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Termites! Part 20


File:Termites diverses.png

In Part 1 of Termites!, we looked at the different types of these wood-eating pests and how to determine if your house is infested.  Now we get to the important stuff: how to get rid of them!

There are multiple methods that can be used to control infestation, including:   

  • Bait Stations: Slow-acting chemicals are mistaken for food by worker termites.  While somewhat effective, it is usually necessary to augment the bait stations with spot treatments of insecticide sprays. Bait stations can also be dangerous to pets and children.  They are poison, after all . . .
  • Microwave Termite Control: This site-specific method kills the termites inside the wall.  Unfortunately, if used improperly, it can also weaken the structure that has been infested. 
  • Termite Backhoes:  This is a bit extreme, but generally effective on subterranean termite infestation.  And unless you know how to run a backhoe,  well, I’d avoid it.
  • Boric Acid: This chemical acts not only as a poison, attacking the termite’s metabolism, but also as an abrasive to their exoskeletons.

Until 1988, a chemical known as Chlordane was used to battle these bugs.  While effective, the EPA determined that Chlordane caused damage to the human nervous system, digestive tract, and liver.  Obviously, this is no longer an option.

I’ve had one encounter with termites.  They had chewed a hole through a wall behind a bookshelf.  I discovered this when it rained one day and my carpet became drenched.  After unloading the bookshelf and moving it, I found a nice hole chewed through from my front garden (filled with mulch) into my office.

I fought the battle.  And I lost.  That’s when I called in the professionals.  This little video from Orkin is quite informative, in a salesperson-like way:

Sometimes it’s better to call in the big guns and let them wage war for you.  The odds are good that the termites will be taken out without any extraneous damage to your home.

And that’s sort of the point, right?

by John Barker

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