DIY termites treatments actually works for homeowners, especially now that this is written by a TAFE teacher who also wrote the textbooks.
Most of his students had never seen termites before… but those same students became accredited timber pest professionals after a few lessons.
Homeowners can just as easily learn the simple techniques that work, without having to also learn less important stuff like the scientific names.
In your searching about Termites, you probably found websites of professional termite control companies with DIY termites treatments, it will have told you why you can’t do it with chemicals bought from Bunnings, how you don’t have equipment to deliver large volumes of insecticide to impregnate the soil and maybe told horror story examples of failures.
But they would say those things, wouldn’t they?
Here are the facts about actually doing termite treatments yourself:
The Termite Baits
- Buy On-line
You can buy our bait which is the same formulation as used by professionals. (We don’t sell it through hardware stores because we want to back you up, to get it right).
- Same bait
Same result: a dead termite colony
- It is not harmful to humans
Other mammals or birds; it is not a poison but what is called an Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) which once eaten, prevents the insect from producing their outside shell so they don’t even get to grow to adults.
The bait comes with practical, illustrated instructions and can be used against termites attacking timber in your buildings or in monitors… anyone’s monitors.
The Termite Monitors
- TermiTraps are different to those most professional use.
They are placed up on the surface so you don’t need to fight rocks and roots digging them into the soil. They were designed for homeowner use.
The In-ground professional plastic baskets were also designed to keep homeowners out, meaning you had to pay for them to come and inspect them for any activity.
- Placed on the ground
The real reason TermiTraps are placed above ground level is because termite scouts spend more time ‘looking’ above ground level for wood because over eons of time their instincts have reaffirmed there is more wood above than below ground level. (Think fallen logs and the amount of root compared to trunk plus branches of a fallen tree).
- Make Termite job easy
The TermiTrap on-ground monitors are placed on gardens, footpaths, gravel, etc., around the house meaning a passing scout can easily get inside to assess the big pieces of attractive timber inside… and to get out again to report their find back to the nest.
The professional baskets and homeowner-proof lids make it difficult for a scout to get inside and even more difficult to get out to go back and make its report. The harder it is for a scout to do its job the less likely a monitor is to be discovered by a nearby threatening nest and the more likely it is for scouts to by-pass monitors and find a way inside your home.
- Making your job easy
Then there’s the easy inspection bonus! TermiTraps are designed with a hole in the lid. Termites instinctively want to block it up; not to keep out the light but to keep in precious humidity. A glance as you walk past is all it takes to see termite mud mixture filling the hole indicating termites are busy eating the timber inside. That’s the time to add bait to kill the colony.
There are insecticides available in hardware stores that some professionals use and which a homeowner can buy and use. Not for poisoning soil adjacent to foundations to prevent termite access to the inside of buildings, but to kill colonies found inside a hollow tree or a stump or in behind a retaining wall, etc. If you find a termite mound, insecticide is not needed; just physically destroy it with a pick, mattock or crowbar. Breaking it wide open will allow ants in and humidity out. The termites are unlikely to be capable of repairing it to survive… but if they do, you’ll be able to see the new repair mud mixture within a day or two. So, make a second, better attempt. And check again in another day or two.
Homeowners don’t have the spraying equipment to apply barriers at the recommended rates, however in general, barriers are not as reliable or foolproof as is often assumed. Soil adjacent to slab floors is easily disturbed by gardening or new landscaping, it may be washed away during flooding rains and, flooding rains may wash untreated soil over the barrier allowing termite access through the new, untreated soil.
The annual termite inspection
An accredited timber pest professional will probably do a better inspection than a homeowner. You can always pay a pro to check if termites somehow went past the monitors (or maybe were already past the monitors and into your home before they were put in place).
As the homeowner, you can do almost as well.
The fine print in any inspection report exempts timbers that cannot be visually inspected.
Think about this for a moment: not the timbers in the wall hidden by plasterboard, not the roofing timbers hidden behind sarking or under insulation or behind the air-conditioning ducting, not timbers in flat or skillion roofing and not underfloor timbers that can’t be reached because of insufficient crawl space.
Then there is the fine print wording that exempts the inspector from moving stuff in cupboards, wardrobes, the linen press, etc., or moving furniture such as the lounge against the wall to check the skirting board. Because it is your home, you are more likely to make that extra effort.
Ask yourself: what timbers can an inspector check that you can’t? (Especially if you have a slab floor… no timber).
Our website gives inspection tips on what to look for and where.
DIY Termite Treatments Summary
DIY termite treatments have been common practice since the IGR baits were registered for homeowner use about 2006… 15 years ago.
The bait is the same formula as used by professionals, installing monitors is a one-off cost and monitors are guaranteed for ten years but are already lasting longer than that. Checking monitors is a three-monthly walk around to glance at the holes in the lids. (Your easy reminder is: whenever the electricity bill comes in… go check your TermiTraps).
Homeowners can use the same bait to kill nearby termite colonies which might find access to their homes, they can use the same principle and yes, more suitable monitors to defend their homes and they can inspect their own homes… of if they wish to pay $200-$300 for an inspection, that is still a lot cheaper overall so, DIY is just as effective.
You can do-it-yourself!