While they don’t bite or transmit diseases, termites are one of the most destructive and expensive pests to deal with. Each year in the United States, they cause billions of dollars in structural damage to houses and property.
Getting rid of termites usually requires professional help. There are several types of termite control methods that can be used, and some last longer than others in terms of keeping termites out.
How Long Does Termite Treatment Last?
How long termite treatment lasts varies depending on many different factors; the main one is the type of treatment done. The three most common types are soil treatment, wood treatment, and bait systems.
Soil treatments, also referred to as soil-applied barrier treatments, involve the use of liquid termiticides that are meant to last at least 5 years. Some last longer — up to 8 or 10 years, depending on the exact termiticide used, how it was applied, local environmental conditions, and the density of termites in the area.
Wood treatment can last even longer — potentially decades. Although this type of termite control is usually more preventative in nature (often used during construction), exposed wood can also be treated in response to a current infestation as a supplement to soil treatment.
Bait systems are a type of termite treatment that’s easiest to install and least intrusive, but individual bait stations only last one year and need to be maintained annually. However, the goal of baiting is to gradually reduce or eliminate the termite population over time, so it’s considered the best long term approach to termite control.
How Do Termite Treatments Work?
Soil and barrier treatments are commonly used to treat subterranean termite infestations. This method establishes a barrier of soil treated with liquid termiticides between a structure and the subterranean termite colony in the soil.
The process of a soil treatment involves digging a trench around the exterior foundation of the house, and then liquid termiticide is either poured or injected into the soil. The treated soil kills or repels termites trying to pass through it.
Wood treatment involves applying borate-based products to wood, making it toxic or repellent to termites.
Wooden items like posts, fences, decks, and landscape timbers can also be treated with borate to protect from termites, as well as mold, rot, and other wood-boring insects.
Termite bait systems use a small amount of bait to attract foraging termites. Some bait systems are installed below the surface of the ground while others are installed above ground or even inside of a structure.
When termites eat the bait, the slow acting toxins or IGRs (insect growth regulators) mixed inside either kill them or hinder growth and reproduction. Foraging termites bring the bait back to the colony, resulting in a steady decline of the entire termite population.
Factors that Affect How Long Treatment Lasts
Other factors that may affect how long a termite treatment lasts include:
- Species of termites
- Degree of infestation
- Type(s) of termiticide used
- Building structure
- Local environmental conditions
- Construction or renovation
Can Termites Come Back After Treatment?
Unfortunately, they can.
Activities that disrupt the barrier where the treatment is, like digging or planting, can allow termites to enter the gap and re-infest your home. Treating a termite infestation is a gradual process that typically requires regular maintenance to remain effective.
Scheduling annual termite inspections (usually included with termite warranties) will help ensure that termite treatments remain effective.
At MMPC, we have over 25 years of experience as one of the top pest control companies in New York. Our licensed termite experts are available to help you inspect, treat, and protect your home and property from termites.