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Can’t I just have my house chemically treated for termites?

Although you should talk to a professional pest control operator about treatment, you can still reduce some of the risks of infestation by reducing or eliminating water sources such as leaky pipes and roofs; removing any wood and debris in contact with the soil, like wood trellises connected to homes; replacing damaged sills and floors, and sealing cracks in concrete and other structural materials. Formosan termites can eat door frames, window sills, rafters and wall studs. Many different types of termite treatment exist. Most are designed to prevent termites from invading your home by repelling them from the immediate area of treatment. These products are designed to last for a relatively long period–more than five years–but each will break down eventually. The products must last at least five years in order to be registered as a termiticide. Different soils and soil conditions affect the rate of breakdown. Activities that disturb the soil or addition of new soil over the treated areas allows termites to tunnel through untreated soil.

A preconstruction treatment regimen and regular inspection are needed to keep termites at bay. New monitoring/baiting techniques are designed to work either alone or in conjunction with soil treatments. These systems use wood blocks that are inspected at regular intervals to determine termite presence and activity. Only when there is activity are the blocks replaced with a toxin-treated food source which the termites eat and share with their nestmates, resulting in severe population reduction of the colony or even death of the colony. These methods use much less toxin than soil treatments and represent an aggressive approach to termite control rather than the protective approach used in the past.

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