Spraying Termites Conversation
Here is an email that I received recently.
This gentleman is not alone in wondering if normal $8.00 household insect spray is enough to control termites.
The answer is yes – you will kill the ones you can hit.
But no, the problem – which is the colony that they came from remains and only in killing the whole colony will you remove the immediate threat.
We have a wooden door structure on the laundry that leads to outside, now the right side of the door frame (Vertical) has cavities in it from termite damage, but I can’t see any termites, they must have moved on and they have. I can see termites crawling around the top of the frame (Horizontal)….. they are small white ones.
Would I have to climb up on the roof and remove the tiles near the gutter to find out where else they are in order to properly place the poison?
I’m thinking if i only place the poison in one end, the termites at the other end will just move on to the other side of the house?
How should I go about this… and how do I know if it’s working, because most of the termites are probably hidden inside the wood and I can’t know if they are dead?
As you’ve found termites, you are in a good position to bait them and let them do the work of getting the bait back to the nest — wherever it is.
The only warning bell going off in my head is that termites work from the ground up and although they are in the top, horizontal part of the door frame they are no longer in the lower vertical framing. There are three scenarios:
1. they are getting to the top via a passage you haven’t found behind the damaged vertical…
2. they are going up the other side or via studs in the walls, or,
3. the top ones are isolated because of the damage exposed below and they are just living out the rest of their days (weeks).
My advice is to take the best chance you have to kill the colony and that is to begin baiting using the alfoil and tape method on the horizontal timber you’ve found. Secondly, have a good check around carefully tapping and looking at all the other door and window framing, skirting boards etc. you may be able to find another hollow, active area and begin baiting in those places as well.
No, you won’t be scaring them off to the other side of the house (if you do it gently and with little disturbance).
You will know they are dead once they stop eating after a few weeks. If the ones above the door consume only an egg cupful of bait and then stop, to me that would indicate the third scenario.
No gardening while the feeding is in process. You don’t want to risk breaking the tunnel from the house back to the nest.
Hoping this gives you some confidence,Ion Staunton
Where is the foil method explained?
How about the Termite poison which cost about $275, I’m thinking that’s quite expensive, compared to something like fly spray that is only $8 a can, but excuses me as I don’t know much about pest control…. is there a cheaper alternative?
Fly sprays will sure kill termites, but only the ones you hit. As the queen may be laying a thousand eggs or more a day, a bit of fly spray on a couple of hundred termites will not give you control.
Here’s the way termite control works:
The central nest containing hundreds of thousands of termites is usually below ground level and from there, scouts find their way into wood such as your door frame and they keep chewing off wood to take back to the nest to feed the royals and the young termites. If you use fly spray or any other method to kill termites on the spot, they will seal off the severely damaged area and find a way back around it.
However, if you feed them a bait which kills termites because they can’t go through their next moult, the bait you put inside the alfoil pouch on the outside of the frame is harvested in preference to the wood (because it is moist and much easier to chew off a tummy).
Over a few weeks, and multiple feeds, the whole nest is killed and although this costs more than $8, the $275 is a lot less than a pest man would charge you to do the same thing, with the same bait… because that is also the preferred method used by professionals when there are live termites found in timber in houses.
Best wishes and death to termites!Ion Staunton
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