concrete slabs meet and are blocked by wood or any other material as these areas can allow termite entry.
- M – Moisture, any places which have excessive moisture.
- W – Wooden materials, or cellulose containing materials such as firewood that is near your home.
- C – Cracks, any break in the concrete or tiles of the building.
- HT – Hollow Tile walls can be used to by termite as entry points.
- S – Stucco siding used in the ground can also be a termite hazard.
- EW – Any areas that have earth-to-wood contact and allow termites from the ground to enter the home.
Termite Baiting Installation
With the map complete, remove any of the major problems that you have noted (for example any shrubs or bushes right next to your home), however do not fill in any cracks or holes that you have discovered just yet.
First place the in-ground baiting stations outside the perimeter of your home, about every 8 feet or so. These should be placed nearby the building. A small hole of around about 6 inches may need to be dug and should be quite easy to do, but always be careful and watch out for any electricity cables, water pipes or gas lines.
When putting dirt back into the stations hole make sure there are no big air pockets left in the soil. You might also want to consider placing a small flag so the station will be easy to identify. Remember to make a note of it on your map.
Also, when placing ground baiting stations, ensure that they are not put in any areas that were previously treated with liquid termiticides. This should be common sense but don’t treat the area of the ground right next to the termite baiting stations with any liquid termiticides once the termite baiting station has been installed (unless it is a First Line Baiting System).
Next, you need to deal with any of the remaining hazards on the map that you have not yet dealt with. Place an above ground termite baiting station next to any of these hazards, all these installed termite stations should then be monitored every month.
If you see signs that termites are using the baiting station (you see evidence on termite tubes or termites inside the station) then place the toxic bait inside the termite station. With baiting it may be difficult to know if you have eliminated a termite colony or not but if the termites have stopped feeding on your baits then this is usually a good sign as the termites may have been eliminated.
But don’t get your hopes up just yet, replace your old termite bait with some new bait and continue monitoring the station as before. When monitoring your termite stations each month it’s a good idea to also inspect the rest of your house for any termite activity. Do it yourself termite extermination isn’t hard but it does require a bit of knowledge to avoid some of the common mistakes.