It’s a myth that termites are easy to tackle. They are sophisticated and highly social creatures and if you don’t manage to eradicate the queen termite, she can lay thousands of eggs everyday, they rebuild their colony almost instantaneously.
To eradicate subterranean termites, you have the choice of a variety of eradication techniques:
1) Baiting techniques
2) Dusting techniques
3) Chemical treatment methods
Baiting chemicals contain a small amount of slow acting poison killing termites over time. Highly social creatures, the infected termites feed and groom each other, transferring poison in the process. The colony, including the queen, soon succumbs. The downside is that this technique requires termites to eat the bait. If they don’t the colony will continue to grow. It also only tackles one colony at a time. Sometimes termites, including Schedorhinotermes spp, have multiple nests.
I tend to lay several baits to tackle this issue. Effective baiting takes three to four months depending on the size of the colony and time of year. During this time the colony continues to eat your home. Termite Baiting is ideal when you only have a minimum number of termites to deal with and you can’t find the nest.
Dusting, another technique, usually works faster than baiting. It takes on average six weeks to start being effective depending on the size of the colony and the time of the year. It involves introducing fine poisonous dust to termites. Termites will then infect the rest of the colony by rubbing their body against each other and grooming themselves and other termites. Like baiting, dusting is a delayed acting poison. There are two disadvantages
a) Need to infect as many termites as possible
b) If a new colony attacks your home in the meantime, you need to dust them separately
Then there are chemical treatment methods, such as Termidor and Alteriset. These are applied as subfloor or perimeter barriers. Basically, we apply them where ever ermites are entering your property. They then are infected and pass on the infection to the rest of the colony. Termites may be able to bridge the chemical zone which is the disadvantage of this type of treatment, however, the advantage is that the residue of chemical treatment can last for many years.
Over the years I’ve seen many termite nests in bathroom walls where waterproofing was inadequate. Termites would get their weekly water intake each time the owner showered. In that case termites didn’t need to crawl inside or outside the property in search of water. In this instance subfloor treatment wouldn’t be effective. I’d treat this type of infestation with baiting or dusting and then apply a chemical barrier to prevent further termite attacks.