What Is the Most Effective Treatment for Termite Control?

Looking for the right solution for your termite troubles? In this article, we’ll compare the main types of termite treatments and services to help you determine which options may be right for you.

Termite Control Overview

There are several different types of termite treatments you can choose from in order to protect your home and property from termites. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to pick the right one for your exact situation.

Are you a homeowner searching for a termite control solution for an active termite infestation on your property? Are you a developer looking for preventative termite treatment for a new building? Which options are more eco-friendly? How long does each treatment last?

To ensure that you address your termite problems safely and effectively, it’s important to consult your local termite control expert or termite exterminator to understand what your options are. 

Here’s an overview of the three most common types of termite treatments:

  • Soil and barrier treatments
  • Termite baiting stations
  • Fumigation

As you consider the pros and cons of each, please note that these methods are often used in combination with one another to provide a holistic solution.

Termite Control Methods

Soil and Barrier Treatments

Soil and barrier treatments are the most common approaches when tackling a termite infestation. 

Soil treatments involve applying liquid termiticides to the soil underneath or around the foundation of a building, creating a chemical barrier that protects the exterior of your home and stops termites from tunneling through. Soil treatment is considered a form of chemical barrier treatment.

Barrier treatments can also protect the interior of your home through the use of other physical or chemical termite barriers. An example is injecting foam termiticides into walls and floors. The foaming agents have a similar consistency to shaving cream. Once they are injected, they spread through openings and wall voids in all directions to cover any open areas inside. This method is often used in conjunction with soil treatment to eliminate any termites already living inside your building.

Another example of physical barriers is termite shields, which are thin pieces of sheet metal installed around wooden structural elements inside your building. However, termite shields are typically only installed during initial construction and would not be used to treat an existing infestation.

The termiticides used in soil and barrier treatments typically last up to 5 years. Depending on the situation, they can be more cost-effective than using termite bait systems. 

PROSCONS
The “tried and true” method. It’s well-understood and reliable. More intrusive than baiting methods.
Often the least expensive treatment option. Some of the chemical termiticides used can be toxic.
You’ll start to see results from barrier treatments relatively quickly. Improper or incorrect application of termiticides will cause the treatment to fail.
Barriers naturally lose effectiveness over time as the termiticides break down in the soil. 

Termite Baiting Stations

Termite baiting is becoming more common as a preferred method of termite control here in New York. 

This type of treatment involves placing termite bait stations in strategic locations surrounding an active termite colony. There are two main types of bait stations: in-ground stations and above-ground stations. As the name implies, in-ground baiting stations need to be planted in the soil. They are generally more common and effective than above-ground stations, although above-ground stations may be more appropriate for certain situations.

Termite bait stations utilize termite bait treated with low doses of slow-acting, non-repellent termiticides. When the termites discover the bait station, they transfer the poisoned bait back to their colony, where the entire colony will feed on it. As a result, termite bait stations can eventually destroy the entire termite colony, eliminating the problem at its source. 

This strategy is more environmentally-friendly compared to the chemical treatments described above and provides more long-term, preventative termite control. 

PROSCONS
Baiting is an effective form of long-term termite control.Often more costly than soil and barrier treatments.
Can solve the problem at the source by destroying an active termite colony.Requires special training and consistent monitoring.
Less intrusive and disruptive. There is no drilling necessary. Typically takes longer to see results from this type of termite control. 
Fewer environmental and health risks.

Fumigation

Fumigation is an intensive way to rid your home of severe termite infestations. The process involves enclosing the infested area and exposing all termites inside it to sulfuryl fluoride gas (Vikane). The fumigation process typically takes around 3 days.

In order to fumigate thoroughly, your home will be tented and sealed before the treatment gas is dispersed. Then the exterminator will allow for approximately 24 hours of exposure, depending on the size of your home and the extent of the termite infestation. After the treatment, your home will be aerated and monitored until all of the gas is dissipated and it is safe to re-enter.

Fumigation assures that any current colonies will be eliminated, but it doesn’t guarantee your home is safe from future re-infestation.

The effectiveness of fumigation also depends on the type of termite species you have. In New York, where subterranean termites are the most prevalent, separate treatments are required that create a barrier between your home and their underground nests.

PROSCONS
Effective at ridding your home of active termites.Fumigation is the most costly and intrusive method of termite control.
Vikane gas will naturally disperse and will not leave residue in your home. Forces you to leave your home for 3 or more days.
Will not prevent future re-infestation.

Termite Prevention

Termite treatment depends heavily on the species of termite and the details about the environment harboring them. There are over 45 species of termites found in the United States.

Subterranean termites or “Dampwood” termites are the most common here in New York. These termites thrive in dark and damp environments full of their favorite cellulose-rich foods. They build their colonies in soil and tend to surface in the spring to find new food sources. 

For general tips on protecting your home from termites and other pests, try these strategies.

General Termite Prevention Checklist: 

  • Keep It Dry: Divert rainwater away from your home and be sure to repair any leaks. Keep crawl spaces and basements dry and well ventilated. 
  • Wood: Scrap wood and firewood should be discarded or stored away from buildings. Wood should be kept above ground and covered so it can stay dry. Remove dead trees, stumps, and roots near your home. 
  • Seal It: Seal any structural cracks or crevices in the walls or foundation of your building. 
  • Wood Treatments: Wood can be treated with termiticides to prevent termites from feasting. Borate treatments are absorbed into the wood, preserving the wood and acting as a barrier to termites. 
  • Physical Barriers: Often the best defense when a home is being built. Concrete foundations are very successful in preventing termites and termite shields can help you detect infestations early on by forcing termites to build mud tunnels when they search for food. Mud tunnels are one of the telltale signs of termites.  

NYC Termite Control & Treatment

Termite treatment is the most effective when carefully customized for your specific situation. Consult your local termite control professionals in order to get the correct diagnosis and professional advice about treatment. If you live in or around New York City, including Long Island and New Jersey, consider calling the termite experts at MMPC.

At MMPC, we pride ourselves on listening carefully and working with our clients to find the ideal solution for their specific termite issues. We have 25+ years of experience in the field, and we’re NYC’s #1 highest-rated pest control company on Yelp.

If you have a question about termites, or if you’d like to get a quote for termite treatment or inspection services, call (212) 219-8218 or contact us today!