Written by Anza Goodbar (last updated February 17, 2012)
Termites are big eaters! A colony of 60,000 termites can devour a one foot length of a two by four is just six months. Left unchecked, they can render a house structurally unsound and devalue your home in a matter of years. Signs of a termite infestation can take up to five years to become evident, but the results can be devastating.
There are three basic methods for removing termites from your home. The first is a termiticide. There are many brands available on the market today. They come in a liquid or foam, when sprayed around the foundation of the house, it forms a barrier that kills termites it comes in contact with and can safeguard against future infestations. Homeowners may need to inject the chemical deeper underground which requires additional equipment, but the treatment can last up to five years.
The second method is boric acid. This is a multipurpose insecticide, one of which is termites. It can be used alone or mixed with propylene glycol to produce an effective termite-killing agent. Mixing the acid with glycol allows the solution to better penetrate wood. This is a safe chemical to use around children.
The third method is bait, similar in concept to a roach motel. Rather than a sticky surface that traps the insect inside, a termite bait utilized a piece of wood coated with a killing agent, usually placed just outside the home. They ingest the poison and take it back to their colonies; it takes about two months for it to take effect. It is said to be an extremely effective method of eradicating termites from your home. While this option can be more expensive than insecticides, it doesn't leave any peripheral dame to the yard, soil or home.
As with any pest, being proactive is the best remedy to avoid an infestation. Caulk around the foundation of the house, seal up any holes or cracks. This will help keeping other pests out too. Store firewood away from the house and keep it elevated off the ground so they don't have easy access. Watch for standing water or leaky pipes, termites require a lot of water for survival.
Make your home unattractive to termites before they move in. It will save you time and money from trying to evacuate them later. It will also prevent the need for costly home repairs.
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